This little tutorial is designed for a feature film, though it could make sense for use in a commercial or even a narrative short film, assuming you’re shooting over several days and there might be confusion about what’s being shot that day. It also assumes you’re using Mac OS X (this tutorial uses 10.7 Lion), and the Preview application works as advertised on your computer.
WTF Are These “Sides” Things Anyway?
Sides, when it comes to film production, are the pages of the script that you will be shooting that day. When you’re talking a feature film, it’s very rare that you will shoot the script in the order that the script is written, as in “win the lottery” unlikely. So in order to keep not just the actors, but the entire crew knowing what’s going to be filmed that day, it’s important to show them what scenes (or even what parts of a scene) are scheduled on the call sheet. Sure, they could have their own ratty copy of the script rolled up in their back pocket, but believe me when I tell you that a production office earns a ton of crew love and respect when the sides are done on time and accurately.
Realize that there is another definition of “sides” that has to do with actors auditioning for a role, which are the excerpted pages from a screenplay that an actor can study and read to prepare themselves for an audition or screen test. We’re not talking about those, because those are easy.
Anyhow, let’s get started, shall we?