Friday, August 17, 2007

Script to Popcorn

I have discovered a fast and efficient way to 'produce' a film with the use of software for scheduling, budgeting and shooting. Or from script to popcorn ;o)

Here is how to go about it:

STEP A: Write the Script (a.k.a. screenplay) with Final Draft.

YING YING arrives at a bar in London sporting bright pink hair.
All the men in the bar are looking at her.
Two men (MOB 1 & MOB 2) wearing black suits walk towards her.
She makes a break for the back door.

I like London.

Oh, can you bear the shit weather?

C'mon, this is a cool city, very fun.

The men (MOB 1 & MOB 2) are chasing YING YING down a London street.
YING YING's shoes race along the pavement.

Save it as a "Movie Maker" file (*.rpt).

STEP B: Open Gorilla and make a New Project.

Choose to import the script (*.rpt).

STEP C: After the import and deciding on the start and end of the shooting days, Gorilla shows the Calendar of the Principle Photography (a.k.a. the Shooting).

Click to enlarge: Calendar, automagically generated from the imported script!

STEP D: Next by pushing the Breakdown button we switch to the Scene-by-Scene (or breakdown) overview.

Click to enlarge: Breakdown of scenes

See how it relates to the original script, with Scene heading (EXT. LONDON BAR - NIGHT) and Characters involved in this scene (e.g. STRANGER A, STRANGER B).

NOTE: Since the characters YING YING, MOB 1 & MOB 2 didn't have a dialogue in this scene they are not (yet) listed in the right hand column, but I will do so by selecting and moving them in there. Problem resolved!

One of the many conventions in film making is that we colour code the scenes depending on if they are taking place inside (INT.) or outside (EXT.), if it is day time (DAY) or night time (NIGHT). The following diagram shows this and it is reflected in Gorilla as you can see on the righthand side.

NOTE: The top bar is 'red' but that is because we are currently on that scene's page, if we step off it it will be .... 'GREEN' of course (EXT. NIGHT).

STEP E: Very useful for the casting (linking the script character to an actor or actress) for your film production is the Characters screen.

Click to enlarge: Lead Character YING YING linked to actress KATHLEEN

STEP F: Films are directed by directors. Directors are directed by... Money. So switching to the budget and accounts views.

The individual budget lines are divided into two categories: "above the line" and "below the line" expenses.

In the "above," or ATL, category, you'll find costs associated with a film's cast, writer, producer, director, stunts, and story rights. The remaining expenses -- set design, camera rentals, special effects, film, editing, etc. -- are categorized as BTL, or below the line.


1 comment:

Doerak said...

Very difficult to follow all these details. If I should take time I perhaps could transfer to the Academy in Edinburgh! Nevertheless go on in teaching us!
Perhaps I could have some instructions in september next on the spot in the Netherlands.