A pre-production process where each scene is isolated into its component elements such as props, costumes, and actors.

A pre-production process where each scene is isolated into its component elements such as props, costumes, and actors.

In film and television, a script breakdown is an analysis of a screenplay in which all of the production elements are reduced into lists. Within these lists, are in essence the foundation of creating a production board, which is fundamental in creating a production schedule and production budget of the entire production of any film or television program in pre-production. This process is a very tedious and complex task, and is usually the responsibility of the Assistant Director or first or 1AD within the production staff of any given production company. However, many film directors, film producers, and screenwriters have knowledge of breaking down a script.

In particular, literally breaking down the script is a very thorough and detailed creative analysis of dramatic action in filmmaking, highlighting the reciprocal struggle, theme, and design elements of a screenplay. Which is to code the entire cast, extras, props, special effects, stunts, wranglers, picture cars, wardrobe, make-up and hair stylists, special equipment and or cameras, ADR, Foley, film scores and soundtracks, etc., which are all broken-down with different colored marker highlights within a shooting script.

After this, these highlights are then organized and broken-down into strips to organize the production schedule within the actual physical production board. This process is more easily done nowadays utilizing a computer than done manually, with features inside Final Draft called tagger, or utilizing tagging mode inside Movie Magic Screenwriter, another effective computer program. This information can easily be imported over to Movie Magic Scheduling to create a digital production board, and then easily imported over to Movie Magic Budgeting to create the entire production budget. Most of the script and production computer software out there comes in both Microsoft and macOS versions, and even though there is competing software on the market, these which are listed are considered to be an entertainment industry standard. This whole process of the script breakdown, however, is not to be confused with character breakdowns utilized with casting calls, this is an entirely different process with similar names, however, administered by two entirely separate departments.


Last modified on October 14, 2019, 9:12 pm is a service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.