Notes on Production Scheduling

Written by: Charles Matthau

Summary: Scheduling a production involves some guesswork about what’s to come in the future.

Production scheduling is a crucial skill to master, and it’s a challenge that every director/producer team is going to face. There are many considerations to make before you can set foot on location, and you need to consider where your budget will be allocated. Pre-production is a crucial phase, so take the time to set deadlines and plan for selling your movie.

Spend Time with the Script

Learn what you need about the script. Where does the film take place, and in what time period? Number important scenes, take notes on major plot beats and start noting how long important sequences are going to take. Find the most elaborate sequence, then work backwards from there. That helps put you in the mindset of budgeting and location too.

One final note on location with regards to low-budget films. Generally, low-budget films thrive when there aren’t a lot of locations to transition to.

Consider the kind of script that will work for your shoot, for your budget and your vision.

Notes on Location

On the day of shooting, you’ll need crew to haul equipment and set up for shots. That means you need to plan your shots, how much time you’ll spend on each and that includes preparation time. There are only so many hours of daylight you can deal with. Try to avoid rocky terrain that makes it hard to maneuver people and equipment.

Final Thoughts

Numbering your scenes will help you establish a pace for shooting, and you’ll start to see some logic in it like lining up shots for a certain location throughout a certain week.


Bio: Charles Matthau is the owner and operator of the Los Angeles based production company responsible for the upcoming show “Mexican High” in 2015. The Matthau Company is best known for the adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.”