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What is a One-Liner?

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011

Learn about a quick way to organize your shooting schedule.

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    Breaking It All Down

    During pre-production of your digital video film, the breakdown of the script is one of the most important tasks you have at hand. From this you need to create a shooting schedule, a guidebook that tells you what you will be filming and when, while production is going on. One of the common forms that you can create to simplify this shooting schedule so it is more accessible to cast and crew is called a one-liner.

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    One-Liner

    The one-liner is a basic list of what is going to be shot for each day. Each day of the shooting schedule is laid out on a chart. For each day the scenes are listed, along with the pages that they encompass in the script. For each scene it is important to list somewhat detailed information, such as what is happening in the scene, where it is located, if it is inside or outside, and whether or not it is taking place in the daytime or at night. The one-liner can essentially be self-created according to the needs of your production, but it is important to have complete information about each scene that is going to take place on each given day.

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    What It Leaves Out

    The purpose of the one-liner is to boil down the shooting schedule to the basic information. It does not include details about the location, which cast and crew members will be needed, or anything creative about the scenes. It is supposed to be a very quick reference tool for organization. The official shooting schedule documents should still be readily available for more detailed needs.

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    Big Movies

    On a larger production the line producer will likely compile the proper information from the shooting schedule and produce the one-liner. On small, independent productions the assistant director or even the director may be in charge of this. Once this is done it is important to get it to all members of the cast and crew, but the large shooting schedule does not need to be disseminated as thoroughly.

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    Making It Easy On You

    Pre-production is a mess of organizational properties and preparations that can make any filmmaking experience seem overwhelming. When arranging documents like this it is important to remember that these are really tools to help your overall production succeed.