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‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and the Importance of a Script Breakdown

Here’s a video essay that clarifies the importance of a script breakdown with a look at Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Grand Budapest Drinks On Train
By  · Published on July 20th, 2020

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.

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Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.