Breakdown Mode (Film & TV)

Breakdown mode lets you easily identify and describe the people, places, and things in each scene of your script. Assets that are created using breakdown mode are added to your Catalog. Assets in your Catalog can be further enriched with additional details, media, and budgetary information.

Breaking down your script is the first step in unleashing some of Celtx’s most dynamic features and tools – such as the Catalog, Budget, Schedule, and Reports. For example, wardrobe requirements of a given shoot date and location can be tracked as a Day-out-of-Days Report – and will update automatically as the script or schedule is revised.

This article provides a basic overview of how to use breakdown mode. If you would like to learn how the breakdown mode can help develop your story and organize your production, read Breaking Down Your Script, from the Celtx Learning Series.

 



 


Using Breakdown Mode
Opening Breakdown Mode
Editing Details of Assets
Copying, Pasting and Removing Assets
Breakdown Tips & Best Practices

Additional Features
Scene Summary
Breakdown Settings
Dramatic Days
Flashbacks
Breakdown Report
Shareable Link
Breakdown Mode and Schedule & Reports


Opening Breakdown Mode

There are two ways to open breakdown mode. You can select “Breakdown” from your Project Dashboard, or you can select “Breakdown” from the Righthand Sidebar in the Script Editor.

Adding Assets

Once in breakdown mode, assets can be added in two different ways:

Highlighting a word or phrase:
Highlight any word, or words, within a scene to associate that text with an asset.

Clicking “Add” in the Breakdown Menu:
If an asset is not represented in the text of the scene (for example, a character without dialogue), you can include it using the “Add” button found on the Righthand Sidebar.

While adding an asset to the Catalog via the breakdown mode prompt, you can rename it and assign it a Category. You can also select from a list of ‘Existing Assets’.

Editing Details of Assets

Existing assets are represented by Category in the Righthand Sidebar. Coloured text also represents assets within the script itself, with each category assigned its own colour of text.

To edit an asset’s Category and name, click the coloured text; confirm the changes by clicking outside the Breakdown prompt.

To edit an asset’s additional details, click on it in the Righthand Sidebar to edit it in the Catalog.

Note: some asset Categories – such a crew, actor, character, and location – have unique detail fields. These details can be viewed and edited in the Catalog.

Copying, Pasting and Removing Assets

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Assets can be copied from one scene to another. To do this, select the checkbox next to the asset, and use the Copy and Paste feature, found in the Righthand Sidebar.

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To remove an asset from a scene, select the checkbox of the asset(s) you wish to remove and click Delete.

Scene Summary

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Use the Scene Summary field, found under each scene in the Righthand Sidebar, to add a summary.

This scene summary will ‘follow’ the scene throughout a number of Celtx production documents, including the Stripboard and the Breakdown Sheet (found within your Schedule and Reports).

Breakdown Settings

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Breakdown Settings can be accessed by clicking the gear icon found on the Righthand Sidebar, or in the Options dropdown menu. From here, you can adjust how certain Character assets, such as Off-Screen performers, will or will not automatically generate when they are created during the (normal) Script Editor mode.

Dramatic Days

If your script’s story occurs over several days, use the Dramatic Days field to help manage plot and production continuity. Simply assign each scene a dramatic day number. This number will stay assigned to the scene, even if that scene is eventually moved.

Flashbacks

Flashbacks can be shown or hidden within breakdown mode by accessing the “Managing Flashbacks” Options, Found under the Options dropdown menu. This can be used in conjunction with Dramatic Days to ensure continuity in Flashback scenes.

Breakdown Report

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The Breakdown Report is a detailed overview of all assets that have been tagged or added to each scene in your script. It can be accessed by clicking the Report Icon on the top menu bar while in breakdown mode.

Additionally, selecting “Print” while in breakdown mode allows you to either print or download a PDF of the breakdown report.

Shareable Link

Many Celtx documents are immediately shareable, with read-only permissions, as Shareable Links. Create a temporary web address for your script’s breakdown mode view and its Breakdown Report by clicking “Create Shareable Link” under the Options dropdown menu.

 

Breakdown Mode and Schedule & Reports

The Breakdown integrates into many aspects of the Schedule & Reports. On the Schedule's Stripboard, characters found in each scene will appear in the Character column.

In the Reports section, all breakdown assets tagged in each scene are compiled, according to shoot day, in the Breakdown Sheet.


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Also in the Reports section, a Day-Out-of-Days Report can be generated of assets, based on each Breakdown/Catalog category.

Breakdown Tips & Best Practices

  • Think of the breakdown mode as a companion of the Catalog. They both are involved with managing your assets, but they each have their own special abilities. While the Catalog View allows you to add more detail to an asset, the breakdown mode allows you to quickly tag and edit an asset within specific scenes of your script.
  • If you are adding any crew or non-character talent to a scene, it is best to categorize them as “Crew” instead of by specific department. This will help with both call sheet creation and contact management.
  • To quickly select a category from the breakdown prompt, type the first few letters of the category’s name. You can also switch quickly between the text fields and buttons by using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys.
  • Imported scripts occasionally contain text elements that create “false positives” for the Automatic Character Breakdown feature. See our article on Importing Scripts for tips on how to prevent this and other anomalies caused by initial script formatting.
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