The Art of Scheduling
by ouellau on March 22, 2017 - 4:20pm
In professional life, dealing with deadlines on a daily basis becomes normal. Working on a long-term project can be heavy work, if not properly prepared. Making the best of a time given by scheduling the workload is highly suggested. This is a process description of how to manage a television production schedule in VFX. In television making, VFX is used as an abbreviation of visual effects which are animations that are generated by a computer. By producing an accurate schedule, this process ensures the right connection between the workers and the supervisors. A professional planification starts with defining the company's goals and dividing the workflow.
In television production, a company will always work on a tight schedule, meaning a lot of elements must be done in a short period of time. This delay is usually given by the client in the beginning. Therefore, a VFX production coordinator has the obligation to plan a fairly accurate agenda corresponding to the delay. The coordinator of a production organizes the way a project will be done. First, the person in charge of scheduling meets with the production supervisors and the client to elaborate a calendar used as as reference for the employees. This guideline can be presented under various forms. It can be written down on a paper with a pen or developed on a computer application or software. The following is a production schedule done on a planning software showing the time period to respect for delivering diverse tasks on a given project. (See figure 1 and 2)
Production schedule (Figure 1) Source : http://26-sdip-vfx-2012.blogspot.ca/2012/07/production-schedule.html
Production schedule (Figure 2) Source : http://26-sdip-vfx-2012.blogspot.ca/2012/07/production-schedule.html
As shown in this production schedule, there are important elements required on it. Such as a list of the job assignments needed to be done, their time given and due date and the work department who’s in charge. A general summary needs to be presented on its first page, followed by the other general work. After, the delay for every tasks needs to be shown and any modifications are written down as the project proceeds. For example, a postponed job will appear on a new due date in an updated schedule. Next, essential actions are scheduled and delegated on the first days, week or months of a project. Then, a meeting within the team and the supervisors is organized in the middle of the project to review the workflow and update the schedule. It is called a Progress meeting.
Near the end of a production project, a verification saves time for the unexpected. The schedule planner anticipates additional time to deal with issues such as team members planification problems. It is important for the production coordinator to communicate any kind of malfunctions happening in the project to ensure efficient work.
In conclusion, planning achievable goals in the beginning of a project is as valuable as dividing the workflow correctly. The art of scheduling can be difficult if not handled properly. In order to achieve a well-done production schedule, always reviewing the tasks and time left with the company is the key.