Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. This one looks at Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and the importance of having a script breakdown.
During the filmmaking process, there’s a step called a script breakdown that’s as creative as it is financial. A script breakdown involves looking at a script and figuring out the shooting requirements for every scene. Be it props, costumes, effects, animals, stunt coordinators, whatever. It’s a necessary act of reverse engineering that answers a practical two-part question: (1) how do I actually film this and (2) how do I film it without blowing the budget? Effectively, a script breakdown helps filmmakers determine what they want versus what they need to tell their story.
The video essay below clarifies the importance of a script breakdown with a look at Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Despite a scrappy budget, the filmmakers took liberties with the script as-written and tuned in an impressive product through the use of miniatures, mattes, and movie-magic. Wes Anderson wanted a period-specific train to cross an eastern European field in the dead of winter. What he had was a bunch of cardboard and a green screen (and it won the film an Oscar for art direction).
You can watch “Film Budget Breakdown: How The Grand Budapest Hotel Was Made on a Budget,” here:
Who made this?
StudioBinder is a production management software creator that also happens to produce video essays. You can check out their YouTube account here, for their back catalog of essays, which tend to focus on the mechanics of filmmaking itself, from staging, to pitches, to directorial techniques.
More Videos Like This
- Here’s a twenty-minute featurette on the making of The Grand Budapest Hotel
- From the above featurette: the section on how the filmmakers created the titular hotel
- Production designer Adam Stockhausen takes us through how he worked with Wes Anderson to create the production design for The Grand Budapest Hotel
- And here’s Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) accepting the Oscar for Production Design
- Want to know more about The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s miniatures? Here’s behind-the-scenes footage from piercefilm productions, who worked in the film’s model shop
- The Wrap has a video that places The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s original animatic sequences next to the finished movie. The side-by-side video is aa great visualization of the creative transition from page to screen