In filmmaking, scheduling can be an art of its own. Balancing need and availability of cast, crew, and assets – along with the fickleness of weather – can be challenging to say the least.
Fortunately, Celtx simplifies the process by automatically populating and updating essential information from Script, Breakdown, and Calendar – all in one place: the Stripboard. With the Stripboard’s simple drag-and-drop editing and advanced filtering, you can get the most out of your shooting days and, when necessary, reschedule and rebalance your production with considerable ease.
For advice on scheduling a shoot, consult our learning series article: How to Schedule a Shoot
Table of Contents
|Strips & Scenes||Schedule Options|
|End of Days||Script Insights|
|Scene Strip Columns||Tips & Best Practices|
|Strip Actions & Views|
Strips and Scenes
Every Scene in your script is represented in the Stripboard as a single line, known as a Strip. When you add, edit, or remove a Scene Header from your Script, the Stripboard will automatically update to reflect these changes.
Strips can be moved by dragging and dropping them to any location on the Stripboard. Sequential strips can be selected by clicking on a strip, holding down the shift key, and clicking another strip above or below it. This will create a block that can be dragged and dropped just like a single strip.
End of Days
Even with a single-day shoot, you will need to add an “End of Days” strip to your Stripboard. End of Days strips are placed directly below the last scheduled scene intended to be shot that day. This data is then interpreted by other tools and documents in your Celtx Studio, such as the Calendar and Call Sheets.
Your “End of Day 1” strip will default to the current date; this, along with which days of the week you intend to shoot on, can be adjusted in your project’s Calendar .
End of Day strips include summaries of the data contained within its scenes’ strips – such as total 8ths scheduled and total estimated “Duration” of filming.
Scene Strip Columns
Each scene strip is populated with information from your Script, Breakdown, and Catalog.
Scene Numbers are sequentially designated to scenes in the order they appear in the Project’s Script. Also, if your script is in “Revision Mode”, scene numbers may contain revision “alphas” (e.g. 1A, 1B), which will appear in the Stripboard as well.
I/E, Setting, and Time
Typically, Scene Headers are made up of three distinct elements: Most often starting with “Int.” or “Ext.” to indicate an interior or exterior location. Next is the Setting itself, such as “Office” or “Forest”. Lastly, there will be a time indicator, which follows a dash (-): most common are “Night” or “Day”, but you could also use more specific indicators such as “3:00pm” or “Midmorning”.
These three elements will populate in their own columns within the Stripboard, and are directly taken from how a given Scene Header is written in the Script. In addition to these three indicators, each Scene Strip has a “Scene Description” field, which can be edited directly from the Stripboard or from Breakdown Mode. Lastly, each strip will appear in a specific colour according to the combination of “I/E” and “Time” following these rules:
|Interior - Day||INT. OFFICE - DAY||White|
|Interior - Night||INT. HOTEL - NIGHT||Blue|
|Exterior - Day||EXT. PARK - DAY||Yellow|
|Exterior - Night||EXT. FOREST - NIGHT||Green|
|All others||CGI. DREAM SEQUENCE - MISC||White|
The pages column conveys which range of page(s) of your script a strip’s scene is located.
8ths of a page is the unit of measurement for the length of a scene, with one full page representing eight 1/8ths. It is typically used to measure how much “screen time” a scene represents.
Location & Set
Both “Location” and “Set” are types of Catalog Entries that are connected to a scene via Breakdown Mode. Each scene strip can only contain one “Location” and one “Set”.
Duration is the amount of time you estimate a given scene will take to shoot. Click this column to edit its value. You can update it anytime, even if the scene has already been shot.
Any Characters associated with a scene via Breakdown Mode are included in this column. You can add Characters to a scene from within Breakdown Mode. You can also “Hide” Characters from this column by clicking on the Strip Menu , and selecting “Hide Characters” – very useful for when shooting a single scene across multiple days (see Duplicate Strip below).
DD (Dramatic Days)
Dramatic Days stipulate when in the “story world” a scene takes place. This is especially important for Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe departments to maintain continuity. Dramatic Days can be assigned within Breakdown Mode.
Finished shooting a scene? Check the “Complete” box. This will assign the scene a “completed” status. This helps you track your progress and also shows up in the Scene Summary Report.
If your subscription features Episodic Tools, you can schedule multiple episodes on the same “Master” Schedule.
Strip Actions & Views
Both the Schedule’s horizontal toolbar and the Strip Menu for adding, editing, and removing elements of the Stripboard.
Insert End of Day
Add an End of Day Strip to represent the end of a given shoot day.
Banners Strips are simple yet versatile elements to help organize your scenes. You can edit the title and colour of a Banner Strip. Used in combination with Filters, Banner Strips can help you strategize your scheduling according to Locations, Dramatic Days, or by Casts or Crew availability. Banner Strips also appear on their shoot days’ Call Sheets.
Duplicating Strips is a useful way to shoot a scene across multiple shoot days. Combine this feature with “Hide Characters” to manage variations between the duplicated strips.
Delete Selected Strip
End of Day, Banner, and Duplicate Scene strips can be deleted – but not original Scene Strips. Note that deleting an End of Day Strip will recalculate all End of Day strips below in sequential order.
Manage Day Breaks
The Manage Day Breaks feature inserts one End of Day Strip per a chosen number of scenes. This is a useful tool when starting your schedule – especially if your production has a strict limit on available shoot days.
Sort Unscheduled Strips
All Scene Strips appearing under the last End of Days Strip is considered unscheduled. Use this tool to sort these strips by one or more column types.
Scroll to Top of Stripboard
This button quickly returns you to the top of your Stripboard.
Filter Scene Strips
With the Filter Scene Strips tool, you can hide or show shoot days or unscheduled strips. Filters are available for a wide range of values. When a filtered view is enabled, this button will feature a red badge to indicate that some scenes are hidden.
Character Number Shorthand
Character Numbers are assigned to Characters via their Catalog entry. Selecting “Character Number Shorthand” substitutes Character names for these numbers.
Change Stripboard Size
You can change the height of Strips on your Stripboard by using the “Increase” and “Decrease” Strip Size Buttons.
Schedule Options are available via the “Options” Dropdown Menu.
The Stripboard can be printed or generated as a PDF by clicking “Print”. While this might be a useful option in some cases, we recommend reviewing the Reports section for formats better suited for distribution, such as the One Line Schedule.
Manage Shooting Units
If your subscription includes Multi-Unit Scheduling, you can define your units here. Once defined, a new “Unit” column will appear on all Scene Strips. Click on that column to assign a unit to that scene strip. This is useful when creating Call Sheets, which can be automatically compiled to include the specific scenes assigned to a given unit.
Export to Google Calendar
You can export a schedule to a Google Calendar. This will create an event on the destination calendar for each scheduled shoot day. Each event contains a summary of which scenes are scheduled that day.
Note, that this is will export your Project’s calendar to the destination calendar, but does not actively sync the two; therefore, the calendar export must be done manually each time an update is required; updates add new calendar entries without deleting previous ones, so care is required to manage version control.
Create Sharable link
Need to share a work in progress? Create a Sharable Link to provide a read-only view of the ‘live’ (most up-to-date) version of your Stripboard. No login is required, and the link is valid until you click “Delete This Link”.
Located on the bottom of the Stripboard, Schedule Insights provides an analysis of how many scenes are left to be scheduled as well as the cumulative time that has been scheduled.
Click “Details” to drill in further:
View how many scenes are Interior, Exterior, Day, or Night shoots; how many scenes and shoot dates have been completed; an estimation of remaining time (i.e. “Duration”); as well as how many “special days” such as Preparation or Move Days are scheduled in the Calendar.
Tips & Best Practices
Looking for the quickest way to reset your scheduling? Simply go to "Manage Day Breaks", and set it to more scenes than your script contains. This will remove all but one End of Day Strips and reorder your now unscheduled scenes sequentially (so long as Filters are not enabled).
Finding that your Schedule is not syncing up correctly with your Stripboard? Simply make a new "line" at the bottom of your script by hitting 'Enter'. Save your script, delete that line, and reload your Stripboard. Everything should be caught back up.
Want to play around with alternative schedules? Try making a duplicate "sandbox" Project, by selecting a project from the main Studio view and press the "Duplicate" button. Your new Stripboard will retain its schedule and other teammates will not be automatically invited to the new Project.