Arts & Entertainment

Prepping and Scheduling

Jodie Foster

Lesson time 07:42 min

Prepping and scheduling is critical to your film’s success. Learn the tools and methods that Jodie uses in her films that you can apply to your own.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Scheduling Protects Creativity · The Best Money You’ll Spend Is in Prep · Consider Actors First · Do Table Reads and Script Reviews · Be Adaptable


There's a part of me that is that boring Type A person. You know, I like things to be organized. I like to make lists. I like to have everything nailed down, so that when I get there and it's not going the way that I had hoped, I can move to plan B, knowing that I had plan A. I'm always aware of scheduling because it's going to impact on my performances. It's going to impact on my day. It's going to impact on whether I get the footage that I want. I shot list everything. Right in the middle, it says lunch because just a bunch of shots laid down without an understanding of where they're going to head-- where they're going to fall during the day doesn't allow you to have a sense of where you're headed. Very often, people will waste the early parts of the day, which is the most productive part. And then by the time you get to lunch, you realize you have 50 more shots left. What are you going to do? So always being aware of scheduling. Don't feel that it's not creative. In some ways, you're protecting yourself. You're protecting your ability to be creative by making sure that you have your parameters nailed down. I love to work quickly. I'm very well suited to it. It's why I like working in television. I like getting a lot done. I like being decisive. The best way to-- your crew will love to work quickly because they feel like they're not being taken advantage of and they feel like they're getting a lot done. But you want to make sure that it's not sloppy, that everything feels intentional, and that it's well prepared. The best money that you will ever spend in your whole life is on prep. If you can add time to prep and if you can prep more than you ever thought possible, you will be more prepared. You will save money, save time, save energy, and always have more on screen. If there is one piece of advice that I have, it's spend as much time in prep as you possibly can. It's the cheapest time on the film. It's when the clocks aren't running. It's when people aren't on payroll. It's just you, and maybe your producers, and maybe the writer. And you're sitting in a room and coming up with things, occasionally bringing on a first AD. He will help the director be motivated and be clear. He'll always be thinking forward to how to reschedule to make it go faster. If you can listen to your first AD and you have a first AD that's conscious and is really a solid filmmaker, as well as a solid technician, then you'll be able to get your day. The first AD is the person who controls the ambience on the set and makes sure that the actor has what the actor needs in order to give a performance. Some actors need to sit in a corner with a funny red nose on and sing opera. Who knows? Some actors need to be distracted. They need to not be self-conscious. They need to just drink a coffee and yuk yuk with the crew and then get back into their seat. But there is a line, for example, that we all know, which is that who the actors in front ...

About the Instructor

Go behind the scenes with two-time Oscar-winner Jodie Foster, star of Silence of the Lambs and director of Little Man Tate. In her first online film class, she’ll teach you how to bring your vision to life. Jodie discusses her experience on both sides of the camera to guide you through every step of the filmmaking process, from storyboarding to casting and camera coverage. Everyone has a story. Learn how to tell yours.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Jodie Foster

In her first-ever online class, Jodie Foster teaches you how to bring stories from page to screen with emotion and confidence.

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