Q: What is a “day-out-of-days,” or DOOD?

When planning shots for a production, a document called the “day out of days” is generated. It lists what actors are working on what days, whether they are starting, working and/or finishing and gives the production team a clear picture of the density of their shooting schedule.

The process of planning a film or TV shoot is long, arduous and detailed. Everything from making sure every shot is accounted for, to locations, scenery, lighting, stunts and background casting and more is checked and double checked as the schedule is laid in.

After everything has been accounted for, the process of streamlining the shots into an efficient flow of similar shots begins, making sure that all shots needed at a particular location or with a group of actors are shot at the same time – saving money, but often out of order. It’s not unusual to have the last scene in a film shot towards the beginning of the schedule, and vice versa.

During that process, the day-out-of-days document, or DOOD for short, is derived.

The DOOD is nothing more than a simple grid that lists what actors are working on what days, published by the unit production manager and his/her staff.

And to add information to the document, rather than just using an X to mark working days, a code is used to help the producers, director, AD’s, wardrobe and others plan their work: the actors’ work days are letter coded to help the production team know not only who’s working when, but whether they are starting their work or finishing their booking, even if they are only working one day on the project.

The simple to follow code:

S: Actor starts work today
W: Actor works today, has worked already and will work again
F: Actor finishes work today and is wrapped

The character name is usually used on the DOOD, not the actor’s name, as there may be more than one actor playing the role, the actor may replaced, etc.

Here’s an example of a DOOD:

-date-              3/23  3/24  3/25  3/26  3/27  3/28
John Berryman       SW    W      W     W     W     WF
Detective Smith            SW           W     WF
Julie McReady        SW    W      W     W     W     WF
Grandpa                    SW     W     W     WF
Store clerk                      SWF
Stunt double: John                SW          WF

As you can see, our lead character, John Berryman, is working all six days of the shoot. Others work their schedules, and by looking at the DOOD, they know what days to set aside for the booking. And what’s that “Single White Female” SWF entry for the store clerk? It means that actor is a one-day player, starting, working and finishing all in the same day.

This is helpful to all the departments, not just the actors. As examples, wardrobe can plan availability of garments and cleaning, the producers can plan how much food they’ll need (3/26 is going to require more food than 3/23 as there will be more actors on set and likely more support people) and so on,

The DOOD may change as the production moves forward – even changing while shooting if the weather doesn’t cooperate, actors or other personnel are ill or drop out of the project etc. Ask the 2nd AD for the latest DOOD if you’re not sure.

What’s your answer to this acting question? Let me know in the comments below.