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Pre-Production

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

The Mandrake: a SCAD Capstone film

Producer - 3D Animation Short - 6:45


“The Mandrake” is a short film currently in production and will premiere in May of 2020. The film shows the life of a lonely farmer who is tasked by a witch to grow the unexpected, a Mandrake.


The Mandrake is the first official film I have he ability to produce in a professional setting at SCAD. My roles for this film are maintaining schedules, file organization, meeting facilitation, social media management, and note-taking.


Speaking of social media management follow our Instagram @themandrakefilm to see behind the scenes artwork and our official production blog https://mandrakeproduction.blogspot.com/ to meet the crew and see our struggles while making a film.

Over the past three years working as a student at SCAD, I consistently made my own excel sheets and calendars to keep my projects on track. After an extremely long period of trial and error I figured out what produced the most success for me. When starting this film, I tried to apply what I had learned so that every document was laid out in the cleanest way possible.

Because of my fine arts background, I prefer documents that bring a little joy when you look at them. This led me to make my schedules colorful, and something my crew would actually want to look at. The first form I made was a master schedule. I am someone who needs to first look at the big picture when planning to know where my focus needs to lie. For this sheet, I broke it down into each step of the 2D pipeline and the number of weeks we had to create a film.


Each section of the master was color coordinated so every form created after was based on the master. The master schedule then got broken into different department trackers in sub-tabs, so each "department" knew when assignments are due. Below you see the sub-tab schedule for Visual Development. The individual trackers are color-coded within the form to show suggested work flow, and when the director or I would be checking progress on tasks.

Beyond that for my personal organization, I created a shot master list that is linked to each individual production schedule. The shot master takes each shot number from the animatic and tracks it through the entire pipeline, starting with each shot’s layout all the way to final compositing. Each shot color coordinated depending on which layout is being used and shows the exact timestamp in the animatic so there is no confusion which shot is being worked on. Below is a screenshot of the Shot Master. This form is for my personal use but will be broken down before production starts for each separate step of the pipeline so that the crew does not get confused.

For file organization during pre-production, my goal was to have our own google drive instead of using SCAD's provided collaborative space files. Due to the volume of work produced and the extreme changes that were consistently being made for our film it was easier to navigate through Google Suites. I laid out our Google Drive to be easy to use; both with folder/department management and naming conventions. Currently, our drive is set up for pre-production. Each of the main tabs are broken up by department and important department deliverables.

Moving forward, I am excited to see what new challenges come about next quarter when we move into production. The great thing about this film is the opportunity I have to create new types of documents and schedules to see what works. My crew is extremely resilient and are open to any of my changes and I cannot wait to begin again next quarter.

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