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Staying Organized: part I

Early in the beginning, even before our first zoom meeting, I had created a rough ‘production timeline’ in Google Sheets to ensure we move forward in a scheduled manner (we’re using Google Drive as our collaborative workspace). During our first call, everyone contributed their estimations on the timeline and we can foresee how long this project will take (boy were we optimistic back then). We were quite flexible with these ‘deadlines’ to be honest, and have shifted some around when we needed more time. I know this isn’t a good practice for when we have to face the industry world, but since we’re all still learning the process of making a short film and being our own producer in this $0 budget project, we tried not to be too hard on ourselves.

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Our super-duper early Production Timeline back in March 23, 2020

Five days after our first meeting, we created an “Asset List”, and started listing everything that needs to be modeled (characters, sets, props). Next to each asset, we have the modeler’s and texturer’s name and the status (Not Yet Started, In Progress, or Approved). To ease our data input, Nate - our reliable tech guy - equips our Google Sheets page with conditional formatting to automate the cell-coloring process. I then added the data validation touch so that people can just select from a drop-down menu instead of manually inputting the status column. Yes, I am a geek when it comes to Google Sheets, but basically this is what it looked like:

Nate's conditional formatting + my data validation in our Asset List

We also created a Google Slide to store our image references for our characters and assets. Anything that serves as our inspiration is in this slide, including references for the visual style we’re going for. Since Amanda and I were the only Indonesians in the team (at that moment), this Google Slide is crucial for us to expose and share as much as we can to the team everything they need to know about Indonesian elements for this short. Simply put, it is our research pack. Of course, this approach is far less effective compared to on-site research, but this is as close as we can get with our non-existing budget :') Our team members, nevertheless, are keen to learn and absorb some Indonesian culture and reflect it through their work (more on this in later chapters).

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Some of our references slides that we heavily use

You can take a glimpse at our [super early] Production Timeline, Asset List, and References slides here:

Chapter cover by Alyssa Lee

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