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.