PRODUCTION BOOK GUIDE AND TEMPLATE
By Jinane Bahlawan
While working on my production book, I realized that I
wasn’t really sure on what to do or how I should format my
stuff. Looking at other production books, people were using
allkinds of weird fonts or everything was just lacking in
Since film students hate logistics and paperwork, here’s a
guide with a quick template on what your production book
should look like.
This guide is specific to Digital Frame and Sequence, but
could serve as a production book for all later films. Your
teacher might have different requirements or even less
requirements than what’s here, but this will help you
develop one that is thorough, consistent, and concise.
- 3 ring binder (preferable) or folder with prongs
- Section/page dividers (plastic, no pockets)
Title each divider tab as follows:
1. Story Synopsis
2. Script (Dialogue, or V.O.)
3. Character Sketch
6. Production Design
7. Camera Work
8. Production Schedule/Shooting Schedule
9. Camera Log
10. Sound Design/Music
11. Production Contact List (optional, but suggested)
Now, we’re going to break down these tabs into another 11
pages, where each page will contain guiding questions,
tables, and all sorts of other stuff to help you get your
project organized more quickly!
If you’re unsure about what your production book should
still look like after this guide and template, check out
the separate document titled “PRODUCTION BOOK SAMPLE”.
It’ll be the production book I used for my first F&S
experimental. Happy filmmaking! TITLE:
This information should be either the first page in your
production book or on the cover of it. SYNOPSIS
LOG LINE: This is a 1-line description of your film.
PLOT: This is a paragraph description of your film’s plot.
Start by identifying the protagonist, problem/conflict, and
setting. Then go into the major plot
points/conflicts/turns, but don’t give away too many
details. Avoid unnecessary description. Bring up other
characters in the order they appear. Remember – this is a
summary, not an essay or a novel hook. Be sure to end it by
describing how the major conflicts are resolved.
(I recommend 1.5 spacing for this so that it’s not too
THEMES: Those “big concepts” that your literature teachers
bugged you about; heroism, fear, brotherhood, community,
stuff like that. 2. SCRIPT
If you haven’t taken Storytelling Strategies yet and if you
haven’t written a film script before, you should use a free
scriptwriting program like CELTX.
Otherwise, you probably know how to format a script by
name. You’re smart; you can figure out what to do here.
If your project doesn’t need a script, that’s one less
thing for you to do! Yay! 3. CHARACTER SKETCH
I’m assuming this is a sketch design of your character(s),
but he didn’t say we needed it so I’d hold off on this for