Preparation and organization of filming in the studio
Michal BAUMBRUCK, Jan HECHT, Alice RŮŽIČKOVÁ
Name of lecturer(s)
Michal BAUMBRUCK, Jan HECHT, Alice RŮŽIČKOVÁ
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Mode of study
Module lessons of Miroslav Lux, Michal Baumbruck and Jan Hecht on Wednesday 5.1. 2022 from 11 am to 2 pm online via the Teams - in english language:
It will focus on practical procedures and organizing filming in the studio and on the role of assistant director.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
FILM PROJECT AND 1ST AD
GENESIS OF A FILM PROJECT
DEVELOPMENT STAGE 1
DOP usually joins the team at a later stage
PREP STAGE 2
Producer, Director, Production Designer, possibly DOP recce locations and stages if needed with potential production/service company.
Start casting proces
1ST AD: The Producer approaches several AD’s with a job offer, once accepted the 1AD reads the script and starts entering some basic information into his Movie Magic file. This is usually considered „good manners“ and the AD rarely receives any pay for that
PREP STAGE 3
Producer, Director, DOP, Production Designer, 1st AD recce locations and stages with hired production/service company
Casting process continues
1ST AD: Usually joins in with some rough shooting schedule which will be cultivated in the subsequent prep stages.
PREP STAGE 4
Most of the Departments Keys are hired and start prepping.
Key Figures in the proces are Producer/Executive/Line Producer and 1ST AD. The latter continues working on his MMS file, breaking down the script scenes and making constant improvements based on the found and approved locations, stages, (location date restrictions), casting proces progress and various other budget considerations, e.g. budgeted extras, vehicles, size of SFX, VFX, etc.
Production meetings are now held on a regular basis attended by Heads of Departments (HOD’s). I myself always like to compile a LIST OF WHAT WE ARE STILL MISSING, specifying what we do not have yet in terms of locations, cast, and decisions to made of all kinds.
This Stage brings us to the very beginning – commencement of principle photography. Prior to that, usually a week a large Production Meeting is held attended by all crew – some 100 to 150 people, depending on the size of production. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss every single scene in the script, whether in the script of shooting schedule order. This meeting may easily exted over two or three days. In the remaining week all production documents are updated based on the outcome of the Production Meeting and distributed to all crew marked as FINAL. All the preceding distrubution rounds during various prep phases are marked as Preliminary, Tentative, Draft …. By now all the HOD’s have submitted their documents, breakdowns and others to the 1ST AD who will incorporate them in his Movie Magic File. Physical distribution itself is carried out the Production Co-ordinator, earlier known as Production Secretary.
PRINCIPAL PRODUCTION DOCUMENTS – Production Budget, Shooting Schedule
MOVIE MAGIC SOFTWARE
Examples – Shooting schedule, One liner, Day out of Days, Extras by Day, by Scene, etc.
CALLSHEET - examples
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND 1ST AD
1ST AD is the key Producer representative on the set responsible for a) publishing daily callsheets b) running the floor of every particular shooting day c) prepping the next day callsheet d) making sure that days work is always done within the regular shooting hours.
1ST AD is usually assisted in his duties by his assistants, namely 2nd AD, 2nd2ndAD, 3rd AD and other auxiliary stuff like Production Assistants and Runners of all kinds.
Different patterns of work in European and Anglosaxon countries
Shooting day structure.
2nd AD with his 2nd 2nd AD and a PA are usually the first to report to the stage/interior or exterior location to receive actors arriving at times specified in the callsheet to go through wardrobe, make and hair.
Usually half an hour before the official call all the other crew arrive and start prepping the first set up of the day.
The Director, DOP, 1ST AD meet the Production Designer and Set dresser who hand over the fully dressed set on stage.
Director usually likes to pull out his cast from the proces and rehearse the scene behind closed doors, usually with his DP and Continuity present. 1st AD may be invited to be present as well. Once rehearsed the door opens to the HOD’s and the Director shows them the rehearsed scene. The actores are sent back to wardrobe, make up/ hair to finish ther prep while all crew gets busy to prepare the first set up in terms of lighting, camera, props, and so on and so forth. Art Department makes last minute alterations/improvements as per the Director’s request.
When everybody is ready actors are brought back to the set, only essential crew is allowed to stay on the set while the rest of the crew wait outside ready to step in whenever required. One last reharsal and the 1st AD starts giving final orders before he turns over (UK), (rolls camera in the US) and once acknowledged by sound and camera, the Director calls his Action. Takes are usually repeated until the Director is happy. Next setup, actors can relax, 2nd team (stand-ins) také over and when everybody is ready, actors také their place and the whole routine is repeated. When the morning portion of the schedule is done 1st AD calls lunch, lunch end and more shooting follows. At the end of the day 1st AD calls wrap and his assistants/PA’s distribute callsheets amended by the transportation list for the following day. And so on until the film is completely wrapped.
Obviously, there are numerous changes arriving during the course of shooting which need to be processed by 1st AD and incorporated in his Movie Magic documents. Revisions these documents are for expediency distributed on colour sheets of paper to make sure that everybody is working from the same document revision.
White Draft (original)
THIS IS A BIG TIME FEATURE SHOOT, you many not have money for all that and you have to simplify and economize.
Two things you cannot avoid hiring – production person and an AD person. They work hand in hand, the first in the background while the latter on the set. Communication flow between Production – AD – Crew is very important to make sure everybody is on the same page and understands clearly what is desired to achieve on a particular day and how. There are countries where film crews are minimum, e.g. Denmark, where work is not distributed by departments (propman resets props moved in the také, for instance, or by anybody who happens to be nearby does it). Obviously, such approach may later lead to some clashes, conflicts and problems on screen.
Recommended or required reading
Assessment methods and criteria
minimum 100 % participation
This course is an elective for all students of this school
Schedule for winter semester 2021/2022:
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Schedule for summer semester 2021/2022:
The schedule has not yet been prepared