Production Guidelines

You are only ready to move into production mode and shoot your film ONLY ONCE YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR PRE-PRODUCTION STEPS. 

So ask yourself:
“Have we completed ALL of our pre-production steps?!” If your answer is “no” go back and complete them all. Trust me. It will make your life so much easier. Check out all the resources on this blog for pre-production, or here’s yet another handy guide to pre-production. 

If your answer is “Yes,” ask yourself “Are you SURE?!” If your answer is “Yes,” ask yourself “Are you really really really pinky-swear sure?!” and if your answer is an emphatic honest cross-you-heart “Yes! I promise, pinky-swear!” Then you’re ready to move on to your production.

So, you’ve arrived at your designated shooting location (✔).
You’ve got your crew and your actors (✔).
You’ve read through the script with your actors and they’re ready to roll (✔).
Your crew knows what they’re doing (✔)
…they’ve read your call sheets (which you brought) (✔)
your shooting script (which you’ve brought) (✔)
and shot list (which you’ve brought) (✔)
…they know what’s going on (✔),
they know what you’re going to shoot today and in what order (✔)
…of course they do, you’ve given them clear instructions! (✔)
All your release forms are signed and ready to go (✔).
The shot logs are ready to be filled in as you go (✔).
You’ve got your costumes (✔),
props (✔),
and whatever hair and makeup requirements you need (✔).
Your camera/s are there (✔),
fully charged (✔),
with back-up memory chips (and extra film or video tape if you’re using a non-digital camera) (✔).
You’ve got all your necessary cables and wires for the camera/s (✔).
You’ve got back up batteries, or at least the charging cable and an extension cable should the battery die on you (✔).
You’ve got your slate ready (✔).
You and your camera person/DP set up the camera for your first shot (✔).
Your continuity person makes a note of it to make sure you follow the 180° rule (✔)
If you’re working with Lighting and Microphones or other equipment it is all there, set, working, and ready to go (✔)

So you’re ready to shoot. Now what?

Director, make sure everyone is in the right place and ready for the shot. Make sure the camera is set up correctly. Get the actors in their places. Tell them once again what you’re about to shoot to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Tell them how they’re supposed to move where they’re supposed to look, etc In other words, Direct your actors. In the mean time, your Director of Photography (DP) is making sure that the shot is framed correctly according to the shot list and story board, and that the shot is in focus. Are your lights and sound equipment set properly? Did everyone turn their cell phones to silent? Once it’s all set, tell your Assistant Director (AD) that you’re ready to go! Assistant Director and/or a PA will keep the shot log going, keeping track of all the shots and if they were perfect of if something is wrong, what is wrong with it.

Assistant Director (AD): Picture’s up!
(This let’s everyone know it’s time to get serious, we’re about to shoot.)
Production Assistants (PA’s): (all repeat) Picture’s up!
(PA’s are located all around the set, when they hear the AD call Picture’s up, they repeat it so everyone around the set knows shooting is about to begin. In productions that use walkies/radios, the announcement is made to everyone.
Director: Quiet please! (or) Quiet on set! (or) Silence on set! (or) Quiet!
(Each director has their own phrase they like to use.)
Director: (once everyone is silent) Stand by!
(Standby indicates that everyone should get ready for what’s about to happen. If you’re a camera operator, get ready to press “record”, etc.
Director: Roll Sound! Roll Camera! (or) Rolling!
(This tells camera and sound operators to start recording)
PAs: Rolling!
(again, repeating across the set, so everyone knows, we are literally about to begin.)
Camera Operator (usually 1st Assistant Camera, or DP): Speed (or) Camera Speed/s
(This lets everyone know that the camera is recording. )
Sound Operator: Speed (or) Sound Speed/s
(This let’s everyone know that the sound equipment is picking up sound and is recording.)
Director: (To AD): Ready slate (Slate is also called Clapper, Clapboard, clapper board, sticks, marker, etc. These words are used interchangeably.
AD: Marker! (Or any of the other words for clapboard).
2nd AD, PA or Actor: (stands in front of camera holding up slate so it’s clearly visible, reads off the scene and take, then claps the clapper. See section: How to Slate.
Director: ACTION!

Actors will act, the scene will unfold. Once the action is complete,

Director: CUT!
Everyone stops filming/recording. The director decides if the take was good talking to the AD, DP and Actors. If there is anything wrong, of if they want a second option, this whole process will repeat for the same shot, if not, they can move on to the next shot.


  1. Be nice to each other: film-making can be stressful, but try to remember that it’s also fun. Be nice to each other.
  2. Be serious: Film making is a lot of fun, but for things to get done, you have to take your roles seriously. It’s ok to laugh and enjoy it, but follow directions, and always be sure to do your role correctly. This makes sure that things go smoothly and get done in a timely fashion.
  3. Be respectful of equipment, locations, costumes, etc…everything involved in a film is important and deserves to be treated with respect. Don’t smash things, break things, damage property, etc…these are all tools that are helping you make your art, and therefore need to be properly cared for.
  4. CONTINUITY! Make sure you are keeping track of things and that it’s all according to continuity.
  5. Don’t delete shots. You never know when they’ll come in handy. It’s better to have too many shots than too little.
  6. Be careful of your lighting and sound recordings…make sure it’s all clear to see and hear. Even if it’s supposed to be quiet, sound can be made more quiet in editing, but its really hard to make sound clearer/louder without distorting it. Same with lighting…if it’s supposed to be dark, great, but we still need to be able to see what’s happening. Since we don’t have proper lighting equipment, we’ll have to be creative with what we do have.

How to Slate:
Slates are important and cool. Make sure all the sections are filled out properly. For numbering scene/shots:

Write the number clearly, then each shot within a scene, so let’s say a scene is made of 5 shots…each shot will be labeled with a letter A-Z, skipping I and O, because we don’t want to confuse ourselves and mistaken them for 1’s and 0’s.

When you read your marker, read Scene/shot (Read as number, then a word that begins with the letter), and take, then clap the marker clearly but gently. So for example….Gone With The Wind, Scene 1-A, take 3 would be read as “Scene 1-Apple, take 3” If the shot is a close-up, the AD will call for “soft sticks” so you’re not slamming them loudly in front of the actor’s face. If the scene has no sound, it’s called “MOS” you just hold the slate, with your hand under the clapper to indicate to the editor that there is no sound track.  If for whatever reason the slate wasn’t recorded properly at the beginning of the take, we slate again at the end with the slate held upside-down, this is called “tail slate” so the editor knows that it was from the previous take, not the next one.




Who’s Who in your Film-Making Crew!

It takes a village to make a movie. Films are complicated artworks. A big-budget Hollywood film will require hundreds, if not thousands of people to make the film.

This is a run-down of some of the major roles in film making. You will each be taking on some of these roles in our class. Some are only found in big Hollywood productions.

Producer: The big boss. The producer sets the conditions for film-making…this means that they initiate the project. They get funding, coordinate things, hire key people like the director, they select the script and ok it for production. They are involved throughout all the phases of the film-making process from pre-production to post, to make sure the film is getting made on time and and made on budget (and in-line with the vision of the movie studio). They are also responsible for coordinating distribution and marketing/merchandising.

Executive Producer: a producer who is not involved in the technical aspects of film-making, but plays more of a financial or creative role in ensuring the project goes into production.

Line Producer: Is the go-between for the producer and the production manager. He or she is responsible for managing the production budget.

Production Manager: Supervises the physical aspects of the production (not the creative aspects)…so they’re responsible for keeping track of personnel (actors and crew), technology, equipment, budget, and scheduling. They’re the ones that keep the production organized, and along with what the producer wants. They also manage the day-to-day budgeting, salaries, production costs, equipment rental costs. In big productions, production managers will have an assistant known as the Assistant Production Manager to help with all the tasks, because the bigger the production the more stuff to manage and coordinate. There is often also a Production Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating and organizing the logistics of everything…this is really important. For example, they’ll be the ones to coordinate transportation to get the crew and cast to the location…etc.

Director: If the producer is the big boss of the entire production, the director is the big boss of the film. He or she calls the shots (literally). The director controls the creative aspects of the film, the content and flow of the film’s plot, directs the performances of the actors, organizes and selections locations, manages technical details, like where cameras will be placed, coordinates with the cinematographer how the film will be shot, how the film’s lighting will be set up, what the soundtrack will be like….but with great power, comes great responsibility. The Director is the problem solver, the mentor and advisor to all of the crew. They are responsible for everyone and everything and that everyone is doing their very best and working together well. They are the leader, they answer to the producer and are responsible for the film getting done. Famous or established directors are sometimes also the producer. Think Wes Anderson or Woody Allen…these are people who are respected in the field and given a lot more control over their projects.

First Assistant Director: is known as 1st AD in big productions, in smaller productions, there might only be 1 AD. They are the director’s right hand…they keep everything organized and on schedule, they keep track of everything that has been shot, is being shot, what is needed at any given time. “This scene also needs a shot from above!” “Bob had the cup in his right hand before!” They are detail oriented and help to oversee the day-to-day film-making, scheduling, equipment, script and set. They also sometimes direct background action for major shots, at the director’s say-so.

Second Unit Director: Is the director of the second unit…this is often an editor in the case of scenes with a lot of special effects or CGI (so he or she will coordinate with the actors of how to act with the special effects…”the giant dragon will be here *points* so, drop to the floor there *points*) or the stunts coordinator (Ok, so stunt double, you’re going to jump through this glass window) . They oversee the unit specific to them.

Music Director: The director of the music. Is either the composer, or the person who coordinates with composers, musicians, etc to put together the score for a film.

Writer: the person who writes the film script. Either an original script or one adapted from another work, in which case the writer of the original work will also be credited. Example: in Harry Potter films, J.K. Rowling will get a writer credit (and a producer’s credit because she’s so famous and so involved in the film) as do the screenplay writers who adapt the book into a screenplay.

Production Accountant: manages the money and makes sure the production comes in on budget and everyone gets paid.

Locations Manager: Oversees the location’s department and staff, getting permissions of use of locations and coordinating things like where will the crew set up, etc. Location Scouts do the actual research to find locations to shoot in, and document the locations to report back to the director and locations manager.

Script Supervisor: is the continuity person. He or she keeps a close eye on the script keeping track of what has been filmed, if and how they’ve deviated from the script, and keep track of continuity, where is everyone located, what movements are they using? What props and costumes to make sure that the film is continuous/consistent. This is really important.

Casting Director: Is responsible for working with the director to choose actors for the characters of the film. They are super involved in the audition process.

Story Board Artists: work with the director and Director of Photography to create a story board of each of the shots in the film.

Director of Photography (DP): is sometimes also known as Cinematographer, especially when the DP is the one to operate the cameras as well. The DP is the chief director of the camera and lighting of the film. He or she works with the director to make decisions on lighting and framing. Usually, the director tells the DP how the show should look, and the DP chooses the correct lens, filter, lighting and composition to achieve the desired aesthetic effect. DP is the senior creative crew member after the director.

Camera Operator/s: Uses the camera/s at the direction of the cinematographer. First Assistant Camera is responsible for keeping the camera in focus as well as setting up the camera at the beginning of the day and taking taking at apart at the end. Second Assistant Camera is in charge of the clapperboard (clap board, clapper, sticks, slate, marker, etc.) and keeping the cameras stocked with film or whatever they need to shoot the footage. They also oversee the camera equipment and its transportation from one location to another. Camera PAs help the crew while learning the trade of camera assistant, operator and/or cinematographer.

Gaffer: is the head of the lighting department, he or she is responsible for the design of the lighting plan for a production. Sometimes they are called the chief lighting technician. The Best Boy is the chief assistant to the gaffer. They are not usually on set, but deal with the electric truck rentals, manpower and other logistics. Light Technicians or electrics are involved in setting up and controlling lighting equipment and temporary power distribution on set (so if you’re filming at the beach, they’re responsible for setting up generators.) Grips are trained lighting and rigging technicians. They work closely with the electrical department to set up flags, over-heads and bounces…key grip is the head grip on set. Best boy (grip) is the 2nd grip, responsible for the grip truck dolly grip is responsible for the dolly and camera cranes.

Production Assistant: PA’s assist in the production. Their tasks are varied. Sometimes they’ll fetch coffee for the director, other times they’ll be on the sidewalk holding a stop-sign trying to keep people from walking into the shot.

Production Sound Mixer: is the head of the sound department on location and responsible for the operation of the audio mixer and recorders which receive feeds from the microphones on set. They decide how to best record sound for each shot, which microphones to use, how to mix all the audio, and maintain sound logs for post-production. Boom Operators is responsible for using microphones on the end of boom poles. Second assistant sound  is an assistant in the sound department who handles wires and wiring (makes sure no one trips) laying carpeting and other sound dampening materials.

Art Department is made up of a Production Designer who is responsible for coordinating and creating the visual appearance of the film…like the settings, costumes character makeup, etc. They work closely with the director and DP to achieve a look to the film. The Art Director reports to the production designer and directly oversees the artists and craftspeople such as set designers, graphic artists, etc.

Set Designers are draftsmen, often architects who, design the sets that have to be built. Illustrators are concept artists who create visual representations of what the production designer wants to create. Set Decorators are in charge of decorating a film set, which means getting the furniture, artwork, etc. that you see in a scene in a film. The Set Dressed is the one that actual sets up the set. If a set has plants and trees, they might use a greensman to set up plants. Construction coordinators manage the construction of sets, including the carpenters and propmakers. Key scenic artists are responsible for surface treatments on set, so for example if there is a wood floor that is meant to look old and weathered, the scenic artist is responsible for making it look that way. Propmasters are in charge of finding and managing all the props that appear in the film. This includes anything the actor holds that is not part of scenery or costume, and all edible food the actors consume in the scene. They are responsible to make sure all the props are time-accurate, and consistency for all the props. They have several assistants that help them. Weapons master or armorer is a prop technician who deals with any weapons in a movie.

Costume Designer is responsible for all the clothing worn by actors in the screen. They are responsible for designing, planning and organizing construction, or acquiring of the garments to the fabric color and size. The designers also work closely with the director the understand and interpret the characters. The Costume or Wardrobe Supervisor works closely with the designer, and manages the people that construct the costumes (seamstresses and tailors), buyers for pre-made costume items or fabrics, breakdown artists that make the costumes look old, dirty or worn if necessary, costume standbys who make sure the quality and continuity of the costumes and consistent before, during and between takes, and key costumer who manages the set costumes and handle star’s wardrobe needs. Hair and make-up artists answer director to the director and production designer, they are responsible for planning makeup designs for all leading and supporting cast. Their department include all the cosmetic make-up, body make up and special effects make up in the production.

Special Effects supervisors instruct the special effects crew to design moving set elements and props that will safely break, explode, burn, collapse or implode without destroying the film set or hurting people. They also are responsible for reproducing weather conditions and other “on-camera magic” Stunt coordinators manage and instruct stunt performers and work closely with the director and AD.

Post production Roles: Though we haven’t yet gotten to post-production in our films, these are some very important roles for a film to be a film, and not just a bunch of clips of actors talking.

Post-production supervisor: coordinates and supervises the post-production process, maintaining good channels of communication between the producer, director, editor, sound editor, and facilities like CFI studios and etc.

Editor: The film editor is the person who puts together the shots into a coherent film with the help of the director. Usually the editing is done by the editor and his or her team of assistant editors. Colorists adjust the color of the film, and make sure the film’s color/tone is consistent with the director’s vision. Visual Effects Producers (VFX PRODUCER) work with storyboard artists and advises the director on the best approach to filming certain things…so for example, in one scene, a space ship flies across the night sky. Should the space ship be physically build and shot live-action, should it be build in miniature and edited into the scene, or should it be entirely CGI? The Visual Effects Producer knows a lot about visual effects and could advise the director on the options and best route. The VFX director directs and supervises the visual effects.

Sound designers are in charge of post-production sound of a movie. Sound editors are responsible for mixing and assembling sounds, foley artists are responsible for creating sound effects for a film, composers  create the music for a film.

Film-making Rules


Leave some room! If your actor is looking off screen to the left, leave room to the left. If the character is looking into the edge of the frame, it creates a sense of awkwardness and makes the viewer uncomfortable. It’s as if they’re about to fall out of the frame.


Especially if the subject is moving across the frame, make sure to give them room to “walk into”


Head Room: 

Don’t decapitate your actors! From LS to MS, even MCU, make sure to give the head some room at the top, but also be careful of too much room…it will make the character seem much smaller. In a CU, usually frame the face so the top of the frame is along the mid-point of the actor’s forehead. For info on how to frame a close-up, check out this resource!

headroom20comparrison Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 9.04.37 PM


When composing a shot, imagine a grid over your frame that divides the frame into 9 equal sections (two vertical and two horizontal lines). The intersection of the lines are points of interest to the eye…use these as points of references when composing the shot. It will create a shot that is visually pleasing and dynamic. It’s not necessary to use the rule of thirds, there are many other systems for composing a shot. Rule of thirds is just helpful, especially for beginners, because it allows us to create a balanced composition with breathing room.

Rule of Thirds:





180° Rule:

Unlike the rule of thirds, the 180° rule should almost NEVER be broken. Doing so will  result in confusion, and not the good kind. There might even be bitter weeping. Please don’t do it. It’s a little tougher to understand so, here’s a helpful video:


When you establish a scene, you are telling the audience “Here is where everyone is located” Once you locate your actors, draw an imaginary line through your actors. Your cameras CANNOT CROSS unless you track the camera to the other side in the scene, otherwise your viewers will be totally disoriented about where everyone is located.


CONTINUITY characters and scenery should look the same from shot to shot, even and especially if the shots are recorded on different days. If an actor’s hair is parted to the right in one shot, and the left in the next, or they have a cup of coffee in their hand in one shot and it’s on the table the next, it’s disorienting to the audience because that’s not how reality works.

More to come!



Cinematic Shots, Camera Angles and Camera Movement

Here’s a handy guide for film-makers of the different camera shots (and their various names, and abbreviations), camera angles and camera movement. These are the building blocks of a film, any film is made up of a variety of different angles and shots…using different shots helps to make the film more visually interesting and will keep your viewers engaged.


Every film is made of scenes, every scene is comprised of shots, shots are usually described by how far away the subject is from the camera, what’s in the camera frame, the purpose of the shot, etc.

  • Establishing Shot (ES) A shot at the beginning of a film, or a scene to “establish” the location. Usually a Long Shot (LS) or Wide Shot (WS) Occasionally referred to as a Master Shot


  • Long Shot (LS) A shot from far away, usually showing a scene (like an entire building) etc.
    • Very Long Shot or Extreme Long Shot (VLS or ELS) is a shot from very very far away.


  • Wide Shot (WS) A shot from far away, in a wide shot, you would see a character from head to toe, plus the background. Wide Shots are also referred to as Full Shots (FS) or Full-Body Shot. Shots that contain people are also described by how many people are in the shot…so for example, this image from UP is a Three-Person Shot or Three-shot (3-S). A shot with two people would be a Two-Person Shot or Two Shot (2-s). So, this would be a Wide-Three-Shot


  • Three-Quarter Shot (3/4-S) aka American Shot (because this type is most common shot in Hollywood films) is a shot in which characters are depicted from the knees up. (Medium Three-Shot M 3-S)


  • Medium Shot (MS) is shot from a medium distance, usually in which characters are depicted from the waist up (3/4-S falls under the MS category). (This is a Medium 2-Shot from Citizen Kane).


  • Medium Close-Up (MCU or MCS) is closer than a MS, but includes some of the torso of the character.


  • Close-up (CU) or or Tight Shot Brings us up close and personal into the actor’s face, or gives us a close view of an object.


  • Extreme Close-Up (XCU) extremely close shot, usually depicting just the eyes, just the mouth, etc. Sometimes referred to as “Italian Shot” because a lot of Italian films use this shot for emphasis. The XCU is used for detail, for drama, and for emphasis.


  • Over-the-shoulder (OTS) sometimes called Third-person shot, is a shot taken over the shoulder of an actor to show that character’s perspective. Often used in scenes in which there is dialogue.


  • Point of View Shot (POV) is shot taken from a character’s perspective to show the audience what the character is seeing. In this case, the character is having the gun pointed at him/her by this dude, so the audience becomes the character, and looks up the barrel of the gun at the man.



Camera angles refer to how the camera “sees” the shot. Is the camera bellow the subject? Is it above the subject? Changing the camera angle greatly affects how we perceive what we see and help to build emotion and tension in a film.

  • Bird’s-eye view: Shows a scene from directly above, an extreme high-angle. It can be used as an establishing shot (ES). It’s also an unnatural/unfamiliar angle. It can be used to make the audience feel uncomfortable (is Hawkeye going to make the shot? Is he going to fall ALLLLLLLL that way down to his death?!) or it can give the audience a “godlike” view, you see it all. This type of shot is not used very often, mostly for emphasis.


  • High Angle is not as extreme as bird’s eye. The camera is positioned above the action/scene/actors. High angle makes the subject seem smaller and/or less significant. High angle is often used to make the subject seem like it’s being threatened or made smaller, or as a point-of-view from someone taller looking down at something.


  • Eye-level (EL) is neutral shot, a shot taken at eye-level. Most shots are eye-level or roughly neutral. Eye level depends on the height of the character. A baby or a dog’s eye level shot would be much closer to the ground that a grown-up’s eye level shot. The important thing to remember is that unlike the high-angle shots, in which the camera is angled down, eye-level shots are taken with the camera level (at 90° with the floor). With the exception of the POV shot, all of the examples of camera shots above are eye-level.
  • Low Angle Low angle shots are shots taken with the camera placed below eye-level, and tilted upwards at the subject. It’s the opposite of a high-angle shot. The use of making the object, or actors in some cases, appear taller, dominating, and more powerful, as if they’re looming over the viewer.




  • Worm’s eye view are shots in which the camera is  directly bellow the subject.


  • Oblique/Canted Angle or Dutch Angle (because, you guessed it, it was introduced a lot in Dutch Films), shots taken when the camera is tilted to make the ground seem like it’s sloping upwards or downwards. It gives a sense of instability and is usually used artistically, in action shots, or for horror or comedic effect. Also, most of the movie Inception.

inception_stillsdutch-angle-webThe Dark Knight


Shots are not always “still” a lot of times, cameras move within a scene to make the shot more dynamic. Most camera movement is done using a device to steady the camera…usually a tripod or pedestal (for tv cameras) a dolly a crane/jib arm or steadicam otherwise footage will appear shaky and will make people nauseous. Hand-held camera footage is deliberately shaky, but still uses steadicam or a similar device to prevent it from being too shaky (to the point that it’s unwatchable) while still giving the sensation that the seen is being “seen” by someone running or moving.

  • TILT: the camera lens angles up/down but the camera remains the same distance above the ground and does not change position (think: nodding your head “yes” while standing still)

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 8.12.56 PM

  • PAN: the camera pivots left/right without changing position or height (think shaking your head no while standing still)

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 8.23.00 PM

  • ZOOM: Changing the focal length of the camera
  • PEDESTAL: Physically move the camera up and down along a straight line.
  • DOLLY or TRACK: Physically move the camera forward and back or side to side (usually using a “dolly” or “track”)
  • HANDHEALD Holding the camera in your hands and physically moving it. Very shaky, use only for effect, like running in a horror movie.

Pre-production documents for Film Production Class

Hello Film Production and Theatrical Design Classes!

Here you can find some sample documents for screenplay writing help, screenplay formatting, and other pre-production document (check back soon for more!)

  • “How to write a screenplay” help and formatting help:


Use this list to keep track of ALL the papers and things you need to organize before you begin shooting your film.


  • Script breakdown resources:Script breakdowns are the intermediate step between the script and all the pre-production documents that make shooting and editing a film possible. A script breakdown is the process of going through the screenplay and pulling all the necessary information, breaking down the film into scenes, shots, camera angles, characters, costumes, props, etc.

Here’s what a marked-up script would look like:

It’s also helpful to make a chart for each scene listing the actors, props, sets, costumes, sound effects etc. that will be in that scene.

  • Shot list:


From the script break-down, we create a shot list, an organized list of all the scenes in the film, and how each shot will be recorded (Long shot? Close-up? Over-the-shoulder? Two-person? Reaction Shot? etc.) SEE: Types of shots

  • Storyboard:

Once you’ve broken down your film into a series of shots, story-board artists will draw comic-book cell like sketches of shots in films to visually depict the camera angles, mark the actor’s or camera’s movement in the scene, and give a visual guide to what the film will eventually look like.

story board template sample:

Story board from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (animated)

Decisions have to be made about the order in which the shots will be filmed. Films are almost never filmed straight through from beginning to end, this would be crazy expensive. Instead, all scenes that are taking place in the same location or the same time of day,  are filmed at the same time, and then edited in the “right” order (non-linear editing). This helps films to be made more efficiently. A shooting script is a document that arranges all the scenes in the order in which they will be FILMED (not the order they exist in the film). It references the page numbers of the original script as well as scene/shot numbers for the actual dialogue. Instead, it describes all the things that are needed in each scene.



For each day of filming, producers and film-makers create call sheets listing the time that each member of the production is to meet at the set (and where), which scenes will be shot that day and when, when breaks are scheduled for lunch, etc. and wrap time. The sheet also contains weather forecast, sunrise and sunset times, date, contact info for the people involved, contact info for the main office and local hospitals, police stations (etc.) in case of emergency.

  • Other documents:
    • RELEASE AGREEMENT: All actors, including extras, should sign release forms, giving you permission to use their image/voice/etc. in your film.     release_agreement_temp
    • Locations list: helps you to describe locations, keep track of who is in charge of locations, what props and such are involved in each for continuity, and stay organized, really important. location_recce_temp
    • COSTUME DESIGN: For each character, make character boards and maintain lists and photographs of all the costumes, hair-styles and make ups the character will use throughout the film. Organize by scene and shot to ensure continuity.
  • While shooting, be sure to keep a footage log, which helps you keep track of what you’ve already shot and what you still need…it’s also super helpful while editing to keep track of which takes are good and which are bad.