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How to Create a Shooting Schedule

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When setting up a shooting schedule for a film production, you rarely shoot in the order the movie occurs in (although this might make sense for the actors, this does not make sense in terms of finances and timing). Instead, you take into account your locations and the surroundings. A properly scheduled film shoot may be the difference between finishing your project on time and on budget or over time and over budget.

Organize the outdoor location shoots at the beginning of your film shoot. This gives you additional time to make up days lost on account of weather or other problems. If you place the location shoots toward the end and it rains, you may be forced to extend the shooting schedule. This increases your finances by forcing you to rent out the location longer and pay more to all the actors and workers.

Set up the remainder of the shoot in blocks, with each indoor location being its own block. Even if you must shoot day and night scenes in the same set, you want to complete an entire location so you don't move out, then move back.

Shoot night scenes first in the specific set block. A night scene can only be filmed at night, while day scenes can be filmed at both day and night (thanks to lighting). If a night scene goes over by a day or so, you can make it up later in the shoot by speeding through the day scenes.

Keep in account union guidelines. Most unions require individuals anywhere from 10 to 12 hours between shooting days. This means never filming at night then begin filming several hours later in the day, otherwise union representatives could come to your shoot and close down production.