The Script Breakdown & Stripboard

COSMOS Banner Stripboards


We’ve written the script, now it’s time to break-it-down – this results in the deceptively-named Script Breakdown.

In order for the script to be turned into a film, we’ve analysed the script and created a detailed list of all elements within it; literally breaking down each scene into its component parts, and there are many scheduling tools available on the market such as Movie Magic and Showbiz to assist you in the process.

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 18.39.21I’m not going to go into detail about the breakdown process; there are plenty of people who’ve already done a great job and if you’re interested in producing a Breakdown for your own film, I would recommend visiting – there’s a wealth of knowledge and advice on their site to help you with your projects.

All in all, the Breakdown for COSMOS took me about 2 solid days – personally I find it tough to stick with it; it’s not really my cup of tea (as we Brits say), but it is a vital step in the production process and therefore needs to be done. Now complete, we can draw up a Production Schedule and Budget, and then we can get underway!

This video looks in more detail at the Script Breakdown for ENCOUNTER. 


Early Stripboards for COSMOS

Unfortunately the Stripboard is not as exciting as it sounds! But it is directly related to the Script Breakdown. With a Stripboard you get a ‘birds-eye’ view of all your scenes and their elements, and this allows you to easily arrange all your scenes into an efficient (and economical) shooting order.

Again computer software like Movie Magic can be used to create and arrange the Stripboard, but as we wrote the script in Final Draft, I just printed out the Scene Strips and did my Stripboard IRL – to me there’s nothing like being able to move stuff around by hand and see things come together in front of your eyes.

Some may say that’s old fashion, and they’re right – it is, but I also think it’s quicker (for me, anyway).

Again, I’m not going to cover how to make your own Stripboard as I’m sure most of you aren’t really bothered, but for those of you reading that are scheduling your own film projects, this video charts our Stripboarding process on ENCOUNTER.

Our next blog looks at the PRODUCTION SCHEDULE, and how the information created in the Script Breakdown and Stripboard will play a vital role in the smooth running of our film production.


Zand & Ell

Zand & Ell


Elliot Weaver
Director @CosmosMovie




Leave a comment


  1. Reblogged this on bessyphotography.


  2. Hey Elliot, thanks for all the detailed info, it’s really useful. It would be nice to have a good quality picture of your breakdown key 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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