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By Dave Clifton
There’s a tremendous amount of planning that goes into filming a movie, even on-set as opposed to on-location. There’s only so much space available to filmmakers as they visualize their production and strive to bring it to life on a lot or in front of a green screen. Much of this planning focuses on how to use available space efficiently and in the best way for the production. It’s why many production companies engage heavily in film studio space planning.
With all the duties and activities happening on-set, space planning becomes an important part of keeping productions organized and on-schedule. The last thing any movie wants is a delay stemming from stalled production or confusion on-set, resulting in mistakes or mishaps. Space planning can help reduce errors, minimize lost time, and maximize the opportunities of a space.
Film studios have plenty of moving parts to contend with during a production. Film studio space planning takes guesswork out of the production efficiency. Here’s what it looks like.
What is film studio space planning?
Film studio space planning involves identifying the demand for space amongst the many activities involved in production—then allocating space to meet those needs. From props and wardrobe, to hair and makeup, to craft services, and beyond, it takes multiple teams to bring a production together. Each team needs its own space to operate and contribute.
Beyond identifying and allocating space, movie studios rely on space planning to coincide with the demands of the production as a whole. Which set is the movie filming on today? Who’s in the lighting booth tomorrow? Is there enough space to set up the dolly track for a specific shot? These questions and countless others are all factors in space planning for movie studio operations.
In a nutshell, movie studio space planning puts production teams in control of the space around them, so they can put it to work effectively.
Benefits of space planning for film studios
There’s a significant level of planning that goes into every phase of filmmaking. Space planning is no exception. Film crews need to ensure facilities support the agenda for the day—if they don’t, the movie suffers. Here’s a look at some of the benefits that accompany good film studio space planning and allocation:
- Film studio and production facilities become more accessible
- Filmmakers have the space they need to execute on their vision
- Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct production
- The cost to the company drops as facility efficiency lowers overhead expense
- Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother operations
- Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
When everyone has enough space to make their contribution to the movie, the production wins. Imagine not having enough space to get hair and makeup ready, or what would happen to the timetable if craft services were in the next lot over. Bringing everything together on the same set, with space proportioned accordingly, puts filmmakers in control of their production and everything that affects its quality, timeline, and safety.
How does movie studio space planning software help?
Trying to coordinate the many facets of movie production within the context of a single set is a difficult endeavor, made even more difficult over the course of a dynamic filming schedule. The space needs of today aren’t the space needs of tomorrow or next week. Everything is in flux according to the needs of the production, which makes space planning difficult. Software creates a dynamic solution to an evolving challenge.
Using movie studio space planning software, production crews can map the static floor plan of a studio and allocate spaces or zones accordingly. It’s easy to create markups for each day of the filming schedule, as well as on-demand for unforeseen set changes or complications. The drag-and-drop space planning standard makes adjustments quick and easy, with results that are totally contextualized.
Software also makes it easier to centralize communication about changes to movie set space allocation. PAs and set administrators can loop stakeholders into the software to set out revised floor plans and space allocation changes in real-time, to keep everyone on the same page. Fewer complications in an evolving floor plan allow the production to progress on-time, without setbacks that cost money or compromise the feature.
Space planning keeps production on-track
Filmmakers operate on a tight schedule. Production needs to progress as-scheduled, without obstruction. To do that takes significant planning—specially film studio space planning. From set changes to space allocated for hair, makeup, costume, craft services, and more, space is precious on a film set and needs proper allocation to ensure it’s used correctly.
Filmmakers that practice good space planning will find themselves on-schedule, with fewer disruptions and production setbacks. The result is a better movie, by way of seamless production and better budget allocation—not to mention consistency behind the scenes. It all stems from having the right space at the right time.
Keep reading: Film and Move Studio Space Utilization Software Benefits