sorting a scenario : initiation

dépouillement d’un scénario : initiation

Preparation for the shoot : an introduction to the counting of a scenario

It’s been a while that I had not done an article on the practice of filming a movie. Most of the time you miss of preparation on your shooting that’s why I’m going to talk to you about the counting steps essential to prepare well for your shoot whether you are director, assistant or any position.

When one wishes to make a film, it must first of all prepare it for that once on your tray, you have to concentrate on the direction of actors and your project or if you are an executive position, you will not have cold sweats at the last minute because you just realize that’you are missing : a costume, a prop, etc…If you’re a filmmaker and you can’t delegate all of that preparation to an assistant director, or if the person you’ve chosen to accompany you don’t fully understand this role, here’s what you need to do before you can run your first one : Action !

The counting

It is a document that lists everything that is in your scenario. The counting is to do a careful reading of your script, sequence by sequence…a line-by-line. The tabulation is divided into several squares. Each box corresponds to a sector : Setting the scene, Machinery, Actors, Props, Costumes, Makeup, Sets, etc…at every change of sequence, it is necessary to make a new tally sheet. If you have 100 sequences, your votes will be made up of 100 pages. As a film turns very rarely in chronological order, this enables you to still be able to navigate.

When you read your script, you see in each ” box ” of each position on the element to which it corresponds. For example :

24 : Ext – The Street/ Building Luc– Night

Or Sequence 24 : Street/Building Luc – Ext – Night (The two presentations are available)

important info : It is not essential (see useless) put the word : sequence. On the other hand never forget to put the numbering of the sequences that it can find.

The rain falls pouring. Luke comes out of the building and opens his umbrella. He goes to his car, the other side of the road, opens it and enters. The car starts and drives away.

The photo above represents a tally sheet, made in Word, if you don’t have specific software such as Movie Magic, Movie Data etc…

Or you can very well do it just like the example below :

Sequence : 24

Continuity : Day 4

Decor : street building Luke

Int/ Ext : Exterior

Effect : Night

Actor : Luke

Special effects : Rain

Costume : Umbrella – Costume Luke J4 – Provide double suit – dry suit quick

Make-up : Attention rain

Vehicle : Car, Luc (passable)

Accessories : Key car Luc – key apartment ?

Figuration : 6

Car, Figuration : 1

Régie/ Production : Ventouser Parking – Blocking streets to start car

If you have access or if you want to buy a version of Movie Magic Scheduling here is an example :

As you can see it is quite structured ;o)

1) The title of the sequence

We start with the number of the sequence, and then the decor. Here, the title informs us that the action takes place in the street of the building of Luke, it is normal that we find : Outside, in the title.

The effect has nothing to do with the special effects but with the fact that it be Day or Night. This seems obvious when we filmed outside but when we move indoors it is important that the team knows the effect. For example, if your sequence 12 is in effect int/night and that you have to turn it to day, this requires the grips and the appliances to recreate the night…which requires more work and preparation to installation when turning. As the sequence takes place Outside and you know that you will need to plan a schedule of night to shoot this sequence.

Why refer to the information in the course of the reading , rather than deferring the important elements such as : actors, props, etc…? Simply because this way of working prevents you from forgetting items.

2) Read the descriptions, stage directions, dialogues

The first element that we can read is : The rain is falling poured. This means several things to different stations. First, you must ask yourself why : rain is in the special effects ? Just because you don’t know if the day you are going to turn this sequence 24, it will rain ! As it is important in your scene, it is necessary to provide the materials needed to make this famous rain, or provide a ” Mister Rain “. There are intermittent specialized in this effect, or to predict the fire department.

Then comes the sector ” actors “. Here, there is that Luke in the sequence, it comes out of the building. If there were other actors we have listed here.

“and opens his umbrella “ You must be wondering why the umbrella is in the costume and not the accessories ? There are oddities sometimes in the movies ;o) Anything that is hand bag, umbrella, sunglasses, hat etc….for the actors, and are managed by the suits, because these accessories are part of the costumes. We also expect a double costume Luke because it’s raining. If the suit is wet and that we need to redo the outlet, it is necessary that it can either be dried quickly, or that it can change its costume. Do the counting it is also predict what you are going to need so that it is not written black on white in the scenario.

We put a note in the box makeup to remind us that it’s raining, and that this sector needs to provide to make the fittings more often or provide a make-up waterproof make-up or make the necessary arrangements ;o)

We continue reading : “He went out to his car, the other side of the road, opens it and between “

We postpone the item : car Luke, in the vehicles. We are : “passable” to ensure that the governed gives us a reliable vehicle because, at the implementation stage, we need that the car starts and rolls. It sounds silly, but we need a car in good condition and that starts with a quarter turn.

To return to the accessories, you can see : key car Luke ! While in the sequence, there is no mention of car keys. Gold ! Luke opens up his car…he does not by the operation of the Holy Spirit…so provide ; (o) the Same for the keys of the apartment, if it must close behind him, etc…

Finally, in the item régie/ production : We make it takes ventouser the place where will be the car of Luke. That is to say that it is necessary that the place be free when you arrive on the plateau in order to be able to place the car of Luke exactly in the place defined at the locations. One sentence in the sequence, you must call : g” The car starts and drives away. “

In effect, this is a comedian who is going to drive the car, it is going to have to start and walk away. For security reasons, we will ask the régie and the production of provide an order and/or barriers etc…to allow the comedian, who will lead the car to start without risk during the decision and to allow, eventually, to the car, figuration, scheduled this day, to ride as safely. During your preparation, don’t forget to ask the actor that will take the car if he has his license ;o)

3) Go beyond the scenario to be ready for anything

I told you a little earlier that you need to expect the unexpected by extrapolating what you are going to need (CF : the keys to the car). Here, the scenario does not give us any indication about the figuration, the vehicles, etc…You can see, in the box figuration, as we have 6 extras so that they are written nowhere in the descriptions. The assistant director may provide in his reading. At a meeting with the director this information will be adjusted. The director may wish a little more of the world, or do not wish to person.

It is important to provide umbrellas for some of them because it is raining. It will be necessary to list them in the box ” accessories “. If you have a word of advice to remember is to include in the tabulation all the questions that you ask. Please do not hesitate to put all the information that you pass through the head. This will allow you to pose the questions in a timely manner to the heads of the posts concerned and the director.

4) The continuity

If you are attentive, you’ll notice that in the counting is a box (a line) continuity. The continuity is made by the assistant director and the script supervisor. But that is what it is ? The continuity is simply the time that passes, the days pass in the story. This continuity will allow us to always be fitting. For example, if your film takes place over 6 days of continuity but that day 4 is composed of several sequences that do not turn on the same day of the shooting and well, thanks to this continuity, you’ll know what suits your characters must wear. Here, in the film, this is the day 4. To make a continuity, “simple” it is enough to identify the changes between the days and nights or identify the ellipses. Each change will be a new day. Do a continuity that is a little more complicated than that but this article is only an introduction ;o)

Continuity also lets you know, more or less, what time to place the sequences. For example :

Sequence 23 : Chamber Luc – Int – Night

“The notebook of Luke sounds, it is 2 hours “

Sequence 24 : Street/Building Luc – Ext – Night

The rain falls pouring. Luke comes out of the building and opens his umbrella. He goes to his car, the other side of the road, opens it and enters. The car starts and drives away.

The script supervisor knows, at this time, it is 2 o’clock in the morning, in the sequence 23. This means that in the sequence 24, it will be later. Luke is dressed, groomed etc…depending on the urgency of the call, it may be 2: 10 HOURS or 2 hours 45 min etc…it is an approximation ;o)

For example : if you have planned to turn all the scenes of the street/ building Luc on Monday, as thanks to your tally, you know that the Sequences 12 – 24 – 36 – 42 place in this setting but that Sequences 12 and 24 spend the day 4, and sequences 36 and 42, are days 5 and 6. You know that you will have the same costume for the sequences 24 and 36, a change of costume for the sequence 36, and another change of costume for the sequence 42. Has you to organize your shooting day to lose the least time possible costume changes.

Moreover, with the continuity, if we go back to our history of figuration, to provide for the sequence 24, we now know that in this sequence 24 is 2h 15min or 2h 45min in the morning…6 people in the street, at this time, so that may be a lot…it will depend on the city in which the story takes place. But if the story happens in a small town or a village, there is little chance that there will be as many people outside ;o) You know that this is a question you need to ask the producer (or respond to you-even if you are the director).

To conclude this introduction :

As you may have noticed, the skinning document this is the document that brings together all the vital information for your project, sequence by sequence. Skinning allows you always know who, what you need and in what conditions. This is THE working document essential to be able to turn. Of course this count is similar to a check-list and is not a planning tool shooting. Once you know what you need, thanks to this document, and that each position, each sector knows what he must prepare to be ready for the big day, it will take you to make a Plan Work…but that’s another story ;o)


That’s it for this article on : The stripping, at least a first approach of this document.

I will tell you next week. Leave me a comment under this article to tell me what you think or if you have any questions.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o).

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Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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