How to Setup a Project with Task Cards - Featured

The script has been written and your project has progressed to the point where you’re ready to start planning the production, but maybe it’s your first time. If you didn’t happen to go to film school like myself, it can be hard to know where to start and what comes next. This is where I use StudioBinder’s task card feature to layout to-do lists, so I always know what’s done and what’s up next. Come along as I set up a project by adding task cards to individual pages of my project.

Introducing Task Cards

First, what are task cards?

Before we jump into the project, let’s go over what a task card is in StudioBinder and what it contains.

Task Cards Definition

What is a task card?

In StudioBinder, task cards are a way to assign tasks to individual pages as well as teammates inside of a project. Allowing you to keep everyone involved in the production accountable and productive by tracking progress on the workflow page. Tasks may also be assigned to calendar events on the production calendar. These will also be aggregated to the workflow page.

What fields does a task card contain?

  • Name
  • Assign User
  • Start / Due Dates
  • Description
  • Tasks
  • Attachments
  • Comments
  • Assign workflow

If you’re more of a visual person, like myself, give this video a watch.

Guided tour: workflow  •  Support videos

Wow, I mean, you probably get the gist of task cards and the workflow page just from that video. So, I won’t take offense if you just go it on your own, that’s typically how I learn the best.

That being said, I’m going to be assigning task cards in an order that loosely follows this Pre-Production process. It might not cover everything, but it should give you an idea of what could be possible.

Project Details

Step 1: Create project & import script

Alright, before we can start assigning tasks we’ll need to create the project in StudioBinder and import the script so all of the pages of the project are populated.

So, here on the account dashboard page click + New Project, give the project a name and click next…

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Name Your Project Box - Click Next

Name your project box  •  Click next

...then select your project features. By default all of the features are selected, I recommend leaving them this way to avoid confusion later. Then click, Create Project.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Select Project Features - Click Create Project

Select project features  •  Click create project

This takes us to the project overview page.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - New Project - Project Overview Page

New project  •  Project overview page

Ok, with the project created now the script needs to be imported. For that I'll head to the shooting schedule page.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Project Overview Page - Navigation Sidebar

Project overview page  •  Navigation sidebar

Let’s see exactly how to import a script into StudioBinder in this video.

How to import a script file  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Alright, now that the script is imported all of the pages of the project have been populated with the scene information.

Before we start assigning tasks let’s take a look at the workflow page.

Customize Workflow

Step 2: Customize workflow columns

The workflow page is where all of your task cards and calendar events will be aggregated. Allowing you to move cards down the line as you progress through the workflow.

As we saw in the video earlier, you can assign the stage of the workflow when creating a task card. You can also add columns and edit the existing column headings.

By default the column headings read:

  • On Hold
  • In Progress
  • Needs Review
  • Approved
How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Workflow Page - Column Headings

Workflow page  •  Column headings

I’m going to keep these headings as they are, but you can customize your headings to fit your specific workflow.

For example, say your Needs Review stage needs to be more specific by having who needs to review the cards.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Shot Lists & Storyboards Page - Click +New Shot List

Shot Lists & Storyboards page  •  Click +New Shot List

Now, when each person logs in and accesses the workflow page they have a clear list of what needs to be reviewed. 

Alright, now that the workflow has been set, we can start adding task cards to the different pages of the project. This is where the Pre-Production process will come into play. One of the first things that has to be done is format a shooting script.

Documents Page

Step 3: Format the shooting script

Formatting a shooting script is part of the 1st AD duties and involves prepping the script to be broken down, scheduled and filmed. This is a very important step as the whole production could be halted if a location was missed due to a misspelling.

So, this is where I head to the Documents page to add my first task card.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Navigation Sidebar - Documents Button

Navigation sidebar  •  Documents button

On the documents page, I click the scripts folder...

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Documents Page - Click Scripts

Documents page  •  Click scripts

...then click on the script name to open the document.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Documents Page - Click Scripts 2

Documents page  •  Click scripts

Here on the screenwriting page is where the script that we imported lives. To add a task card, click on the comments sidebar button

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Screenwriting Pages - Click Comments

Screenwriting page  •  Click comments

...then click on tasks...

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Screenwriting Pages - Click Tasks

Screenwriting page  •  Click tasks

...then click, + New Task Card.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Comments Sidebar - Click +New Task Card

Comments sidebar  •  Click + New Task Card

You’ll then be prompted to give the card a name. I’m going to name this one Format Shooting Script...

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Tasks Sidebar - Name Task Card

Tasks sidebar  •  Name task card

...then press enter and the task card will pop-up.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Task Card - Format Shooting Script

Task card  •  Format shooting script

What I really like about this is if I’m working with someone who might still be learning, I can paste links in the comments or description sections for them to review before completing the tasks.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Task Card - Description Link

Task card  •  Description link

As for the actual tasks, I list out what to look for when formatting the shooting script.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Task Card - Task List

Task card  •  Task list

That first one might seem like a no brainer, but just by reading the script you can be informed of valuable information. Like if the script has a lot of time jumps that will have to be accounted for.

Alright, with the first task card done let’s move on to what the next step of the pre-production process would be. Breakdown the script.

Breakdowns Page

Step 4: Breakdown the script

Breaking down a script is the process of tagging all of the required elements for each department of a scene. Leaving you with an inventory list of everything that will be needed to film that scene.

The breakdown is vital to a production and contains a lot of specific information that departments must be aware of. So having a task card is a visual reminder of everything that needs to be tagged.

So here on the breakdowns page, I’ll click + New Task Card and name it Breakdown the Script...

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Click +New Task Card - Name Task Card

Click + new task card  •  Name task card

...then add my tasks and any other relevant information.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Breakdown the Script Task Card - Task Details

Breakdown the script task card  •  Task details

If you’re wondering what hidden characters means, StudioBinder automatically tags a character if they are formatted as a character and have dialogue in a scene.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Formatted Character - Tagged Element

Formatted character  •  Tagged element

However, say a character doesn’t have dialogue but they appear in the scene in the action lines.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Action Lines - Character in Scene

Action lines  •  Character in scene

This is what is considered a hidden character, and is very important that it is tagged. Can you imagine not having the talent there for the scene. Luckily, since you’re planning everything out you won’t miss it!

Alright, we’ve added tasks to format the shooting script and breakdown the script. Now, let’s jump over and add tasks to the shot lists & storyboards page.

Shot Lists & Storyboards Page

Step 5: Create a shot list

The shot list is where you plan out each shot that you will need to film in order to create your project. It not only informs of what the shot is, but also what equipment, aspect ratio, and really any information that the DP or Cinematographer might need.

So I’m going to add a task card and name it Create a Shot List.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Click +New Task Card - Name Task Card

Click + New Task Card  •  Name task card

I’ll add instructions to the description and list out my tasks.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Create a Shot List Task Card - Description and Tasks

Create a shot list task card  •  Description and tasks

Creating storyboards used to be a whole other process in and of itself, but StudioBinder combines the Shot List & Storyboard feature into one. This allows you to input info once and view it in different page layouts.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Shot Lists & Storyboards Page - Page Layout Options

Shot lists & storyboards page  •  Page layout options

Ok, with tasks to format the script, break it down, and create a shot list, the next step would be to set a shooting schedule.

Shooting Schedule Page

Step 6: Set a shooting schedule

A shooting schedule is a plan that every film, TV show, and commercial follows to make sure the production goes smoothly. It's a simple breakdown of scenes, talent, time, cast, company moves, and day breaks.

All of this information has to be checked and double checked, so having a task card here keeps you informed of what has been done and what you still need to do.

So, I’ll add my task card and name it Set Shooting Schedule...

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Shooting Schedule Page - New Task Card

Shooting schedule page  •  New task card

...then fill in my description and tasks.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Set Shooting Schedule Task Card - Description and Tasks

Set shooting schedule task card  •  Description and tasks

You’ll notice that you are able to tag characters and shooting locations on both the shooting schedule page as well as the breakdowns page. This is because those are extremely important to have tagged. So, having a task on both pages wouldn’t hurt.

Ok, we did it. We have tasks on the major features of our project. Now, you can go back to the workflow page at any time to manage your tasks.

How To Set Up a Project for Success in StudioBinder - Workflow Page - Populated Task Cards

Workflow page  •  Populated task cards

Like I mentioned earlier, this didn’t cover everything within the Pre-Production process, but this will give you a great starting point. Use the workflow to your advantage, add tasks to pages as you think of them. Just stay productive, be creative and keep on keepin' on.

UP NEXT

Team collaboration in StudioBinder

Ok, you’ve set up the project for success, now, how do you work with your colleagues on the project? Come see how teams can collaborate in StudioBinder. What are some tasks that you leave for yourself or others? Let us know in the comments!

Up Next: Team Collaboration →
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