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Quick & Easy Script Breakdown Template

Before you ever produce the shot list or other essential elements for your production, you’re going to need to breakdown your script. In fact, as soon as you get the go-ahead notification and know that you’re going to shoot, you’re going to have to begin the process of script breakdown. Every filmmaker has a process, and a set of templates that they use when performing all of these various tasks in pre-production or early production to plan and execute seamless, efficient film shoots — they all begin with templates!

This quick and easy script breakdown template will help you complete the process very efficiently! At Beverly Boy Productions, we love efficiency and we enjoy working with clients to help them breakdown scripts into workable parts that can be used to plan production. Give us a call, we’ll show you the next steps!

Importance of Script Breakdown

reading a script

Script breakdowns are vital to the process of pre-production planning to make the most efficient use of your time on the film set. Arranged by the 1st AD or sometimes done so by the Film Producer, the script breakdown takes place during pre-production and is important to the creation of the film shoot schedule and the impending budget that follows — all are vital to the creation of a powerful film.

Script Breakdown Basics

scriptwriting by hand

A script breakdown is the start-to-finish outline of each important script element that should be prepped, scheduled, and budgeted for film production. The script breakdown is made up of many elements, each which represents a particular person, process, or object in the film. Script breakdown elements may include:

  • The cast or characters included in the film.
  • Any extras or background artists.
  • The props or other material, including set dressings
  • Makeup and costumes as well as any other needs such as stunts or special equipment.
  • Sound and music or special effects of VFX.

Breaking Down the Script

So how does a quick and easy script breakdown template come about? First, the script is thoroughly read as it would be by an outsider or someone who is new to the script. Next, it’s edited and revised for basic understanding and cleaned up to reduce errors. Then, the script is broken down into 8ths — an old Hollywood rule, breaking down the script literally involves reducing each page into 8ths.

Why 8ths?

How much does it cost?

This helps to dictate how long each page will take to shoot. On average, after script breakdown, the entire shoot time should be completed in about 4-5 pages per day where every single page is equal to about one minute of screen time.

As you breakdown the script, the importance is on things that will require more resources and time to shoot — for example:

  • Specialty stunts
  • Gunshot scenes
  • Action sequences
  • Special effects and performances
  • Entrances and exits
  • Stunts
  • Busy crowns

Colors are used to breakdown the script. You may even use highlighters. The goal is to color code the categories like props, stunts, SPFX, extras, Makeup, and Cast.

How important is each element in a script breakdown?

That’s really up to you! As you break down the whole script and note each element, each need, and each cost — consider whether each is as important to your outcome as it is to your creative mind.

Checkout these script breakdown templates to help you get started:

Ready to hire a professional to breakdown your script? We’re not surprised! Breaking down a script is hard work! Call Beverly Boy Productions to get started!