Brian mocked me for doing this, but it made planning the shooting schedule so much easier. We have the EP scheduling software, but even though it has a snazzy drag-n-drop feature for the scenes, I find it tricky to read the scene strips. The characters are assigned numbers, so I have to remember if the cat is 3 or 4, etc. The strips are all the same size, so it’s difficult to tell at a glance if the scene is long or short. The software does a lot of cool stuff, but I was having a hard time figuring out an ideal schedule that took into account actor availability, wardrobe/makeup changes, and whether a set was already lit or not. So I decided it was time for an arts & crafts project.
I cut/taped index cards to visually represent the length of each scene. Then I listed the characters in the scene in their assigned color. Each set also had its own color, which I used to write the scene number and description. I also wrote in any special notes, like whether the scene was emotionally demanding or whether a drastic hair/makeup change was needed.
I laid them out on Brian’s kitchen table, and we were able to experiment with combinations, then see at a glance if the schedule was balanced or had any snags. Once we were happy with it, we plugged the finalized schedule back into the software. I know it’s ironic that the gal who works at a software company preferred to use index cards, but the system worked great. And even with the cutting, taping, and fun with markers, I still think we figured out the schedule faster (and with a more logical design) than we would have while squinting at small strips on the screen trying to remember who the heck 7 is. And despite the initial mocking, I think Brian liked my system too!