5 Scheduling Tips That'll Help You Keep Momentum up During Production

There are lots of challenges you'll face once production begins, but this one often goes unnoticed: momentum.

If a production is a tire, then stress is the air you put into it to make it function properly. If you put too much air in, it'll blow. If you don't put enough air in, it'll go flat. The trick is to know how to schedule your shoots with enough to do that your cast and crew don't get bored and unmotivated, but not so much that they get overwhelmed and run for the hills. When done the right way, you create momentum.

In this video, Studio Binder gives you a bunch of tips on how to plan your shooting schedule to increase and maintain momentum throughout your entire production.

Start the day strong

If you start out the day with the completion of a scene, it'll help set the pace for the rest of your shoot. So, starting with an easy scene soon after call time will help get your cast and crew energized and excited for the work to come.

Be aware of your talent's creative energy

Actors are not machines. Expecting them to perform no matter what is a recipe for disaster, so directors should be attuned to their actors' emotions and energy level if they want 1) good results; and 2) everyone on set to feel good about what they're doing. Even if it's better logistically to schedule two difficult scenes side-by-side, it may not be ideal for your talent.

Shoot chronologically as often as you can

Though it's not always possible to shoot scenes chronologically, you might want to do it as much as you can, because it'll not only help your actors feel the flow of the story, but it'll also allow them to tap into their character's emotions more naturally.

Give your team a break with an easy scene

Whether it's a super emotional scene for your actors or a complicated, heavily choreographed scene for your crew, your team is going to need some time to breath in between difficult scenes. This doesn't mean you have to halt production after you've got it in the can, it just means that you should think about scheduling something easy to keep your cast and crew motivated and feeling accomplished. 

Plan for weather

Even if you did your due diligence and checked the forecast, weather can change unexpectedly. Always be prepared to swap out your outdoor shoots for the indoor ones in case it rains (or snows, or hails, or whatever). Studio Binder suggests scheduling your outdoor shoots earlier in the project, because if you do have to swap them out due to bad weather, you can swap them out with indoor shoots rather than, well, nothing. It decreases the possibility of having to extend your production schedule.

What are some other tips for making your shooting schedule more efficient? Let us know in the comments below!     

Your Comment


Have a Plan B for everything, not only the weather. Communicate with everyone in advance of the shoot.

March 9, 2017 at 2:43AM, Edited March 9, 2:46AM

Rob Cole-Hamilton

Before and after a schedule, place a meeting with your cast and crew, make them comfortable

March 9, 2017 at 4:43AM

Mohanraj M

Thanks for sharing. This is coming in handy right now.

March 9, 2017 at 12:07PM, Edited March 9, 12:07PM

Tom Luca
Founding Chairman and CEO

Walk through the shots of each scene in advance of the shoot day with your Director and your DP. Get all the creative debate/disagreements done before you walk onto set. Ammend the time based on those new discussions for better accuracy.

And at the beginning of each day and at lunch walk through them again to refresh.

Whenever waiting on lighting changes, get your Director to chat to their cast and rehearse the action/lines, even if it's off set.

On a real shoot, with real financial obligations and deadlines, its the pre-shoot you put your creative, blue sky thinking pants on. The shoot itself is for actualising that reality. I have never worked with a director who tried to be creative whilst shooting on set, who wasnt cutting shots and shooting terrible soap opera coverage by the end, just to make the day.

March 15, 2017 at 6:37PM

Will Poole