PRO TIP: What Are Sides? - OFFICIAL DISCUSSION


#1

Our friend Paige Winburne, Production Coordinator for the upcoming RocketJump: The Show, walks us through what to expect when reading or making “sides”.

Sides are small pocket-sized scripts that contain only the scenes that production is shooting on that day. They are usually a half page in size (2 pages of script printed onto one, and cut with scissors or paper cutter) and stapled together for easy access.

Because scripts don’t always come in perfect page counts, sometimes scenes you are not shooting that day will be printed in the sides. New scenes should be designated with a line, and if they are not being shot that day, crossed out diagonally.

You make new sides each production day. You don’t want the crew fumbling around trying to find a copy of the script in the middle of a shoot!

Download come example sides from VGHS Season 3 here!

Questions about the specifics? Ask us below!


#4

What software do you use to make this “sides”?


#6

We commonly use Preview on Mac. Once you have a PDF of the pages you need for that day (use whatever scriptwriting software you have and save as/export those pages as a PDF) you can open it up in Preview and use the tools to make lines and circles or whatever you need in that program. Your printer dialogue is where you can select how many pages you want to fit onto a sheet.

For windows, I believe Microsoft Reader, Foxit, or Drawboard PDF can perform something similar.


#7

I have a question about the scene breakdowns. I noticed on this video and also on the slate video how they talk about things like scene 6c, 4b, etc. I’m just wondering how scenes are broken down into a,b, or c and if that is done in the script or somewhere else in the process


#8

I believe scenes will be numbered 1, 2, 3, etc and the indiviual shots will be labeled with letters skipping I and O because they could be mistaken with numbers 1 and 0.


#9

Hey i think this is the video where they cover it a little it might help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd7BPX8oEeE


#10

For people still interested in what programs to use for sides; Celtix has a phone app for just that part of screenwriting and production. I haven’t used it yet, myself, but it could be something to look into.


#11

Usually (with slating) the scene number stays the same, but the shots within the scene are lettered. This is to prevent confusion on the slate.

Scene 2, Shot 3, Take 1, is a lot of numbers and “shots” and “takes” can sometimes get confused. So we letter them instead.

So the first shot in the scene would be labeled 2. Then the next shot would be 2A. Then the next shot would be 2B. When we are ready to shoot a new scene, we’d start over with a new scene number. (Sometimes you can shoot these out of order, which is why the letters really come in handy.)

So knowing that, an easier way to write that slate would be Scene 2B, Take 1.


#12

PA tip:

Read the script, know what happens in what each scene number, and if you don’t, read your sides.

You’re AD will continually shout out what scene is shooting and what scene is next. If he or she says scene 15 is next and you have no idea what is going to happen, read your side!

Seriously, read the script and know what happens in each scene. It makes it so much easier for you as a PA and your AD will love you if you’re already preparing for the next scene.


#13

If, for example, your shooting order of scenes is “10, 20, 30,19” and scenes 20 and 19 are on the same page, would you include that page twice? First with scene 19 crossed out, and then again later with scene 20 crossed out?


#14

I think you’d just use the script pages once. The order you shoot in is on the call sheet on the first page of your sides. No need to use even more paper and cross out scenes you will be using, confusing everyone.
This is not from experience but would be most logical to me.