Working withcharacters & cast

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Working with characters and cast

Characters are central to a production. Here we show how to add information to a character page, but also what useful information is added and displayed automatically.

 

Where do I find Characters & Cast?
You find Cast & Characters in the sidebar menu under that name.
Before you start

You have three ways of adding characters to Dramatify:

  1. Adding them manually through the character page
  2. Adding them during breakdown
  3. Importing a drama screenplay

The latter method is the easiest and most common when you work with fiction screenplays. Here is an article of how to import a screenplay.

Adding new characters through the character page

Dramatify supports characters for both fiction productions as well as non-fiction. You can add main character, supporting character, extra, stunt and voice actor, but also reporters, anchors, hosts, participants, interviewees, judges, dancers, musicians and more. For atmosphere cast, please look in the section below.

Adding a new character

To add a new character, click on Characters in the right hand sidebar menu, then on the blue button with “Add character”.  As you see below, you only need to add a character name and select a character type. However, you can also flesh out the character with a concept image or an test makeup picture of the casted actor. You can also add a bio, description or other info about the character.
Add character

Adding atmosphere cast

To add atmosphere cast, click on the atmosphere tab and then on “Add atmosphere”.

Note that unlike other cast members, atmosphere cast is never invited to Dramatify. You can add how many is needed and then add numbers as you book. You can then also add who is booked, contact information and upload a release. This information will then be added automatically to the Daily Production Report on the correct day/s.

Atmosphere cast list

 

Atmosphere cast & releases

Connecting a character to the cast member

To get cast information and cast calls correct, you need to connect the cast member to the character. On the character editing page, you select the correct cast member in the dropdown menu in the Cast box as you see below. You can do that at any time during the pre-production.

For the cast member to appear in the dropdown menu, they need to have been added to the team list under People, but not necessarily invited yet to the production.

Add cast to character

Adding real people as characters

Adding real people as characters

In the case of documentaries, factuals, talkshows and entertainment where people appear under their real names as themselves or a speaker voice, you just add “Amy Smith” as the character and check the box “This character is played by Herself/Himself/Itself”.

As with other character types, you need to invite Amy Smith to the production and then connect the character page to the personal information by selecting Amy Smith in the “Select Cast member” dropdown shown in the image above.

Real people playing themselves

Managing imported characters

When you import a script, you will be presented with a list of all characters with dialogue in the script. You can either skip and not import any characters, or do a “mini-breakdown” and go through the characters which then will be auto-linked to the correct scenes.

If you do the latter, please do the following:

  1. Decide if the character should be imported or not. (i.e. you don’t import duplicate misspelled characters or characters that actually aren’t characters such as when two characters speak as one or an answering machine.).
  2. Add correct character type, is the character a main character, supporting character, extra etc?

Note! Dramatify DO NOT make any script changes. If you decide not to import a character, it simply means it does not show up in the character list.

Importing characters

Re-importing and synching characters

If you import a rewritten screenplay, many characters already exists. Dramatify is smart and will find the new characters and not import existing characters. However, if the screenwriter have misspelled characters or kept characters that you didn’t import the first time, these may be labelled as new characters. Therefore, go through the character list and click ignore on the characters that shouldn’t be imported and designate the correct character types to new characters that should be imported.

Adding characters & atmosphere during breakdown

Here is how to add characters and atmosphere during breakdown: 

Adding existing characters

Just start writing the first letters of an existing character and Dramatify will suggest alternatives. Just click on the right one.

Adding characters during breakdown

Adding a new character during breakdown

Adding new characters

To add a new character, just click the link “Create new character” (hidden under the name dropdown in the image above) and you’ll get a popup window.

Adding atmosphere

To add atmosphere groups, you proceed in the same way. Start typing in the box underneath “Add atmosphere” to add an existing atmosphere group, or click the link “Create new atmosphere group” to create a new group.

Editing and deleting characters

You can edit the information about a character at any time, as well as connect it with a cast member so that he or she gets access to team messages, scripts and call sheets.

Just click on the character you want to edit.

On the character page you’ll find all information we have about the character. Some is auto-generated through the breakdown, such as episode and scene information.

To edit any core information; name, character type, picture, bio/description and connected cast member; click on Edit character in the toolbar. To delete a character, select “Delete character”.

Edit character

Adding and editing scene items outside of the breakdown

Scene items

Scene items are any items like props, wardrobe, special effects etc. that is mentioned in the script. Anything specifically mentioned in the script is usually added during breakdown. In the middle of the page you find all the scene items that’s been added and you can filter them on department. At the bottom of the page, you find the items added during breakdown listed per scene.

Adding scene items to character pages

However, a character needs a wardrobe, props and perhaps special hair & makeup. Any admin and anyone belonging to the wardrobe, props and hair & makeup teams can add to scene items.

Persistent and non-persistent items

For characters, there are two different kinds of scene items, persistent items and non-persistent. A persistent item is something that a character always appears with, like glasses or a scar, and once added, this scene item is automatically added to every scene the character appears in.

Scene item options

In the space under the core character information, you’ll find any scene items already added. To those you can add scene item options. That is any alternatives you want to list. If the scene item is a jacket, you can use the scene item options to add jackets in different colors, different brands or models. The list makes it easy to remember what should be fitted or returned. Just click the menu beside each scene item to add an option.

Add scene item options

You can also add new scene items and scene item options. This mean that you can build each character’s wardrobe and props outside of the breakdown.

 

Removing or changing a casted actor or participant

Removing a cast member who are not yet a member of the production

Removing a cast member who is not yet a member of the production is easy. This person might not yet been invited, haven’t yet accepted the invitation or have refused the invitation.

Go to People in the side menu.  Above the production team card, click on Cast.

Any member whose card that have a colored top border, is not yet a member with access.

These members you can just remove by clicking in the lower right corner of the card and select “delete invitation” or “revoke invitation”.

Delete invitation

Removing a cast member who are a member of the production

There are three ways of removing a cast member who already is a member of the production.

1) Remove the cast member from the character but not the production

Let’s say that you have re-casted the cast member in another role, or do not want the cast member connected with the character for some other reason. Just go to the character’s page and select edit character in the toolbar.  At the bottom of the edit character page you will see the text “Played by: [insert cast member’s name]“. Just click on the trashcan to remove the cast member.  As a safety measure, you will get a popup asking you if really want to remove the cast member. Confirm that you do.

Remove cast member

2) Remove the cast member from the character and select another cast member

If you for some reason want to change cast member to another, already existing cast member, just click on the edit (pen) icon to the right of the text  Played by: [insert cast member’s name]“. Beneath, more content roll out. Use the dropdown menu to select another cast member and click save.

Change cast member

3) Remove a cast member both from the character AND from the production

Go to People in the side menu.  Above the production team card, click on Cast.

Find the cast member you want to remove, and click in the lower right corner of the card. Select “remove from production”. This person will now be removed both from the production and the character.

The character list

As you add characters and cast, you get a complete character list with credits. Just click on “Characters” in the sidebar menu. You’ll see character, cast member and episode. Click “Report” in the orange toolbar to get a detailed list.

Note! Character permissions

Only users with Production Admin permission as well as teams belonging to wardrobe, props and hair & makeup will be able to see the Character nav tab and add, edit, administrate and delete Characters. Learn how in the Roles and Permissions article.

LEARN MORE: ,

Top image by gnuckx / Flickr (CC BY).

 

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