View Full Version : How issue script changes using Final Draft once a production script has been issued

06-14-2008, 01:25 PM
I've worked as an Assistant Director on a number of feature films and one of the issues that almost always comes up between the production company and the script writer once a "Production Script" has been issues is how to make script changes without causing absolute chaos with the page numbering and script numbering. Here's a tutorial for users of Final Draft (The most widely used script program once script go into production because the files it generates can be exported into EP Scheduling and EP Budgeting, two other programs that most professional shoots cannot go without):

A "Production Script" is for all intents and purposes the shooting script, this is the version of the script that is issued to the film crew and should be the first time that scene numbers appear on the script.

Once a production script has been issued with script numbers these scene and page numbers are used by all the different department to reference their breakdowns, if a script changes are issued incorrectly and the numbering changed this can often result in crew members needing to update their entire breakdowns so that they correlate to the most up-to-date script. This can create a lot of confusion and additional work for everyone and big mistakes can happen if people do not have the correct script version with the correct scene numbers. So to avoid all this murder and mayhem a clever system has been developed over the year which minimizes all the fuss when new pages are issued.

New pages are issued in the following colour sequence:

1st Revision - White

2nd Revision - Blue

3rd Revision - Pink

4th Revision - Yellow

5th Revision - Green

6th Revision - Golden Rod

7th Revision - Buff

8th Revision - Salmon

9th Revision - Cherry

10th Revision - Tan

11th Revision - Grey

12th Revision - Ivory

13th Revision - Orchid

Then on to double white etc…

So here’s how it works:

Once you are ready to make revisions to the script please check the following.

A: You have the most up-to-date version of the script.
B: Go into the “Production” menu and select Revisions.

What you want to do now is select First Revision and rename it as “Blue Pages” and then click OK.
Then go back into the “Production” menu and select “Lock Pages” once you have done this you can select “Production” again to see if all your settings are correct. If you look in “Revisions” the dialogue box that opens should show “Active revision set” to be “Blue Pages” and on the “Production” menu it should now show “Lock “A” Pages” where the “Lock Pages” dialogue used to be.

Now you are ready to make the changes you need to make. Final Draft will make all the formatting changes that need to be done. You will know that it is working because Astrix Marks (*) will appear in the right margin where you make the changes.

You do need to be aware of two things however.

If you need to omit a scene... Click the curser into the SLUG LINE then select the “Production” menu and click on “OMIT SCENE” if you do not do it this way you will create scene numbering errors.

If you need to move a scene to another place in the script select the entire scene and copy the text, then follow the procedure to OMIT the scene then select where you would like to move the scene to and paste the scene there...

Once all the changes have been made then you need to add the new numbers to the script... This is done by selecting “Production” and then selecting “Scene Numbers”
The following dialogue should come up...

Make sure that the “Keep existing numbers” button is selected (see above) and then select “Number/Renumber” and click on OK – Final Draft should add all the A & B numbering required.

This stuff is all important to know if your script ever gets sold and you are put in the fortunate position to be hired for any rewrites. Once a script goes into production there can be extensive rewrites for various reasons...

A: In actor read-throughs certain roles need to be tweaked to read a specific way due to the type of actor hired and the Director and Actor's take on the character.
B: Certain locations may be impossible to shoot at so scenes need to be set in different locales.
C: When scouting for locations something amazing may be available that the script doesn't call for and this is included to enhance the production value.
D: A multitude of technical issues from SFX and STUNT budgets to prop availability etc, etc, etc... For Example: you'd be amazed how if one car is not available how this can change how a certain character is perceived and how this character will then need rewrites to match the actual car they can get him/her.

Hope this helps