Why Excel For Organizing Your Shoot

Why Excel For Organizing Your Shoot

Having a visual representation of what you have already shot and of what is yet to shoot, comes super handy when you are in the pre-production stage.

As well, studies have shown that having a to-do-list helps you to boost your productivity, organize your ideas, ease planning, keep track of your progress, have control about what you are going to put off for later and what you are going to do right now (this diminishes the overwhelming feeling of chaos), free your mind from unnecessary worry, avoid spending time in unnecessary chores and, the most important for me, it is A STEP CLOSER to your goals.

How to do organize your shoot in Excel?

There are different ways in which you can organize your shoot.

For instance, you can organize it by big chunksu2026 by scenes.

For u201cDOPPELu201d what I did is that I broke down the script into different chapters (5 chapters in total). Then I wrote all the scenes down in another column (each coloured with a specific colour depending on the location. This really helps when grouping scenes together before shooting so you change of location as less as possible) and after that I left a blank column to the right so as to colour them progressively as I complete each day of shooting successfully.

I don’t know if I’ve explained myself clearly, so here is a photo of what the Excel for the whole movie looks like:

We’ll describe what each column is about and you will understand it right away!

First column

In the first column I wrote which actor I was going to work with.

For example, because it wasnu2019t a film with a big budget, actors had to work for free. This meant that their availability was limited to a certain schedule. Therefore I had only certain hours of the day where each of my actors were available, this meant that I could only work with them certain days a week, certain hours a dayu2026

Thatu2019s why having the script organized by actors is helpful for indie filmmaking.

Second column

Each actor belongs to a certain chapter except DOPPEL who is in all 5 chapters.

Basically in this column the chapter in which the actor appears is specified.

Third column

u201cEscenau201d means scene in Spanish.

In here I write the number of each scene in which each actor appears separately.

Each box where the scene number is written is filled with a distinct colour depending on the location.

You would want to shoot as much scenes in the same location as you can. This way you avoid coming back to a already u201cshotu201d location.

Fourth column

In this case itu2019s really the fifth column. In here I write down/ fill the blank boxes with a colour and a number depending if the scene in hand is shot (cage/ box filled with black colour), pending from revision (gray + 1) or simply not shot (white + no number)


This division might not always work with the script youu2019ve written, but the important principle you have to retain is that the way around pre-production is analyze your script, u201cDivide et Imperau201d (meaning, Divide and Rule!).


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