Why a New Scheduler?
Previous scheduling tools were designed to generate Film Production forms. As these forms originated with the Studio system, there were some basic assumptions underlying them;
Because of the above, the schedule was unlikely to need to change very much.
Film and TV Production has moved on.
Chris Newman has been a First Assistant Director for over 20 years. He is currently working on Game of Thrones. His credits include Your Highness, Mamma Mia, Match Point, Love Actually, About a Boy, Band of Brothers, Sleepy Hollow, Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. He describes scheduling with WattWenn below.
The Script is the Thing
It all starts from the Script. Every aspect of the production. Creative, logistical, and organisational. The script is everyone's bible.
Extracting all information from a piece of storytelling, into a blue print for shooting is a craft learnt from experience, advice given, advice taken, and often a gut feeling based on that experience.
Displaying and distributing that information to everyone concerned in film production has one basic rule. Keep it simple.
Importing the script is easy. (This is now a function on EP with Final Draft Tagger, but WattWenn is a one step operation.) You have the benefit of the script in a window as you work on each scene. Reading the scene on the screen, while inputting elements, concentrates my mind on the scene.
When you want to simply input, WattWenn does the job, and as quickly as you want.
Everybody's mind works in a different fashion and Assistant Directors are no exception. How we approach a script and break it down will fundamentally be the same. The thought process behind that work will however, be individual. Having being used to the constraints and limitation of EP and Movie Magic, the flexibility of WattWenn is refreshing.
The blank page that is the list of scenes in 'story order', is a daunting sight when starting a schedule. Watt Wenn helps divide things into smaller bites in a logical way, much like shooting a scene on set. Every schedule is approached in this way.
Planning each set, or location, and then slotting those planned groups into 'the whole' is remarkably simple.
Great software will not make a great schedule. Thinking and talking is 99% of the job. WattWenn manages to make sure I spend as little time as possible on the manual task of scheduling, freeing me up to do what the Producer and Director want me to do. Prepare and Shoot the film.
More on Chris Newman's work at imdb.com