Scheduling a Shoot or Voice-Over Session

Scheduling a shoot session is an important and often under-appreciated skill that when correctly planned, can save a lot of time and money (think budget!).

A good method to start the process is to list all of the actors’ (real names if selected) or characters’ names in the first column followed by each scene and act (by venue/location) in the following columns.

A scheduling example:

Actor
Name

1

2

3

Scene
4

5

6

Mary

X

-

X

X

X

-

John

-

X

X

X

-

X

Michele

-

X

X

X

-

-

Roger

X

-

-

X

X

-

Brooke

-

-

X

X

X

X

Megan

-

X

X

X

X

-

Now the shoot scheduler must analyze this table of actors or characters versus their scenes. In the analysis phase of the scheduling using the example, let’s examine the scenario where the actor “Roger” is a famous, award-winning thespian who will enhance the sales and marketing of our game. Roger’s time is both valuable and expensive compared to the other actors in our shoot.

Ideally, we’d want to shoot his (Roger’s) scenes first and work around his schedule. In the example, Roger appears in scenes 1, 4, and 5. Let’s look at a shooting schedule that begins on a Monday, and Roger’s agent tells us that he is only available for one scene a day and free on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

In this scenario, we’d shoot the scenes in the following order:

Monday is for shooting Scene 3 (Roger is not available).
Tuesday is for shooting Scene 4 (Roger is available).
Wednesday is for shooting Scene 5 (Roger is available).
Thursday is for shooting Scene 2 (Roger is not available).
Friday is for shooting Scene 1 (Roger is available and finished).
Saturday (last shooting day) is for shooting Scene 6.

This analysis for the schedule would have the following effect:

Mary works on days 1, 2, 3, and 5.
John works on days 1, 2, 4, and 6.
Michele works on days 1, 2, and 4.
Brooke works on days 1, 2, 3, and 6.
Megan works on days 1, 2, 3, and 4.

This schedule accommodates the specific schedule of superstar Roger and tries to minimize the other actors’ schedules that may require costly overnight lodging, meals, and transportation. Try to maximize the “act and leave” process and minimize the nonworking (“off”) days.

Another criterion to examine is location-dependent situations, such as renting an authentic World War II fighter airplane. Renting such a vehicle might be less expensive in the off season or midweek (Tuesday through Thursday), since air shows occur on weekends and transporting to and from the air shows probably occurs on Friday to travel to the show and Monday to return back to the “home base.”

If a scene needs to be shot with an authentic World War II fighter airplane, this scene with all of the actors involved would have priority for a scheduled midweek shoot. The earlier the better (like on Tuesday rather than Thursday), since the shoot scene might have to be reshot (a botched Tuesday shoot could be reshot on Wednesday when a Thursday bad shoot would have to be reshot the following Tuesday, costing time and money).

If a venue or location is rented for the day, all scenes and acts that take place in that venue must be scheduled for that day’s shoot. The venue’s shoot day is more important than the actor’s schedule, and the production scheduler must weigh all of the scenarios and costs involved to properly construct the entire production schedule that may include costly actors’ time, venues, and prop rental.

During a location shoot, the costly actor’s scenes are shot first, followed by the scenes that would dismiss the most actors, so as the day progresses fewer actors remain (“act and leave”).

When developing a script for cut scenes, in-game character voices, or cinematics, scheduling included in the design document not only helps the producer and development team but is needed for budgetary considerations, such as the number of shoot days, number of actors and crew, location setups (needed actors, crew, and props and equipment), a fallback or contingency plan due to bad weather (such as rain or snow), and absent personnel (such as sick or accidentally detained).

The schedule helps in set building (when needed, transporting the sets), props needed, scheduling rehearsals, and actor stand-ins for camera adjusting and lighting the scene.



Game Design Foundations
Game Design Foundations (Wordware Game and Graphics Library)
ISBN: 1556229739
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 179

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