You’ve done it. Finally, you have a script that might be the
greatest story ever told. It has it all. Explosions, visual effects,
Oscar-winning roles. Now, it’s time to do a breakdown
to see what it will all cost. A script breakdown is basically
when you review a scene and identify the necessary
elements to produce that scene. From cast to props, costumes, special effects, greenery,
unique equipment, really anything. So in this video, we’re going to show you how to make
the breakdown work for any budget while still keeping
your vision intact. To get an idea of
how a breakdown works on both a creative
and financial level, let’s take a look at Wes Anderson’s
“The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The production team didn’t
stick to the script as written. In a world of a hundred
million dollar budgets, Grand Budapest had a comparatively
meager budget of 25 million dollars. That means they couldn’t
possibly produce a film using the usual standards
of the Hollywood machine. But Anderson and his
team were scrappy and made use of miniatures
and matte paintings to create an imaginative,
visually stunning world for a budget much lower
than most studio pictures. Let’s look even closer at how Wes Anderson
and his team did it. When breaking down a scene ask yourself 3 questions. Question 1. What does the scene need? In this scene, the script
requires a period-specific train traveling through the picturesque middle
european countryside in the winter. “Why are we stopping
at a barley field?” Question 2. If the budget was not a concern, how would you want
to shoot to scene? So let’s say we want to shoot an actual
moving train in Europe in the winter. But to do so, we need find and
secure location. Hire train service. Deal with lots of
government red tape. Purchase a lot of insurance. Hire a local crew that
knows the terrain. Get special gear for
shooting in a cold climate. And since available sunlight is
limited during the winter months, schedule extra days to shoot. In other words, we need to spend lots of money. But then, there’s the third
and most important question. How can I shoot this scene
if I have a near-zero budget? Well, we could block the
action outside a static train, and simplify the
scene logistically. Or we could shoot using green screens,
matte paintings, and miniatures, all of which would be
more cost-effective. In Anderson’s case, the train you see
is made of cardboard with three guys pushing it. No red tape. No insurance. And the end effect, something actually pretty
unique and memorable. “Well, hello there, chaps.” And speaking of memorable. Ah, yes the star of the
movie The Grand Hotel, but grand-specific
hotels aren’t so common. What they are is
really expensive. So instead Wes Anderson found
an old department store. And a talented art director to transform
it into the Grand Budapest Hotel. And the art director. Well, he would go
on to win the Oscar. And the Oscar goes to “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” So you can see how important
a script breakdown is. And it goes beyond
just logistics. It gets you thinking
deeper about what you want and really need
to tell the story. So here’s an exercise of a stretch
those lateral thinking muscles. Take any scene from
a movie you love. Now, break it down as if
you have near zero budget. How would you make it happen? How would you shoot
it differently? Using software,
like StudioBinder, makes it easier to break down
each scene into its elements and collaborate with your team. For more tips on making your
breakdowns work for you, make sure you subscribe
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date on new videos that will help you streamline
your pre-production process. See you in the next one.