Useful Tip Even a rough floorplan, as long as dimensions are accurate to each other, will allow you to use the 16/35mm Cine-protractor accurately.
Peter BogdanovichIf filmmakers are ignorant of the past, they labor to re-invent the wheel in every picture. You sit and think, ‘Well, we’re back to 1903 here.’
Scale Drawings (Floor Plans) come in several different scales. The Industry standard scales are: 1/8":1 ft. (1:100), 1/4":1 ft. (1:50), or 1/2":1 ft. (1:24).
The most common scale is 1/4" (1 to 50).
Scale drawings are usually drafted by the Production Designer, Art Director, set designer or sometimes the Location Scout. They are primarily used for set construction or set decoration.
Sometimes, however, you don't have a Floor plan prepared for you. It is useful to know how to draw a basic floor plan yourself during location scouts. They are essential for using the Director's Template to prepare shots, and are a useful reminder or what the location looks like.
To prepare a set drawing, you need to first measure the room(s). Ideally you can do this with a tape measure but in some situations, pacing out distances or a calculated guess can work.
While at a location you can do a quick freehand sketch, simply noting the distances involved and any other notations. Using graph paper is helpful but not essential.
A simple sketch like this takes about a minute to draw. Elements worth including are -- Colours of walls, Height of Ceiling, Compass Direction (North).
A basic scale drawing should only take about 5 or 10 minutes to draft. The one below took 6 minutes, based on the previous sketch. I used an architectural template for part of it. Drawing on Graph paper is a good idea, especially graph paper that is divided into standard 1/4" sections.
Once you have a scale floor plan, you can use it to prepare your shots accurately with the Director's Template.
Practice drawing a scale floor plan of the room you are in. First draw a quick sketch of the room and from that draw a more accurate one. You can use this to practice planning your shots with a PROTRACTOR. It helps to work on the room you are in so you can see the reality in relation to the Lens Angles.