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Kuzma Vladimirov
Kuzma Vladimirov

French Scene Breakdown Template

A script breakdown is the preproduction step that helps identify all the elements in a scene so they can be prepped prior to production and included in the shooting schedule, call sheets and various other script breakdown sheets reports.

French Scene Breakdown Template

Bear in mind, if you're using a breakdown template, you'd need to print out the breakdown sheet for every scene. So for 120 scene script, be prepared to print at least 120 breakdown sheets to fill out by hand.

Breaking up scenes into french scenes also allows you to build small climaxes within character relationships. If two characters are attracted to each other and are finally alone, a french scene can help you make the most out of the limited interaction those characters will have before another character walks in.

One of the first breakdowns many technicians create is an actor/scene breakdown. This breakdown charts who is on-stage for every page of the script. This knowledge assists many people do their jobs well.

Before anyone can create a breakdown, they need to read the play from beginning to end. All plays are different, and technicians will have to modify the standard format based on the needs/requirements of their production. For example, in some plays (or in some productions), one actor may play multiple characters. In those cases, when laying out the characters in the breakdown, I like to place characters played by the same actor in adjacent columns so I can see when I need which character and I can see when I need each actor. By having the columns next to each other I also can reveal when the actor may be frantically changing costume (see chapter 8). For multi-set shows, it is important to see where each scene is taking place. For a single set show, that is not as important, and may be left out of the breakdown.

Suddenly we notice that our initial breakdown needs to be edited and updated. This is very common, and precisely why I like working on a computer where changes and edits are easy to do. For this example, we will delete the Act and location columns. We will also examine the script and the breakdown to try to break the play into 3-6 scenes for rehearsal purposes. The revised version is below.

The technique became so prominent in French theatre during this period that French play writers began creating plays that did not have scenes or acts. Instead, they designed plays around a series of continuous actions within a single setting to account for the French scene style of playacting. The development of the French scene also gave rise to the French scene template. It was important for stage managers and directors to keep track of their cast as the actors continuously entered and exited the stage at a rapid pace. The template was a list of all the characters of the play and the times that they entered and exited the stage.


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