Daily Production ReportsAlso known as DPRs, daily production reports are published daily and are essential to officially recording the daily happenings during the most expensive time of filmmaking: principal photography.

DPR: What are they?

The daily production report summarizes all the reports – from the Camera Department to the Sound Department and various other department reports – in one final location to be delivered to the Accounting department and Executives and to detail what happened that day. It is imperative to be absolutely clear and accurate in the reporting of everything on the DPR – from the most general to the smallest, most minute detail. DPRs are the first documents examined if there are any legal problems or an insurance claim.

DPR: Who generates them?

The AD collects the information, generates the draft, and sends the report with all its backup paperwork to the Production Coordinator. The PC then distributes the information to the departments accordingly; keeping a backup copy in the production files, and checks the accuracy of the information.

To better estimate the cost of the day’s shoot, the Accounting department may need an unsigned DPR. The PC may also add observational notes while finalizing the report and once it is complete, the PC passes it on to the Production Manager.

The PM then reviews the report, adding more notes and revising already written notes as needed. The PM then evaluates the information to generate specifics about the daily production cost. At the end of the chain, the PM and the first A.D. sign the final copy to approve it for distribution. It is the PC that arranges the signing of the document and the distribution of the final copy of the DPR.

DPR: Who reads them?

To see how production is progressing, and look into insurance claims, should they occur, the producers, executives, financiers, bonding company, and the claim adjusters all read the daily production reports.

DPR: How to read one…

The Header:

  • Notes the day and date of the shoot
  • Identifies the production title and crew
  • Provides a detailed time outline of:
  • The call time
  • First shot
  • Lunch time
  • First shot after lunch
  • Ending time
  • Time of last person out

Questions you should ask: Is there efficient timing and execution of the tasks? Are the crew members making the most out of the scheduled time or are there areas where there is improvement needed? If so, devise an approach to address the matter. Is the weather, according to the annotation on the DPR, affecting the shoot? Is this why there were delays or is this the reason for the improvement from the day before?

Continuity Report:

  • Contains chart reporting information from Continuity top sheet
  • Scenes both planned and shot
  • Pages of script, planned and shot
  • Screen time, planned and shot
  • New estimated running time
  • Scenes shot that day
  • Wild lines recorded

Questions you should ask: Are there reasonable goals being set and met? If not, re-evaluate what the ideal goals and realistic goals are and try to meet half way. Is there a balance between the captured scenes and page count? If not, is the imbalance reasonable or does a new approach need to be taken?

Camera Report:

  • The amount of picture stock used and remaining
  • Number of takes
  • The selected takes
  • What tape/card drivers were used
  • Type of film stock used
  • Number of feet run through the camera and exposed, printed, or wasted
  • Film that became short ends
  • Film remaining in inventory
  • Total amount of inventory used

Questions you should ask: Is the amount of allotted film stock being used wisely? Is the budget for the amount of picture stock to be used daily being followed or is the film being wasted? If using digital, is the time being used to edit the footage being more counterproductive? If more time is being spent editing the film than it is worth, there must be a re-evaluation of the decisions, or lack of, being made on shoot day to save more time on the back end.

Sound Report:

  • Number of sound rolls used

Questions you should ask: Although sound rolls are not as expensive as film, there must be a thorough evaluation of the quality of the sound being recorded. It is expensive to replace sound and must therefore be closely inspected for quality, or lack of, to avoid extra cost at the end.

Cast Report:

  • List of all cast members with performer’s call time, travel time, lunch time, and ending time
  • Number of wardrobe fittings

Questions you should ask: Is the time being used wisely by all cast members? Is the overtime budgeted? If so, was it necessary? If it was not budgeted, look at the whole of the daily record and look to see where time was not used to the maximum potential and address the problem.

Extras Report:

  • Number of background performers of which type were on set
  • Performer’s call time, lunch time, end time, and travel time
  • Stand-in set times

Questions you should ask: Was the number of background performers and their time clocked within the budget? Did they work overtime and was it necessary?

 

Crew Report:

  • Time of arrival on the set of each crew member
  • Time of departure of each crew member
  • Work time and listing of crew hired beyond regular unit

Questions you should ask: Are there certain members of the crew pulling an excessive amount of overtime needlessly and has it become a pattern? If it has become a pattern, a plan of approach must be made.

Lunch Report:

  • Number of plates purchased that day
  • Number of snacks purchased
  • Number of second meals purchased, should there be a second meal time

Questions you should ask: Are the meals being purchased and ordered the number of meals budgeted for?

Notes:

  • This is a list of miscellaneous information recorded throughout the day. It is crucial to review and edit the notes present and for the production manager to add his/her own notes.

Every other occurrence of the day must be recorded in the notes section. Was a crew member late and if so how did it affect the shoot, if at all? Are there problems with a particular crew member? Has a pattern developed and if it has a tactful approach must be devised to address the subject.

DPR: The Publishing

Some productions may have the daily production report handwritten in ink or computer generated. It is crucial that the document is signed in ink. The Coordinator will be in charge of the distribution of the official, signed DPR.

DPR: The Second Unit

If there is a second unit shooting, a separate daily production report must be generated. It is recommended to find a way to visually differentiate between the first and second unit so as not to get them confused.