There is often a great deal of confusion between what is referred to as a Production Schedule and a Shooting Schedule.
The Production Schedule is what you are budgeting for the entire length of the production. This covers the entire process of developing and financing the project, pre-production, production (the shoot), the edit, post production, complete until the delivery of the film or TV show to its final destination. This would be(a distributor, broadcaster or the launch of your project on the festival circuit.
It’s important that the entire production read and understand the script so scheduling can be written in the most efficient manner. This means more than scheduling scenes, but also preparing for production and understanding what will be required to schedule post-production work.
Some elements of the Production Schedule are:
- Casting sessions
- Location searches
- License permit appointments
- Editing suites
- ADR (automated dialogue replacement) sessions with actors
Production Schedule vs. Shooting Schedule
The Shooting Schedule is usually a concentrated period when the film project is shot, aka Principal Photography. It is when the most expenditure takes place, and so has to be scheduled as efficiently as possible. This means, for example:
- Breaking down the script, paying careful attention to budget
- Grouping locations for efficient shooting
- Grouping scenes with special effects
- Scheduling more intense scenes earlier (when the cast and crew are at peak energy)
- Moving from one location to another
There is definitely an art to creating the production and shooting schedules. The more efficient you are, the more valuable to any production you become.