Working with cast scheduling

Smart scheduling from availability to call sheets!
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Working with cast scheduling

Dramatify offers cast scheduling from individual availability integrated with scene scheduling, visual overview and Day out of Days schedule to the daily cast schedule with cast calls, transport, makeup, wardrobe and rehearsals. Here is how it works!

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to add individual cast availability 
  • How cast availability integrates with scene scheduling.
  • How to use the cast schedule overview / Day out of Day (DooD) view
  • How to confirm a cast member’s booking in Dramatify
  • How the daily cast scheduling works and integrates with call sheets, time sheets, automatic catering lists and daily production reports.

 

Dramatify's three cast scheduling options

Dramatify has three different cast scheduling options that integrate and work together as well as with scene scheduling, timesheets, catering lists and daily production reports:

  • Cast booking & scheduler – the main scheduler
  • The Day out of Day report the cast booking seen from the character point of view, especially useful for drama.
  • The Daily Cast Scheduler – where you create cast calls and schedule cast transportation, 

To schedule a cast member, you must first have added (but not necessarily invited) that person to your production in Dramatify. Learn how in Adding and Administering Team Members.

To add availability, click on Cast & Characters and then on Booking, DooD or Daily in the orange toolbar.

 

Understanding cast schedule terms, colours and icons

The difference between availability and booking

  • Availability means that the cast member is available for work and that the production may book them.
  • Booking implies that the production has scheduled the cast member to work
  • Confirmed implies that the production has talked to the cast member (or their agent) and they have confirmed the engagement.

Visual overview

In the visual schedule, you can immediately see where you have problems, which teams are working and what they are doing that day. Hover over the info icon to see details and notes for each day’s booking.

Available for work - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoAvailable to work, either all day or part of the day, but no booking is confirmed
Available for work but no confirmation - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoAvailable, and scheduled to work, but no booking is confirmed.
Confirmed for work but no confirmation - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoConfirmed booking to work, either all day or part of the day.
Confirmed for work and absence - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoBoth booked to work, and has a planned absence, on the same day.
Absence - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoPlanned absence. Vacation, sick leave, child care, working on other projects etc.
Warning - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoThe team is scheduled to work, but the member has no availability nor a booking.
Information - crew and cast scheduling for TV, film and videoHover to see one or more bookings, and which scenes the cast member is shooting.
Warning - crew and cast scheduling for TV, film and videoWork is scheduled, but there is no booking!
Cast Booking: How to add cast availability, absence and booking confirmations

Add per day or a range of days

Each square in the view represents a day for a crew member. Hover over the square to prompt a menu where you select Add.

Add cast booking

In the popup, add information for one day or a range of days. You can add availability as well as a planned absence, for a full day or a part of a day. This makes it possible to add availability for part of a day and absence for the other part.

Click Save availability or Confirm. Use the latter when you have made sure the cast member has confirmed the engagement.

Add cast booking-availability

Add dates for a specific cast member

Add cast booking per cast member

You can also click on the + icon beside a crew member’s name to add bookings for that individual. It leads to the same popup as above.

Add dates for all cast members on a specific day or range of days

Hover on a date header at the top of the list to add bookings for all of the crew for that day.

Add cast booking for all cast members

Cast Booking: How to confirm, delete and clear a booking

Click on a square to add availability, confirm or delete a day. Select Edit for a date range or add parts of a day or days.

Cast bookings-Confirmations-Clear-Delete

Click at the top of a day to clear it from bookings.

Cast booking - clear a day

The Day out of Days (DooD) report

To find the Day out of Days (DooD) report go to Cast & Characters and click on DooD.

The DooD shows the same information as the cast booking but from the character point of view. It also has the traditional Start Work (SW), Work (W) and Finish Work (FW) designations. Note that any changes are done in the Cast Booking.

Cast Day out of Day (DooD) schedule report for film and drama

What the different icons and colours in the Cast schedule mean

This is an overview of all cast members’ working days. The icons and colours are explained below. Only workdays that have a set date are listed on this page.

The colours

Available for work - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoAvailable to work, either all day or part of the day, but no booking is confirmed
Available for work but no confirmation - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoAvailable, and scheduled to work, but no booking is confirmed.
Confirmed for work but no confirmation - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoConfirmed booking to work, either all day or part of the day.
Confirmed for work and absence - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoBoth booked to work, and has a planned absence, on the same day.
Absence - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoPlanned absence. Vacation, sick leave, child care, working on other projects etc.
Warning - crew scheduling for TV, film and videoThe team is scheduled to work, but the member has no availability nor a booking.
 

The icons

Scheduled to shoot    Shooting one or more scenes.
Scheduled for a full day    Available/Booked all day.
Available/Booked part of the day. Available/Booked part of the day. See Booking for each cast member for details.
Information - crew and cast scheduling for TV, film and videoHover to see one or more bookings, and which scenes the cast member is shooting.
Warning - crew and cast scheduling for TV, film and videoWork is scheduled, but there is no booking!

 

The DooD Abbreviations

SWStart Work The first production day that the cast member is scheduled to work.

W – Workday Cast member is scheduled to work

WF – Work Finished The last day that the cast member is scheduled to work

SWF – Start Work & Work Finished The only day that the cast member is scheduled to work

Cast availability in scene scheduling

First, go to scene scheduling by clicking on Planning, and then on Scheduling.

At the top (circled in green) you can turn availability warnings on and off. If you do preliminary scheduling and have not yet added any cast members’ availability, you may want to turn it off. (Note that “Show conflicts” show if you have scheduled a character for shooting with two or more teams at the same time.)

Cast availability in the scene scheduling for TV, drama, film, entertainment, reality 

Dramatify’s scene scheduling will warn you when there are availability issues by adding a small warning icon. You can also turn on highlighting which add a yellow or lime green frame around the strips. 

Cast availability highlighting in the scene scheduling for film, drama, entertainment, reality

The availability issues may range from a character that has no cast member assigned, a cast member with no added availability or that they are not available. Note that Dramatify only warns about availability issues. It does not stop you from scheduling.

Cast availability details

The daily cast schedule

The Daily Cast Scheduler is where you create cast calls and the daily schedule for each cast member, from call times through transport, makeup, wardrobe and rehearsals to dismissal. It automatically feeds into the Cast call section in the Call sheets as well as Timesheets, Catering and The Daily Production Report. It also interacts with Cast Bookings (above) and Scene Scheduling. You can add cast members for shooting as well as other activities such as rehearsals or fittings.

Daily Cast Schedule, create cast calls, for film, drama, TV, entertainment

Basics

To appear in the Daily Cast Schedule, a cast member must be available or booked in the Cast Booking (see above).  The cast list in the daily cast scheduler shows all cast members available and/or scheduled to work that day. In the second column, you’ll see if they have scenes to shoot. Non-shooting cast members can be scheduled for fittings, test makeup or rehearsals. Dramatify will give you a warning at the top of the page if there are cast members shooting scenes that are not available or have no booking.

Adding information

You can add information to the Daily Cast Schedule in several ways:

  • Click the edit icon after a cast member’s name to add or edit the entire schedule for that cast member, for the current day.
  • Hover over a column header to bring up the edit icon and add the SAME information to ALL cast members.
  • Hover over an individual schedule cell to add information to only that box.

Templates & copying

You can save cast schedules as templates (one per individual) or copy information from previous days. This can be done either for each member, or for the entire schedule in one go. 

Saving a cast information template

  1. Click on the edit icon after the cast member’s name.
  2. Fill out the information for that day.
  3. Instead of saving, click “Save as template”. That will both add the information to that day as well as save it for future use. If you want to create a new template, you simply do the process again with new information and the old template will be overwritten.

Using a saved template

For an individual: Click on the edit icon after the cast member’s name. In the popup, click on the button “Import from template”. You can change the imported information if needed before clicking “Save”.

For all cast members: Click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the page and select “Import templates”. In the popup, select which cast templates you want to import. Dramatify only presents saved templates from cast members booked or scheduled that day.

Copy information from a previous day

For an individual: Click on the edit icon after the cast member’s name. In the popup, click on the button “Copy from a previous day”. Select a day in the date field and click on the “Copy” button. You can change the copied data if needed before clicking “Save”.

For all cast members: Click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the page and select “Copy from date”. In the popup, set a date. You can now choose which Cast members’ information you want to import. Repeat if you have Cast members that have shot other dates.

Transport

When you add transport to and from location, you can either check “Own transport” or add information for a driver. The location address and drivers will be provided in the dropdowns.

Pro tip!  If you use a driver service, you can add them as a crew member but not invite them. 

 

Makeup, Hair & Wardrobe

Note that stylists must have been booked in the crew schedule to be available for the daily scheduling. 

 

A note on atmosphere cast

Note that atmosphere cast is NOT handled in the scheduler and do NOT appear under cast calls in the call sheet. If you want these cast members to appear in the scene scheduling, in the call sheets and in the timesheets, make them Extras instead of an Atmosphere group.

Smartest way of working

There are two ways you can work smarter:

1) Click on the Hide Menu icon in the upper right corner to expand the Daily Cast Schedule to the maximum width of your screen.

Hide the Dramatify sidebar menu

 

2) Since Dramatify lives in your browser, the smartest way of working is to have the Daily Cast Scheduler in one browser tab, and the scene schedule or call sheet edit form in another. That way you will work smarter, and don’t have to constantly save and navigate to another page while looking up information for your cast schedule.

Top image by Sean MacEntee / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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