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Working With Sunfrog:   Working With Lists - Importing a Script - Show Information - Breakdown Items - Locations - Contacts - Breakdown Sheets
Schedules - Reports & Call Sheets - Tutorial

Tutorial

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Overview

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Import Script

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Categorize Breakdown Items

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Add Additional Breakdown Items

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Add Contacts

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Finalize Casting Decisions

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Connect Sets to Locations

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Cast Report

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Props Report

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Production Calendar

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Create Schedule

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Add Banners To Report Company Moves

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Create Call Sheets

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Finalize Call Sheets In Microsoft Word

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Putting It Together

 

Overview

The tutorial script is in your "My Documents" directory under "Sunfrog Film Scheduling Sample Files".   (Note that if you are logged in under a different account than the user that installed Sunfrog, you may need to copy the file over from their "My Documents" folder).

The script is a 20 minute short entitled "Mincove".  The script is long enough to be a serious undertaking, but short enough to provide a manageable tutorial experience.

Read the script to familiarize yourself with the production and then start Sunfrog.

Various stages of the completed tutorial are available.  These are "Tutorial_One.bfs", "Tutorial_Two.bfs", and so on.

Import Script

Read the topic "Importing Scripts" and then import the sample script. 

Select File | Import | Script, navigate to the script and select "OK".  Sunfrog will switch to the Breakdown Items view so that you may categorize breakdown items.

Most professional AD's will insist on reading the entire script twice, doing an initial breakdown by hand, and finally entering each item manually.  This is so that they will not accidentally leave out any element of the production.  The script importer can only "guess" at what constitutes a breakdown item by CAPS LETTERING, so it is important that you carefully check that no breakdown item is left out of your production.

 

Categorize Imported Breakdown Items

The importer can guess at what items are cast members by dialog, but won't be able to categorize all the items.  So, the next logical step is to categorize all the breakdown items.

 

Add Additional Breakdown Items

Similarly, not all breakdown items will be marked in CAPITALS.  Also, often items will be implicit from a previous scene and not mentioned in the script in the following scene.   Therefore, it is necessary to add additional breakdown items by hand.   

If your script is a feature or a similarly complex production, it is recommended you take a few days to do a pencil-and-paper breakdown by hand, to make sure that you have accounted for every last breakdown item in the production.  For more in depth information on breakdowns, refer to "Film Scheduling" by Ralph S. Singleton. 


Add Cast and Crew Contacts

Add at least a Producer, Director, and 1st AD to be reported on the call sheets.  During the casting process you may have several options for each role.  You can enter all of your actor contacts and finalize the casting decisions later. 

 

Finalize Casting Decisions

At some stage every role will be officially cast.  To cast an actor, bring up a Cast Breakdown Item on the right and the Contact List on the left.  If you have many contacts, you can use the "Find" textbox as shown in the screenshot to search for the actor's name.  

Find the actor that that you want to cast and then drag the item into the "Contact" text box on the right. 

 

Connect Sets To Locations

Each set of the production can be connected to a physical location.  The process of connecting sets to locations is similar to that of connecting cast breakdown items and actors.  Bring up the relevant Breakdown Sheet on the right and the Locations List on the left. 

Find the desired location and then drag the item into the "Location" text box on the right.

 

Generate Cast Report

The director will be eager to have the cast list so that rehearsals can commence.  Go to the "Reports" list, double click on "Cast", and then export to PDF, Word, or HTML.

 

Generate Props Report

Similarly, the production designer will appreciate a list of all props in the production (although their department will have most likely already made their own list).  Go to the "Reports" list, double click on "Props", and then export to PDF, Word, or HTML.

 

Decide the Production Calendar

After consultation with the director and producers it is time to decide when shooting will begin.  Select the day at the right of the schedule editing pane.

You will want to decide what days of the week to work and what additional days are holidays.  Select these in the "Days Off" dialog.

 

Create the Schedule

Bring up the Breakdown Sheets list on the left, and the Schedule edit pane on the right.  Drag breakdown sheets to the right to create your schedule.  You may find it helpful to sort your breakdown sheets on the left by set name, since you will generally want to "shoot out" a set before moving onto the next set. 

Double click on the black daybreaks to set the general crew call time for each shooting day.

Read the Schedules topic for more information. 

 

Add Banners to Report Company Moves

Banners allow you to report "Company Moves" and other events planned for the shoot day.  The text in the banners will appear in the call sheet and schedule reports.

 

Create Call Sheets

One of the most important reports is the "Call Sheet".  A call sheet is handed out to every cast and crew member scheduled for the following shoot day.   Read the Call Sheet topic for more information.

 

Finalize Call Sheets in Microsoft Word (or your favorite word processor)

Because every production is different, Call Sheets can be formatted in a variety of ways.  The call sheet reports included with Sunfrog have been designed for easy export to Microsoft Word for further editing before handing out to cast and crew.  This is where you update call times for individual actors and write up the directions so that the actors crew can find the location.  You can also export to any word processor which supports the RTF (Rich Text File) format.  Note that WordPad is not recommended for editing exported call sheets because of formatting issues - it doesn't quite seem to get the tab stops right.

NOTE - if you have an application that can edit PDF files directly (such as an enhanced version of Acrobat), you can export your Call Sheets to PDF and edit from there.

 

Putting It Together

This tutorial has hopefully given an overview of how to schedule your production.  The more accurate your breakdown and call sheets, the better off you will be at winning the paper war.   If anything changes during the course of your production, you can always go back to Sunfrog and update your schedule, contact, breakdown item, breakdown sheet, or report.

 

 

 

 

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