The day out of days report (or DOOD report, for short) is an often underrated, occasionally misunderstood, but always powerful tool for production organization.
In this post, we’ll clear the air about both what gives the day out of days meaning on paper and what working with DOODs means out in the real world. We’ll introduce you to the concept of a day out of days schedule, break down pesky DOOD abbreviations with our day out of days cheat sheet, and teach you how to make a DOOD report all on your own.
But first things first:
Before we dig into the nitty gritty, take a moment to download our free day out of days report template.
Use our day out of days template to track talent schedules and upgrade production planning for your next shoot.
Using our DOOD report template to follow along with this post will help you to familiarize yourself with all the details that give a DOOD meaning in a realistic context. With it, you can build a better conceptual framework for working with a day out of days schedule on your own production.
Once you have the days out of days report template in front of you, let’s get started with the basics.
The day out of days report is an organizational document that logs the types and number of working days that an actor spends with a production. The term “day out of days” itself- confusing as it may seem- very literally refers to the document’s purpose of tracking individual workdays as parts and portions of a production’s overall number of workdays.
In general, DOOD reports look like a chart, with columns and rows cataloging different types of workdays for each performer in the cast list over an entire production.
Often overlooked and under-sung, the day out of days report is a derivative of the production schedule and is, therefore, sometimes erroneously called a “days out of days schedule.” The DOOD report’s entire function is to aggregate and organize data drawn from the schedule into a manageable, quickly digestible form.
But it would be a mistake to think of a day out of days schedule as a mere side dish.
While the schedule is what gives a DOOD meaning, its usefulness to a production extends in a direction all its own. The day out of days schedule is a critical decision-making tool. With it, your production team can develop strategies to balance time- and cost-efficiencies.
To learn more, let’s talk about what working with DOODs means in the real world.
Working with DOODs means building bridges between a production’s schedule, its budget, and an actionable logistics plan.
While a project is still in its pre-production phase, its shooting schedule is theoretical and always in flux. Small changes in pre-pro can yield massive consequences during principal photography. Each decision is potentially meaningful. Therefore, the process of optimizing a shooting schedule has the power to make or break a project’s financial and logistical future.
The day out of days schedule is an important tool for making sure that the future is not post-apocalyptic.
By tracking the number of days that a performer will be working for a production according to a given schedule, the day out of days report creates a quick, easy-to-reference data set. The production team can then use that data set to calculate a crucial portion of the costs associated with executing that particular schedule.
In other words, what gives a DOOD meaning is its ability to help production teams plan ahead. The day out of days schedule simplifies the complexity of the overall shooting schedule, creating a way for production teams to focus on and better plan for the schedule’s talent requirements.
Part of this is about logistics management, knowing what actors need to be where and when. But a major portion of what gives the day out of days meaning is rooted in the budget.
As you can see on the template, a day out of days report uses an awful lot of two- and three-letter codes. These strange DOOD abbreviations (which we’ll dive into below) can have a huge impact on your production’s talent budget.
To put it simply, the more days that an actor works on your production, the more days your production will have to pay them for working.
Depending on the performer’s day rate, a few extra days on the day out of days schedule could turn wrap day into judgment day, which is a bad day for you.
That’s part of why of DOOD reports exist; to help you figure out how many days are too many and keep them out of your schedule and, therefore, your budget. A DOOD report can help you estimate an actor’s total pay based on the schedule alone.
In this way, the day out of days schedule can guide budgetary strategy. If a performer’s total cost is too high, your production will need to adjust. You may, for instance, be able to negotiate a lower rate than your initial estimate, though it’s important to be mindful of SAG rates if your production is SAG signatory.
Alternatively, you can adjust the schedule itself. In any case, the day out of days report aggregates information that, in turn, can empower creative problem-solving.
Speaking of creativity…
While days out of days discussions tend to center around actors, the concept itself is not limited as such. The DOOD acronym simply stands for “Day Out Of Days”, no more and no less.
So why not apply what working with DOODs means in other areas of production?
The logic of a DOOD report can just as easily be used to track picture vehicles, locations, animals, stunts, specialized equipment, or anything else your imagination can cook up. The day out of days schedule can help your production better visualize virtually any unique, recurring costs.
However, be careful not to attempt to create a day out of days report for literally every line item in your budget. It simply won’t be relevant or useful in all cases. Instead, view the DOOD as a tool for your producing toolbox; something to pull out when it’s right for the job.
We know by now that DOODs means “Day Out of Days”, but what about all those other pesky DOOD abbreviations and DOOD acronyms? Below, we’ve built a day out of days cheat sheet that breaks down all the code you’ll find on a typical DOOD report.
“SW” or sometimes simply “S” stands for “Start Work” on the day out of days report. It is used to indicate the first day that a performer works for a production.
“W” stands for “Work”. It is used to denote every workday between a performer’s first and last workday on a given production.
“WF” stands for “Work Finish”. This DOOD abbreviation refers to a performer’s final workday, the point after which they are picture wrapped.
As you might guess at this point, “SWF” stands for “Start-Work-Finish”. This code is used to indicate an actor who will only be working for a single day. They “Start Work” and “Finish Work” at the same point in a production’s shooting schedule.
“SWF” and its component acronyms are common. You’ll run into them in most forms and documents that record talent labor, like the SAG Exhibit G for example.
“I” stands for “Idle” on a DOOD report. An “idle” day is any day in which an actor is not working but has also not finished work. Critically, idle days are unpaid.
“H” stands for “Hold”. A “hold” day is one in which an actor is not working but is paid. Think of it like being on-call. If the actor is needed at the last minute, they’ll be called in. If not, they won’t. Either way, they’ll be compensated for their time.
“WD” stands for “Work Drop”. “Work drop” days refer to the final day of work before an actor goes on a hiatus from the shoot for at least seven days.
“PW” stands for “Pickup Work”. It refers to an actor’s first day of work after a work drop hiatus.
Note that the period between a work drop day and a pickup work day can technically be designated as either “idle” or a “hold”, depending on whether or not the actor has negotiated for pay during their production hiatus.
“PWF” stands for “Pickup Work Finish”. This term is used when an actor’s first day after a work drop hiatus is also their last day working for the production.
“SR” stands for “Start Rehearsal”. If your production has an extended rehearsal period planned prior to the shoot, this term is used to denote the actor’s first workday during that period.
“R” stands simply for “Rehearsal”. It’s used to indicate any day that an actor is rehearsing for a production.
Finally, “T” stands for “Travel”. If you’re shooting outside of the studio zone, you may have to pay your cast for time spent traveling to location. These are known as “travel days”.
Traveling tends to be expensive for an average production. To find out how to mitigate the added expense, check out our breakdown of ways to save on crew travel costs.
Remember that the most important DOOD acronym is always SAG-AFTRA. The Screen Actors’ Guild applies additional DOOD meaning to the workday designations described above by maintaining strict rules about their use.
For example, you might be tempted to designate an actor’s workday as “idle” to avoid paying the actor for that particular day, but it’s a choice that could land your production in hot water if your definition of “idle” doesn’t match with SAG’s.
To play it safe, be sure that your production is up-to-date and compliant with all relevant SAG regulations before scheduling idle, work drop, or other periods that may require a unique circumstance. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to your SAG representative directly.
Now that we understand the details that give a day out of days meaning, let’s talk about how to make one for yourself.
There are two basic ways to make a DOOD report for your production:
Using our free DOOD template and everything you now know about what gives a day out of days meaning, you can always generate a DOOD report by hand. Ultimately, all it requires is that you fill out the chart with the appropriate DOOD abbreviations wherever applicable.
The DOOD report should reflect your production’s current schedule. In order to craft a DOOD manually, you’ll need to follow along with your schedule as thoroughly as possible, noting each actor’s work status day-by-day. To ensure safe recordkeeping, each DOOD report that you or your team generates should correspond to a single variation or iteration of your schedule.
In other words, every time you craft a new schedule, you’ll also need to craft a new set of DOOD reports.
Creating a day out of days report by hand is time-consuming. Fortunately, the process itself is relatively straightforward. Working through it might even help you take a more intimate look at your production’s shooting schedule.
Alternatively, you can speed up DOOD generation by letting computers do the hard work.
As mentioned above, editing your DOODs means editing your schedule. These two documents are directly, intimately, and eternally linked. Therefore, the easiest way to generate a day out of days report is to let your scheduling software do it automatically.
Industry-standard scheduling software can output an up-to-date DOOD with just a few clicks. The digitized process is fast and easy, but that doesn’t mean you should skip due diligence. Giving automatically generated DOOD reports a manual review after output is a highly recommended best practice for avoiding costly errors in the long run.
The day out of days report is the unsung hero of production planning. Be sure to take advantage of its power during your next pre-pro phase by downloading our DOOD template and keeping it close at hand.
Want to learn more about production prep? Check out our post on how to create a film budget or learn how to avoid expensive payroll mistakes that could cost you big!
At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.