Filmmaking Lesson14 Schedule Your Movie

I’m here today to remind you that whenever you’re producing a movie, a whole lot can change between development and prep. Assuming you can get the the cash and an entire team of people to help you, it’s now time for the real work!

So what does that mean?


When you have all the filmmaking stuff you need, you’re no longer operating from theory and planning… You’re now in action mode!

You need to modify your initial, ideal schedule for the real world realities of production. This means you’ll need to pick your shoot dates and call times.

It is at this point in the process when most filmmakers get the brilliant idea to just shoot the movie on the weekends, spanning a few months.

As a potential upside to the weekend strategy, you’ll have less “hey, I have another gig that pays more those days”conflicts with your actors and crew. And you might score some great deals on rental equipment. But as a potential downside, you run the risk of loosing momentum and potentially having your entire project fall apart.

So you have some thinking to do. But the good news is, assuming you’ve found an experienced 1st AD or Line Producer to work with, you’ll be able to combine ideas and figure out the best gameplan for your show.


  1. Remember, your schedule and your budget are related. Add another day and your costs compound. Subtract a day, and you save money. Any changes to the schedule change the budget.
  2. Figure out when you can begin production. The time of the year will impact on your budget. Hot weather will require different provisions than cold weather. And how will rain impact your shooting schedule? Do you have a plan B? How about a plan C?
  3. Once you set a shoot date, then it’s showtime! You need to check and recheck your equipment, calendar, actors weather and crew to make sure everything is proceeding as planned.

Jason Brubaker's Movie Maker Action PackThis is both an exciting time, and a time of high stress. I’ve been on more than one show where I witnessed people crying. These were not tears of joy. But seriously, the important thing to remember is, you aren’t doing brain surgery. So if you make a mistake in the process, learn from it, creativity recover – and then move on! Always remember that making movies is an awesome profession. And if you aren’t having fun, even on a bad day, what the heck are you doing?

My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film and My First Movie: Take Two: Ten Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First Film should probably be on your bookshelf. The folks profiled in these books offer a great, human, emotional perspective to the movie making process.

Happy Filmmaking!

Get Your Free Filmmaker Roadmap 
And Take Your Ideas From Script To Screen
Featured Image
Photo of author

ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

If you'd like more tactics like the article you just read, make sure to grab a copy of the filmmaker checklist. You'll get 65 useful steps you can employ to produce your next feature film.