How to Create an Effective Film Production Schedule?

A film production schedule is fundamental when organising a video project. But it shouldn’t only be thought of as a tool – it’s so much more than that. It reflects a strategy, follows a working methodology and becomes a means of communication in its own right. A film production schedule should cover all the bases of project management, but it is also vital for it to resonate with the philosophy of the production team and the client’s situation. How can you create a production schedule that reflects your personal approach to making a film? Let’s find out!
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How to Create an Effective Film Production Schedule?

The film production schedule provides a vision

“Can you tell us how it’s going?” “What’s the timeframe?” “What’s the next step?” These are recurring client questions as soon as film production gets past the ‘In-camera editing’ stage.

Yes, it’s true: making a film is neither our clients’ core business, nor something they do every day. That’s partly why we’re here. In fact, sometimes it isn’t the client’s communication department who are responsible for producing the film, but the department involved in the film’s subject matter. The challenge is even greater for client teams who have to navigate an ecosystem far removed from their day-to-day work. We therefore need to be there for them, whatever happens, as a guide in uncharted waters.

One of the first things a client expects from us, whether agencies or freelancers, is to come up with a step-by-step roadmap. It’s also often one of the first questions we when launching production (along with the price, of course).

Getting the production into a schedule is actually one of the most meaningful thought processes in the entire production – perhaps the most important of all.

 

The production schedule defines clear roles

Creators, clients: each have their own role and their own time to shine. This is a key aspect to consider when planning the project, and something that should tactfully be made known to everyone participating in it. Everyone can have an advisory role and we can agree that collaboration is always a well-balanced mixture of observation and suggestion. However, everyone has their own role, and there is far less potential for clashes when everyone knows the limits of their responsibilities.

Basically, a clear mandate will always ensure things run smoothly (and without grumbling). If a client is asking questions like “What do you expect from us?”, “What steps do we need to approve?”, “Do you need some material we could give you?”, then it means the first step was badly executed. Back to square one: it’s the production schedule that lets us set out our method, and defining each person’s tasks forms part of it.

It’s helpful to use film production planning tools where the main roles can be assigned to different people: creating and modifying production schedule, sharing files, feedback, annotations and, of course, approval.

An effective film production schedule

A film production schedule is dynamic

If someone has experienced a film production without any change in schedule along the way, without any obstacle that could alter the initial course of the production stages, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. We’d say it was a fluke.

The reality on the ground often requires adapting to new constraints or taking new aspects into account (Oh, didn’t I tell you?).

In terms of efficiency and saving time, it’s therefore essential to integrate agile tools that let you not only modify quickly but also share instantly.

The answer here lies in collaborative solutions which make it possible to follow everything in real time, and making the production schedule a dynamic and lively communication platform, at each stage of the film production.

There is no better way to streamline the client relationship.

 

Creating an efficient film production schedule is therefore the fundamental to a film’s success, because it will allow the client to visualise the final result and, most importantly of all, to be reassured from the start. The film production schedule is the reflection of our expertise and is what gives our clients confidence: “OK, they know what they’re doing, it’s all good! Go for it.”

It has to be said, that’s a great way to start !

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