View Full Version : Scheduling a Film Shoot on a Small Budget

01-22-2013, 08:49 PM
Scheduling a film shoot when you don't have much money to spend can be a very stressful situation, but there are certain things that you can do to help ensure that this process goes a lot smoother. We all know that having a smaller budget gives you less room for error and also presents some other problems.

The first problem is that since you have a smaller budget, the time that you have to shoot the film is going to be less than a film that has a larger budget. You may be talking about less than a month’s time or even a few weeks time. This is a very short amount of time to try and shoot a film, but there are some things that you need to do to help yourself.

You need to be organized and when I say that you need to have a good system for computing data. You need to do plenty of research before you begin shooting and you need to write it all down and keep track of everything. This will allow you to maximize your shooting efforts by keeping the shooting going at a nice rate and will allow you to just focus on shooting and getting things done quickly and efficiently.

Every film is different and some films require you to shoot in many different locations. If you have to shoot in different locations then you have to make sure that you can get all your shots in as little time as possible at each location. You need to also consider shooting times and the daylight situation. There is also a great software called Movie Magic Scheduling that can be a great tool to see if locations are public or private property, what they cost and what permits you need. You can google it and find plenty of places to purchase it.

The second problem is that you need a breakdown of all of the elements that you need for each shot. You should have a list of things like the actors needed, the wardrobe, the stunts, the props, the extras, the makeup, the sound etc. You can put all of this data into a grid and make it nice and organized and ensure that you're prepared for each scene. Each scene breakdown also has things like the scene number, the date, the time of day, indoors or outdoors, a synopsis of the scene and anything else similar related to the scene.

I think that it is important to be a bit more open minded to having to make some small changes to make your film shoot work. Since you have a small budget you might have to make some comprises on the shoot and you may not get all of the things that you originally wanted when you were planning the whole process. We all know that there are setbacks when shooting, especially on a small budget, but you must not let that bring you down and especially to spill over to your shooting and the crew.

Anonymous Filmmaker
04-19-2013, 11:59 AM
Nice article! Is there any free software for scheduling/planning shoots?

Nick Soares
04-20-2013, 10:29 AM
Nice article! Is there any free software for scheduling/planning shoots?

Isn't Movie Magic free?

Anonymous Filmmaker
04-20-2013, 10:43 AM
I just looked it up and it looks like it is. I just assumed it wasn't when it said something about purchasing it in the article. Thanks!