HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR TIME-LAPSE SHOOT
When scheduling for a traditional narrative short or feature, you need to first break down your script. One question you may be asking is if you need to break the script down when shooting a time-lapse film and the answer is yes. No matter how ambiguous your story is, it is key to determine the message you are trying to create. For example, Baraka or Samsara are both extremely visual films but both also have very evident messages. By breaking down your script, not only does it result in a stronger final film, it also helps avoid missing things that you might have overlooked.
Scheduling a film is the art of determining what scenes will be shot when and in what order. There are many factors to consider that will affect your budget. Getting good at scheduling takes some time, and although the process may be frustrating, it is also rewarding when everything comes together.
There are a few factors to consider when you are scheduling:
• Access to locations
• Access to Equipment
• Crew / Cast
Weather is by far the most limiting factor when shooting. It is the one thing that could keep you from getting your shot time and time again because it is unpredictable. Ensure you have a block of days you can select between and hope at least one of those days have ideal shooting conditions.
For most time-lapse setups (unless hiking long distances with lots of gear or shots requiring talent), you will not have to worry about the Cast/Crew element. However, if you do, you will want to determine which shots require cast or crew and schedule all the shots into blocks of shooting days.
In regards to Equipment, one of my biggest words of advice is building up strong relationships with other filmmakers and support them with their creative endeavours. Not only will this help you become a better filmmaker, it will also be another resource for equipment for your projects. Relationship building is an extremely important part of filmmaking.
Budget is also a limiting factor. This will not only dictate the amount of days you can put into a project, it also limits the types of shots you can accomplish in some situations. Be creative and resourceful to find ways to accomplish shots you desire.