You’re a step closer to the day the cameras roll, but how do you get the actors and film crew where they need to go? And the gear, you need to get that to set too. If everyone is finding their own way, great, but if you need to arrange any type of transportation for personnel or gear, you’ll need a Transportation Schedule. You can use your Shooting Schedule to help with that.
What is a Transportation Schedule?
A Transportation Schedule contains all the times the transportation department needs to know for the film.
Why is a Transportation Schedule important?
Without the Transportation Schedule, you may have people sitting around waiting for actors or gear when you could be filming. It’s one of the many ways you communicate the times to the drivers.
Who is involved with a Transportation Schedule?
The assistant director makes the Transportation Schedule, and the drivers and transportation coordinators see it. Like all the paperwork, everyone is affected by this schedule. One wrong time can mess up an entire shooting day.
What is included in a Transportation Schedule?
Each shooting day should have its own Transportation Schedule. If there is a day where no filming happens, but there is a company move, with drivers, that should have a Transportation Schedule as well.
Even with the technology we have today, with GPS and phone apps, I would recommend having printed maps or directions available for your drivers. This isn’t a necessity, but should they lose phone reception, it allows them to continue their journey.
Include the date of the filming day. If it’s an overnight shoot, make a note with the date that your times will go beyond midnight. To eliminate confusion on am or pm, I like to use 24-hour time, which is what you get on many of the Hollywood-style sets. If you decide to use 12-hour time, be sure you specify am and pm correctly.
The Transportation Schedule only includes times relevant to the drivers. If you have drivers picking actors up from their homes, include those times. If the actor is driving to set on their own, you don’t include those times. Only include time relevant to your set.
The first time you want to include is the time you expect the vehicle to be at the location for loading. Specify on the schedule what is happening and the location where the vehicle needs to be.
Also include company moves, the time all the vehicles should be pulling away from Location One to head to Location Two. Include estimated drive time and arrival time. Give a location for unloading and parking. Specify if the vehicle or driver will be staying at set or if the driver can leave after unloading.
Keep in mind, the drivers are there to drive. If they are meant to pick up actors or extras, have someone with them who knows who needs to be picked up. The driver, even if they are a part of the crew, should just focus on the driving, not juggling who needs to be picked up.
Include all addresses needed for the filming day. Keep the Transportation Schedule as simple as you can while still conveying all the necessary information.
Communicate any changes. Drivers may not like having to arrive earlier or stay later, but they prefer that to not being told at all.
Whether your drivers are hired in or part of your crew, keep them informed and your schedules up to date. It will make your entire little set community a happier, more productive place.