How to use Filmustage

So, let’s say you’ve decided to make your own film. You have a brilliant script, and what you need now is to break it down to be able to plan your production, create a shooting schedule, cast actors, book...

How to use Filmustage

So, let’s say you’ve decided to make your own film. You have a brilliant script, and what you need now is to break it down to be able to plan your production, create a shooting schedule, cast actors, book locations, and so on. How to make a script breakdown using the Filmustage app? In this post, we are going to talk about that in detail.

Filmustage is based on the artificial neural network trained to search for elements in the script text and distinguish the elements depending on the context. Shortly speaking, it will do most of the job for you.

Start working

First things first, you need to open and create your own account. Once you’ve done this, the app will suggest guiding you through the interactive tutorial. We recommend you to use the tutorial: this will help you get comfortable within the app and quickly learn how to use it.

To start working on your script, you need to click the "Create Project" button. You can hardly miss this button: it is on the top left of the page, and it is bright purple! After clicking this button, the pop-up window will appear, where you can upload your script file in .pdf or .fdx format (simply drag and drop the file to the marked area). In the same window, you can also name your project, add a description and a picture if you wish. Once you are done, you just need to click "Create project" (this button is also bright purple, hard to miss).

Create Project screen

And after that… Well, you may be surprised, but this is it. Right after you hit "Create the project" the program will automatically break down the script you've uploaded, so what you see next is the prepared script breakdown. Yes, it took just a couple of seconds! No, you are not dreaming, this is true, and you can believe your eyes :)

Breakdown screen

It is all there, but you can have a closer look at the breakdown and adjust it to your needs.

In the central part of the screen, you can see the script text itself – it is already divided into 1/8ths for your convenience.

Script Breakdown screen

On the left sidebar, you will see a list of all the scenes you have in your script. The scenes are color-coded and marked depending on whether they happen inside or outside (INT/EXT), during the day or at night (DAY/NIGHT). Just click on the scene title to open its category and tag tree. After clicking it, below the scene title, you will see the list of tag categories the program found in just a few seconds. All the characters, locations, props, costumes, etc. – everything is already there. You can click on any category and see the list of elements that belong to this category. You can also click on any element in the text to open the drop-down categories list and add this element to one of the categories (or remove it from the list), or change/remove the category if this element is already tagged. Soon you will be able to add your own custom categories as well - we are working on it right now.

How It Works

Above the left sidebar, you can find the search field. This is amazingly helpful: you can type any tag there, and the program will find and show you all the scenes in the script that contain this tag.

On the right sidebar, you can add any notes you’d like to keep. Just type whatever you want there, and the program will automatically save your comments. You can find all the notes later in the summary.

App navigation

Below the notes window, there are some useful buttons to move between the scenes or scroll to the top of the page. You can do the same thing using hotkeys as well:

  • Shift + left to return to the previous scene
  • Shift + right to move to the next scene
  • Shift + up to scroll to the top of the page

There are some useful tabs above the main text of the script:

  • Script – this is the script text we have just discussed
  • Summary – by clicking this tab, you can see a report that includes all categories and elements mentioned in every scene. When you are here you can also switch between the whole script summary and scene-by-scene view (Full script/ One scene button). The summary of the entire project can be saved as a PDF report.
  • Scheduling and budgeting tabs will be added here soon.
Script Summary screen

Export formats

And finally, when you are OK with the results of your script breakdown you can export it in multiple formats. Filmustage currently supports the following formats:

  • Movie Magic Scheduling (also works with Gorilla Scheduling)
  • Spreadsheets (you can import this file into Google Sheets)
  • PDF (you can save this report for the whole script or for one scene – this can be changed with the switch right next to the Export button).

And you’ve got it! You have the complete script breakdown and reports generated. Filmustage can do it so much faster than any other existing script breakdown tool – and of course, way faster than if you had done it manually. Filmustage is also easily adjustable and customized: if you need to make any changes in categories, elements, etc. – it will only take a few moments to update the summary, no need to rewrite or correct anything in every scene. Now you are good to go to the next pre-production steps and start scheduling your shooting!

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