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Preproduction advice and tools for narratives


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#1 Mario Bosanac

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:52 PM

Hello Fellow Cinematographers!

 

I come to you bearing some suggestions and advice for planning and preproduction for DPing narratives. 

 

So as I am in the midst of preproduction of doing cinematography for my next narrative I have realized that I am trying to find the best, organized way to collect, manage and maintain all my ideas, thoughts, etc onto my computer. Right now it’s a mess. Currently I have the script on PDF Preview (Mac) and I’m making notes on that and then making the same notes on a notepad. I’m also separately writing down questions about extraneous ideas on Notes app on my Mac. Are there programs you guys and gals use that help with the visualization and organization process for DP pre-prod?

I also use MindNode and Shot Designer.

 

Thank you all! Film long and Prosper. 


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#2 Dan Hasson

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 08:24 AM

I like to have a few copies of a script. Anytime its updated I'll get myself a copy of the new one.

 

I make sure these are stapled in the top left corner and have holes punched on the left. I do this to:

1. Keep each copy or version of the script together (no pages in different places)

2. Be able to keep them in a binder because of the holes punched in.

 

I take notes on these. I know some people who like to keep the script clean and maybe stick post it notes or take separate notes on the script. But to me this means more paper and I like to keep it minimal.

 

If I don't have a physical copy of the script then I will always print it. I don't use a digital copy except for when I want to print another copy.

 

I know these aren't programmes for you to use, but I like to do everything by hand. I trust it more and can not have the risk of losing the digital file. Although solid state drives are very reliable now so I'll probably start using pre-vis programmes soon.

 

I've heard cinedesigner is extremely good for digital pre vis.

 

Hope any of this is useful for you. Good luck!


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 12:13 PM

I'll write notes on the script when in a meeting with the director, but I then type them into a Word doc, often stored in Dropbox so I can work on it or see it from any device. The notes are in script order but if I have the time, I'll then cut and paste them into a shooting schedule order version so it's easy the night before or the morning of the shoot to see all my notes for the day.


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:05 PM

I keep everything on paper in a binder for the film. I print on 1 side only for the script (though 4 pgs per side but i have good vision) and the on the rears I will attach reference photos or other such things needed. I'll add in additional hole-punched pages as needed for things elaborate.
When/If there is something like a digital video or the like which goes with it, I keep those on a flash drive saved in script scene number in a little binder pencil case so I can view them as needed. I will also mirror/save them to a folder in my microsoft one drive (which syncs between my laptop and phone) in "current projects/2016/nameofproject" for example.  This way I have sommethign physical for when I'm on set, and the ability to get to digital assets as needed.
All my notes are physical though, but I will e mail them/scan them if necessary.


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#5 Sam Javor

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Posted Yesterday, 09:48 AM

(I'm approaching this more from a small project producer director side of things)

 

My 'office' is basically the "Get Things Done" program.  I also use Kanban and keep a 'film workflow' journal which is basically a manual for all the odd jobs I struggle to remember how to do, like the command for MD5sum generation and checking for the archive, etc.  The goal is to have the manual have a 'chapter' for each step in the kanban.   Definitely a work in progress.

 

So so when I have an idea for a project that I am not immediately working on I write it down and date it and put it in my Inbox.  Next morning I sort the inbox and put the note in the project file folder.  When I next work on the project I reconcile the notes with the project plan... if it doesn't work with that project then I can create a new project that uses the idea in the note or I put it in a Journal which is kinda like a diary but something you'd encourage other people to read... so it's a mashup of notes (with dates of when the idea was created) that I can browse through  at a later time...

 

Because of my use of Kanban my production process is fairly formalized.  I _will_ have a spec script before a rough draft which will be reviewed until it passes up to being a shooting script.  At each stage I print it out and make notes in red pen... I bought a continuous ink system for my ink-jet printer so I can buy bulk ink.  Because I use a 'shooting script' camera directions are built in, and notes in that are for the edit due to shoot day changes.


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