Breaking Down Your Script? Follow These Steps to Mark and Tag Your Way Through Pre-Production (Video)

1st ADs in pre-production: Are your project’s scenes marked and tagged for shooting?

If so, great! You’ll more or less know the essentials of a workable script breakdown. If not, allow the video below to jumpstart this tedious-yet-crucial process. In “What is a Script Breakdown?,” the folks at StudioBinder offer an instructive anatomy of the ideal script breakdown, which relies upon the following steps:

  • Read the script as if you were a viewer.
  • Scan for formatting errors in screenwriting software.
  • Start breaking down your script into eighths. (For more on this, check out our comprehensive guide from a seasoned Assistant Director, “What’s In an Eighth?”.)
  • Mark your script elements using colored highlighters.
  • Generate reports with a script breakdown sheet template.
  • Create the shooting schedule with a stripboard.

Once you’ve checked these items off your list, the details of the tentative shooting schedule that previously eluded you and your fellow crewmembers will begin to reveal themselves. For more on the nuts and bolts of each step, check out StudioBinder’s blog, which includes a free breakdown script breakdown sheet.

After you’ve watched the video, we want to hear from you: What parts of the script breakdown process are missing from this list, if any? Have you put the steps on this list into action? Which ones worked, or didn’t work? What does your ideal script breakdown look like? Let us know in the comments below. MM

Video courtesy of StudioBinder.

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