Chapter 10 of 18 from Jodie Foster

Prepping and Scheduling


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.

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

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.

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

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking

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

Learn More


Storytelling in action

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 class, she’ll teach you how to bring your vision to life. Jodie brings 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.

From storyboarding your vision to collaborating with actors, learn filmmaking from an Oscar-winning Hollywood legend.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and access to exclusive supplemental materials from Jodie’s archive.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Jodie will also critique select student work.


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

Jodie's approach was very human and fun. It was refreshing to feel invited to the process and even see her own goofy habits like the stick drawings etc. I feel really inspired to bring elements of my own story into the work I do moving forward. Thanks!

Jodie Foster is a top notch teacher. Whether you are interested in making movies, or an author like myself, you will glean a mountain of gems from this Masterclass. Highly recommend!

Great practical examples of the craft of film directing. Inspired me to pursue a career in film production,

Good class. Just remember you're in competition with YouTube, which is free. Get the Masters that have been forgotten that we all admire, copy, and emulate. Thanks and keep going.


Nikki S.

I love Jodie's attitude! You can really tell that this job excites her and that she absolutely loves it. I love learning new things from people that are really excited about what they know and love their job. Maybe one day we can meet! Would love to be mentored by her!

Ashley H.

Scheduling does allow a director with his/her DP to be more creative when filming. Many directors want to skip prepping and go straight to the "fun stuff" - filming - or they cut prep time due to the budget. The smaller your budget the more prep time you should allow so that your creative team knows the plan before shooting. This way you are not paying the crew to wait around while you discuss your shooting plan for the day. Planning the shot during filming also hinders the time you have to make creative "in-the-moment" decisions with actors and blocking as well.


Preparation an actor for all and any imaginable unknowns allows you to just be in the moment. Experience of three one act basic monologues. For every word spoken have two three or more differing understandings of where it could take you or what it means allows you freedom from self-consciousness, nerves, mostly moments to forget your lines and just breath relax until one grabs you. If props are treated the same way with many differing historic significance. If in a scene another actor forgets a line and stumbles a while. You have a prop to have a relationship with. But probably more suited for stage. Maybe improve before the actual shoot. Great lesson. She is so organically all communicating as a whole instrument. Great goal for me.

Elena D.

Love a director, who puts lunch on their shot list :) most days that is a luxury.


I think it's a challenge for many directors to make "Natural and Organic" movies with all the meticulous planning, scheduling and production. It's truly like a MEDITATING process of balance and harmony.

Jerry R.

I have not found class resources. All I can see to do is to download the chapter pdf. Is there a special place to go?


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 ...