Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Course

"Wow! If only I had your guide in hand when I started! I am impressed with the content, the pacing of it, the amount of coverage you give to each chapter and the stories... oh yes, the stories are a perfect place to cut to for a moment of entertaining and informative levity." Greg Fawcett, Los Angeles, CA. USA

"Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling
Online Course for Indie Filmmakers"

Part One: How to Design a (Reliable) Shooting Schedule
for Feature Films and Television Productions

Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Course

This information is invaluable!
"Based on your outline, I believe you've covered all those 'I wish I knew then what I know now' sort of questions. And man, I wish you were around when I was starting out 10 years ago! Back then, I had no idea what I was doing. And I could have really used this advice!!!" Jason Brubaker, Producer

 Hello, I’m Peter D. Marshall.

I have an important question to ask you. As an Independent filmmaker (Director, Producer, Production Manager, Assistant Director etc.) what is your Number One concern when it comes to making a shooting schedule for your films?

I bet your answer is,“How do I know if this shooting schedule is realistic?”

How many times have you gone into production on a film only to realize a few days later that the shooting schedule was unmakeable - too much work was scheduled at one location; the crew's weekend turnaround wasn't accounted for; the curfew extension for your main location was forgotten; the company ran out of daylight and couldn't finish an important scene!

If these situations sound familiar to you, you are not alone!

As a First Assistant Director with over 25 years in the industry, I know that a properly designed shooting schedule is crucial for your budgeting process. Without an experienced Assistant Director or Production Manager to prepare this schedule, you could end up with an unrealistic budget that will seriously impact your entire production.

Happy Gilmore

"As an indie filmmaker, this course has given me the knowledge, and the confidence, to prepare a shooting schedule that will optimize the efforts of the entire cast and crew." Larry D. Barr, Stephenville, Texas, USA

I have worked (and survived) in the

"trenches" of the Film and Television industry.

During my 40 years in the film and television business, I have worked as a production assistant, dolly grip, electrician, assistant cameraman, commercial production manager, first assistant director, TV series creative consultant, television producer and director.

I have had the opportunity to work on all kinds of productions, from industrial films to documentaries; TV commercials to music videos; Television series to Hollywood feature films. I've had the chance to co-ordinate huge World War One battle scenes, to help plan complicated Visual FX shots, manage large groups of extras and direct intimate emotional scenes between actors.

By having the unique opportunity to work as both a Feature First Assistant Director AND a Television director, I've been able to get "up close and personal" with major Hollywood producers, exciting and imaginative directors and Academy Award winning actors.

As a First Assistant Director, I’ve worked on 13 Hollywood Feature Films,
15 Television Movies, 6 Television Series, 4 TV Pilots and over 20 Commercials.

I have worked for directors such as Zack Snyder, John Woo, Ed Zwick, Phillip Noyce, John Badham, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler, Bobby Roth and Kim Manners.

I’ve also had the good fortune to work with such amazing and talented actors as Michelle Pfiefer, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Goldie Hawn, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Jerry Lewis, Jack Palance, Ashton Kutcher, Kathy Bates, Adam Sandler and Peter O'Toole (yes...I even worked with "Lawrence of Arabia!")

"I just finished reading your book Script Breakdown & Film Scheduling. It's an amazing and meticulous resource. Worth every cent. The blocking section was one of the most resourceful chapters for me. I have always been reluctant to take the initiative when it comes to blocking. It's imperative when working with first time directors. Getting more information on production boards was invaluable." Jesus Sifuentes, San Antonio, Texas USA

So how can I help you now?

I’ve been asked many times over the last few years when was I going to write a book or give a course on how to properly break down a script and make an accurate shooting schedule. Well, since I also have a passion for teaching, about 18 years ago I decided to create my first filmmaking workshop called "How to Design an Accurate Film Shooting Schedule.”

As the film and television industry changed and grew over the years, I modified and added to the content of that workshop to keep up to date with all the new filmmaking techniques and digital technologies I had learned on the sets.

That two-day Film Scheduling workshop has now become the model for my intensive 165-page course called the "Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course For Independent Filmmakers."

Now even though the title says “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling,”
this course is not just for Assistant Directors or Production Managers.

It was also written for Directors, Producers, Location Managers and other filmmakers who want to discover the proper steps involved in breaking down a script and creating a realistic film shooting schedule.

But it is also much more than that.

I guarantee that when you finish this in-depth Online course, you will have gained years of insider knowledge of the entire pre-production stage of making any type of Feature Film or Television series!

"You go to Film School and expect to learn everything there is about filmmaking. The reality is that you can't learn everything about the job of being a filmmaker. One of the biggest holes in my film school education was the fact that I had absolutely no understanding of how to do a complete script breakdown and how to schedule a film. I cannot say how glad I am that Peter created this book because there is no way, other than working 20 years in the industry, that I could have learned all this. It's a must read." Max Marois, Vancouver, Canada

Here are the chapter headings you will find
inside this 165 page Online Course

1. Foreword by Producer David Roessell 
2. My 38 Years in “The Business” 
3. The 10 Commandments of Filmmaking 
4. Personal Observations 
5. The Differences Between Feature Films and TV 
6. The Duties & Responsibilities of the First AD 
7. The Duties and Responsibilities of the Director 
8. The Director as Storyteller 
9. The 3 Types of Director 
10. The Role of the Director During Pre-Production 
11. The Assistant Director / Director Relationship 
12. The Director and Assistant Director Meetings 
13. The Assistant Director’s Duties in Pre-Production 
14. Film and Television Pre-Production Activities 
15. What Happens When the Cast Arrives 
16. Shooting on Film or Digital? 
17. The Classic Three Act Script Structure 
18. The Physical Breakdown of Scripts, Scenes & Shots 
19. The Shooting Script 
20. The Breakdown of Scenes in a Shooting Script 
21. The Reductionism Breakdown Theory 
22. Pre-Production - A Process of Discovery 
23. The 3 Stages of Designing the Film Schedule 
24. The 8 Step Process of Script Breakdown 
25. Designing the Shooting Schedule 
26. Preparing the Production Board One Liner 

"Received by Ebook and already storming through it.  I was hired for my first AD job this month in Michigan. Your book had ALREADY helped me so much -- I was able to ask the LA based Director and DOP pointed questions and got them talking about set protocols that we'd not covered in previous meetings.  I also think this is a valuable tool for cinema and television production educators and will recommend it to my university colleagues.   Thanks so much already!" Dr J. Machiorlatti, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

27. Production Board #1 - Scene Order 
28. Production Board #2 - Specific Groups 
29. Production Board #3 - First One Liner 
30. Film and Television Scheduling Tips 
31. Film and Television Scheduling Factors 
32. The Day-out-of-Days 
33. The Daily Call Sheet 
34. The 5 Groups of On-Camera Performers 
35. The 4 Types of Actors 
36. The Film and Television Shooting Crew 
37. Understanding Traditional Camera Techniques 
38. The Director’s Shot List 
39. Concepts of Blocking and Staging a Scene 
40. The 5 Stages of Shooting a Scene 
41. 6 Blocking Tips for Assistant Directors 
42. The 180 Degree Rule 
43. Understanding the Film Editing Process 
44. The “50-Step Film Set Check List” for AD’s 
45. How to Figure Out Scene and Shot Timings 
46. Four-Step Formula for Averaging Scene Shooting Times 
47. 25 Assistant Director Tips From the Trenches 
48. First Assistant Director Pre-Production Cheat Sheet 
49. How to Manage Conflicts on an Indie Film Production 
50. General Conflict Resolution Skills 
51. BONUS - Daily Prep Schedule Template 
52. Film Scheduling Software 
53. Acknowledgments 

"I graduated from film school a few years ago and I always wished they would have covered the things that you include in this course in my production classes. This course is very helpful!" Ana Sainz, Chicago, IL, USA

Here are just some of valuable insider tips, techniques and

secrets you will discover in this 165-page Online course.
  • 10 factors you need to pursue your dream of working in this business
  • the differences between feature films and television (and why you must know them)
  • a list of the duties and responsibilties of the 1st AD in prep and on the set
  • a discussion of the working relationship between the Director and the First AD
  • 12 questions you need to ask on every location scout
  • 13 meetings a Director must have in pre-production
  • which department heads need to be in the Extras Casting meeting
  • 5 "creative scheduling" tips for working with animals 
  • understanding the complexities of working with child actors 
  • how a First AD runs the Production Meeting 

  • 3 crucial meetings you must have after the Production Meeting
  • why camera, hair and make-up tests are important
  • the best time to schedule the Director/Cast Rehearsal in the last week of prep
  • a guide to the physcial breakdown of scripts, scenes and shots
  • 4 types of scenes you need to think about as you break down the script
  • the three main phases of designing the shooting schedule
  • the 8 proper steps to breakdown any script
  • 10 items you should list on every one-liner
  • the meaning of the colors you use on your strip board
  • 7 specific groupings you need to use when first arranging your strips 

  • the number one secret for creating an accurate film shooting schedule (priceless!)
  • 29 film scheduling concepts common to all film and TV productions
  • before you start to create a one-liner, you must know these 35 scheduling factors 
  • the 5 groups of "On-camera Performers” you will deal with on most film productions
  • why every 1st AD should have a working knowledge of basic camera techniques
  • 4 reasons why a 1st AD needs to know how to block a scene with actors 
  • why understanding film editing will make you a better Assistant Director 
  • the "50-Step Film Set Check List” for every First Assistant Director 
  • 25 AD tips I have learned (sometimes the hard way) over the years
  • the "75-Step Pre-Production Cheat Sheet" you can print out

"Great course.  I thoroughly enjoyed your outlook, attitude and stories.  I have been AD'ing since the mid '90s and still found little things to put in my tool box. The course was indeed clear and understandable.  As a 1st AD, you always wonder if you're doing it right, glad to see that I am."  James Rait, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Here's everything you will receive when you order the "Script Breakdown
and Film Scheduling Online Course For Independent Filmmakers."

1) One 165 page eBook you can download to your computer. (No DVD's - No CD's - No Shipping!)

2) A series of 5 Quicktime video recordings 
that show you how I created the script breakdown, one-liners, Day-out-of-Days and shooting schedule from the 21 page script I used in the course.

3) An audio recording of the entire course.
You will be able to download these 16 x mp3 files onto your computer, burn them to a CD or upload them to your iPod.

4) Over 15 downloadable PDF reports, such as:

1. 1st AD safety responsibilities
2. Specially designed actor and crew Union cheat sheets
3. A copy of the Call Sheet from the funeral scene in the movie "Ghandi"
4. A Location department cheat sheet
5. A clean copy of the 21 page script I use in this course
5. The completed One Liner for the 21 page script
6. The completed Shooting Schedule for the 21 page script
7. The completed Cast Day-out-of-Days for the 21 page script
8. A scanned copy of my actual marked breakdown of the 21 page script

5) 225 reference links (and over 35 video links) to useful websites, such as:

1. Will This Industry Eat You Up?
2. The Business - Understanding Film
3. Film Pre-Production
4. The Assistant Director
5. So You Wanna Make a Low-Budget Movie?
6. Digital Cinematography
7. World Sunrise and Sunset Calendars
8. Camera Angles and Subject-Camera Relationships
9. Indie Film - Pre-Production
10. The Ultimate 12 Step Guide to Preproduction

"Ace bonus Peter, absolutely ace!!! It means a lot to get the bonus mp3's. I'm an audio centered learner anyway, so mp3's are always welcome as I 'love to listen.' They're really helpful to people like me." John Travers, Brisbane, Australia USA

When you purchase the "Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling
Online Course For Independent Filmmakers” you will also get these
FREE BONUSES. (The total value of these bonuses is well over $350.00)

1) Yearly Upgrades to the 165 Page Ebook

For the next few years, I will upgrade this course by adding more written content, website reference links, PDF reports and audio/video recordings. I will then email you the newly designed PDF ebook - at no additional cost to you! Along with the upgraded Ebook, you will also be entitled to any new bonus material that is added during the year.

2) Audio Recordings x 16

I have created an audio recording of the entire course. I divided the 165 page course into 8 Sections with each Section having two mp3 files. You will be able to download these 16 mp3 files onto your computer, open them in your audio program, burn them to a CD or upload them to your iPod.

3) Quicktime Video Recordings x 5

I have included a series of 5 videos that show you, step-by-step, the process of how I created the script breakdown, one-liners, Day-out-of-Days and shooting schedule from the 21 page script I used in the course.

4) Daily Prep Schedule Template

This 9 page sample template shows the “order of events” that actually took place during the 5 weeks of pre-production on a 28-day feature film shoot.

5) Discussion Forum

I have created a discussion forum for everyone who bought this course. It will allow you to keep in touch with myself and other filmmakers if you have any questions about this Film Scheduling course. 

6) Free 30 Minute Consultation with Peter D. Marshall

If you want to discuss film scheduling concerns on your film, or you just need some guidance, this bonus entitles you to a 30 minute phone conversation with me. Just email me your questions and then we will set up the best time for both of us to have a chat. 

7) $100.00 off any of my Filmmaking Workshops

This bonus entitles you to receive US$100.00 off the registration for any of my filmmaking workshops that I design and present myself.
 (NOTE: This bonus can only be used once per customer of

Here's my 100% Risk-Free Money Back Guarantee!

I believe so strongly in the content of this 165 page course, that I'm offering you a 90-day money back guarantee. If you feel this "Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course" isn't for you, just let me know within 90 days of your purchase, and I will issue you a prompt and courteous refund.

"I have really enjoyed the copy of 'Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course For Independent Filmmakers'. It is worth it. I think everyone who is interested in the TV or Film business must read this document. There is wealth of information provided in this copy." Vince Kumar, Mather, CA, USA.

Here is the total investment required.

Because you were referred to this page by, you will be able to instantly download this 165 page Online course for the discount price of $US47.00! ($20.00 off the regular purchase price of $67.00!) That's it. No hidden costs - no upsells - no gimmicks. Just $US47.00.

And why is the price for this Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling course so low? Because part of my mission is to make this information available to as many filmmakers around the world as possible. And by keeping the price low, I can accomplish that mission. 

Click Here to Order Now

"Peter Marshall's 'Script breakdown & film scheduling course' is worth its weight in gold as it gives Indie filmmakers like me a very clear and detailed information. I can blindly follow his schedule and I will be ensured that the end product is a very good quality short film. I recommend it to students of cinema and indie filmmakers." Hrish Thota, Bangalore, India 

I am very excited about the quality of the content I'm going to share with you in this Online course. I guarantee that when you have finished reading the 165 page Ebook, listened to the 16 Quicktime audios and watched the 5 videos, you will have discovered in-depth knowledge into the pre-production stage of making an independent Film or Television series.

Enjoy the course,

Peter D. Marshall 

P.S. And don’t forget, the "Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course For Independent Filmmakers” is not just for Assistant Directors or Production Managers. I also created this course for Directors, Producers, Location Managers and other filmmakers who need to know and understand the proper steps involved in breaking down a script and creating a realistic film shooting schedule.

"The course is great, Thank You! The video portion was great as well, the added visuals supported the writing." Alan Farris, Chicago, Ill, USA

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Peter D. Marshall/
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Script Breakdown Course