Not the most exciting topic to speak about, but one of the most important. Timelines are one of those things you don’t really want to do but have to and are incredibly crucial. This obviously doesn’t just apply to film production but to many creative industries.

At the beginning of every project once the concept has been signed off it’s always good to map out the plan of when this film will be delivered. Usually, most clients will have a deadline so the timeline is not always something we control from our side.

Our producers, production managers, and studio managers will consult with the necessary people involved, these might be art directors from an animation point of view or film director if live action.

Also, in the timeline, you always give an opportunity for the client to feedback meaning you’re going one step at a time. This gives you as a producer an opportunity to find out about key pieces of information such as if a key stakeholder is on holiday or out of the country which can be recorded within the timeline.

Here are some key points:


Be honest

If the production process needs extra days be honest up front this is on both client and production sides. If you feel as a client you need a week for sign off, then give yourself that time. If you’re working via a creative agency then this can increase time with many signs offs in place.

Have a dedicated person

Have a dedicated producer or production manager (In our case we have our beloved studio manager, Amanda) reminding everyone from the junior designer to the senior stakeholder about what’s coming up in the next few days. This allows the resource to be booked and avoid occurring on extra costs.

Keep it simple

Sometimes we have two timelines an internal one and a client facing one. The reason for this you want to keep it simple, we’re all busy so you want to glance at it and instantly understand it.

Tools are a precious help!

Project management tools are there, use them!

There are all sorts of ways to keep organized like:

  • Google sheets allow others from the team to look and keep its cloud based.
  • Project management software such as Basecamp which we like to use to keep everyone on track. Clients can even be invited as well so everyone knows what’s happening.


What are your secrets for being always on track with your timeline? Share them in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!