Highlighting Scripts

Highlighting is the first step in the long haul of turning the written word into a motion picture.

A screenplay informs each department of its artistic, technical and logistical responsibilities. We start the process of wrapping our arms around a film by highlighting the script. I like highlighting because it calls for a fun trip to Staples, where I’ll stock up on new pens and all the other supplies needed during prep. Honestly, I only need one highlighter for the story points regarding the photography of the project. But, other colors do come in handy to cue visual effects, special camera movement, flashbacks, day or night, etc. I restrain myself from over highlighting for the obvious reason that as I study the screenplay, I learn it and soon, highlighting ceases to become necessary. However - for the first two weeks of prep, I refer to my highlights constantly and from these, I build my list of questions and ideas for all of the meetings to come. Prep is for asking questions, resulting in answers, that will help you implement your highlighted issues.

Ghostbusters II is set in New York City. What we know at this point is that the exteriors will be shot on location and on back lots in Los Angeles. All options are open until the studio weighs in on the budget. Shooting in New York is crazy expensive so the producers are trying to shunt as much of it back to L.A. But at this point, lets assume that the plan is to shoot New York for New York until told otherwise.

Here are a few examples beginning with the Location Manager:

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