The business of film
The business of film

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The business of film

2 The schedule

Nicky Earnshaw is Head of Production for Pinewood Pictures, who were involved in the production of Spooks: The Greater Good.

Nicky is going to be talking about the importance of the schedule to the production. She talks about the people who are responsible for its creation and the kind for information it provides in the production process.

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Transcript: Video 3 Nicky Earnshaw talks about the importance of the schedule to the production

NICKY EARNSHAW
The first person to do the schedule may be the line producer, or it may be the first assistant director. Even if the line producer does the first pass, the first assistant director takes it over very fairly early on and makes it their own. Initially it tells you- it's crucial, the schedule, for knowing everything about the project, not just how many days or weeks your shoot is going to last for, but where you need to shoot, whether your interiors, exteriors, as in, are you building? Are you on location? Are you out in the countryside? Are you in a town?
 There's various reports that you can run from a schedule, including your stunt days, your cast days, even things like your action vehicle days. If you've got lots of extras, it will give you what we call a day-out-of-day for the background, the supporting artists. It's a blueprint, really, for everything, and each department takes something- everybody takes global information. Each department takes their information as well.
End transcript: Video 3 Nicky Earnshaw talks about the importance of the schedule to the production
Video 3 Nicky Earnshaw talks about the importance of the schedule to the production
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As Nicky explained, it is often the line producer who takes a script in the first instance to begin the scheduling process. It is at this stage that you begin factoring in all the actors, extras (called ‘background’), props and other items required in each scene.

The script breakdown

To identify your costs, you have to examine the script closely and analyse each scene very carefully. This is called the script breakdown. The schedule (and therefore the budget) is built up scene by scene. Here Nicky talks about the kind of things you have to take into account when breaking down a scene.

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Transcript: Video 4 Nicky talks about breaking down a scene

NICKY EARNSHAW
Every scene in a script will be different, but basically you start with what's the scenario? So it might be two people sitting in a cafe together, so obviously you check in your schedule. So this is like a database, actually, so each page is a database. You say, OK, the location is the cafe, the characters are x and y. There are, you know, cafe wait staff, waitresses, there's somebody behind the bar. So they're probably background artists, there may be other customers in the cafe because obviously there will be activity. So you put all of that sort of detail in, and you imagine how the scene will play out.
 If two people are just talking, then it's a very simple description. If somebody comes in with a gun and starts firing at everybody, then that's a very different thing. You start putting in all sorts of things about probably stunt doubles, there's probably- you know, there's armoury, and you start imagining what kind of shots would they use for this. Say for instance, you know, a more interesting director might say they want to have a shot from the window, and pull away on a crane or something like that, because there's something big going on, and eventually the cafe explodes. And all that has to go into your scene description. So it all depends how it's written in the script.
 So the script is very much a blueprint for what goes into the schedule.
End transcript: Video 4 Nicky talks about breaking down a scene
Video 4 Nicky talks about breaking down a scene
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