We've been talking a lot about technology lately, and the topic of evolution has appeared several times on our blog. And today we will touch on the subject of script breakdown: we will reflect on why it is important and why we are obsessed with speeding up and automating the process as much as possible.
But before we continue, we want to remind you that here we promote the love of art and try to inspire you to take your camera and make a short film. Leave the boring pre-production routine to the Filmustage - automatic script breakdown - and focus on your creativity!
Also after a long time of hard work we are happy to announce the beta-testing of the new Custom categories feature in the Filmustage software. Be one of the first to test the new functionality - click here for more detailed information.
Art by @nadi_bulochka
Why is script breakdown so important?
Script breakdown is now a fundamental step in the pre-production process of any film, which is an approach of processing the script into many parts. More often than not, the responsibility for script breakdown falls to the 1st Assistant Director, but even the director is required to understand how the script will translate into the film.
Not only does script breakdown enhance creative thinking, but it also serves a very important organizational function: first, script breakdown helps to break down the movie into its most important elements: costumes, props, make up, special effects, music & sound, equipment, vehicles, set dressing, cast and etc. That is, at the script breakdown stage, we ask the question not "what do we want to say?" but "how exactly do we want to make it happen?" Thus, the film's production process is divided into many departments, and effective communication between them can only be established through the script breakdown process.
Secondly, careful script-breaking helps separate an imaginary picture of what the film will look like from what it might actually look like. The script breakdown shows the number of elements the film is broken down into, which helps with budget estimation as well as proper planning of shooting.
What are the tools in the script breakdown process?
Surprisingly, good old fashioned rulers, pens, pencils and highlighters are still the most tried and tested way to break down a script piece by piece. This painstaking work requires a lot of attention and, not surprisingly, time. We use different coloured markers to divide the script into practical elements of the production - this is called tagging. Different colours are used for tagging costumes, props, make up, special effects, etc.
Tagging is probably the most important element of script breakdown, which is essential for planning the shoot.
The funny thing is that man has always wanted to automate his work, to speed it up. The whole technological and production process, for example, is linked to this desire. We can also think of the war of patents, where inventors from all over the world came up with the most ridiculous devices to make our lives easier. It's in our nature to strive to create something better, but somehow this wave of progress hasn't made it to pre-production in cinematography.
Don't get us wrong, we realise that there are solutions which have changed the way we do things: there's a whole range of software which has incorporated the functionality of what people used to do by hand and on a piece of paper. However, in our view, in the year 2022 all of these solutions and technologies are imperfect because, although they speed up script breakdown, they still require manual work at the computer.
Filmmaking is now one of the oldest, most prestigious and conservative disciplines, which is why it is still extremely closed to new and daring technologies. Once upon a time people dared to move to computers and replace paper with PDF - and that's cool! The only problem is that until now almost nothing has changed: old timers in the industry aren't ready to trust services like ours because they don't believe in technology, although they should.
Filmustage can do a complete script breakdown within 1 minute, then the possibility of shelling and exporting to the most popular scripting software (more info at the link). And the secret lies in the fact that we and many other strart-ups use state-of-the-art artificial intelligence capabilities that process information very quickly. We have long since moved into an era where content is created and delivered every second, so we need to accelerate to keep up with the growing needs of the film industry.
Our service will not do anything without your knowledge, don't worry: we are not planning a machine uprising just yet. Our programmers make sure that our AI will never become smarter than Skynet.
You are always free to edit the result of the breakdown, because Filmustage provides flexible tagging functionality, as well as exporting to all related professional scripting software.
And if our words don't convince you, you can listen to the expert opinion of the participants in the event we held last week. William Cardwell, Roger Cristian, Respeecher and Perfection42 supported us in our drive to promote innovative technology for content creators as well as filmmakers. Watch, listen and be inspired. Don't forget to give Filmustage a try, because when you trust us, we won't let you down. See you next week!