Every production, from large Hollywood blockbusters to small indie films, uses shot lists to stay organized. But formatting and making a shot list are not simple tasks. Each aspiring filmmaker should have a working knowledge of shot lists, including what they are, how to read them, and how to format their own.
A Shot List Is What?
A shot list is a comprehensive list of all the camera shots that must be taken during a scene in a video production. It was developed by the director and the cinematographer during preproduction and contains detailed information about each shot, including the camera, shot type, and shot size, so the cinematographer and assistant director are aware of exactly what needs to be recorded in order to visually convey the story.
Why Shot Lists Are Important
Since doing so would be inefficient and slow down production, movies are rarely shot in order. Determine the most effective shooting schedule using the shot list. The crew can save time by grouping the photos according to lens settings, for instance, if a scene necessitates many shots with both a 50mm and an 85mm lens.
Additionally, a shot list keeps each department on schedule and guarantees that all crew members are aware of which sequences are being shot when. It establishes the camera crew's equipment requirements, the lighting arrangements that must be made, the call times for the actors, and the preparation requirements for the locations, set pieces, and props.
The 12 Components of a Shot List
Although each director formats their shot list slightly differently, they all often include similar details, such as:
1. Shot number: Each individual shot is given a reference number (or "shot").
2. Shot description: a succinct synopsis of the dialogue and/or action.
3. Shot size refers to the subject's size within the frame.
4. The camera angle, or how the camera frames the subject, determines the shot type.
5. Movement: The amount of camera movement (or lack thereof) during the shot
6. The camera used to take the picture is the equipment.
7. Lens: The optics of the camera used to take the picture.
8. frame rate, or how frequently frames are recorded.
9. Location: the area where the photo was taken.
10. actors: the people who appeared in the photograph.
11. Sound: the method used to record the dialogue and/or sound.
12. More remarks: any additional anecdotes the director wants to share with the team regarding the shot?
5 Steps to Making a Shot List
A shot list is a crucial production document, but it's also a chance for the director and cinematographer to express their creativity. It forces you to consider how different camera angles might tell a story, enhance a scene, or reveal information about a character.
Create a spreadsheet for your shot list so you can simply organize and reorganize the information on what is needed for each shot. Anyone on the crew should be able to recognize the director's intent as soon as they glance at the shot list and know what they need to do to help bring it to life.
Here's how to make a list of camera shots:
1. Pick a scene from your script, then launch a fresh spreadsheet. Each individual shot receives a separate row, and the 12 elements mentioned above serve as the columns.
2. Describe in detail how you intend to take each individual scene shot one at a time. Think about how you want to take each shot, and then fill in the columns on the spreadsheet in accordance, using your knowledge of shot sizes, shoot kinds, and camera motions. For instance, make a note of the locations for the establishing picture, individual coverage, and potential locations for a medium or close-up shot.
Starting with 1, assign a different number to each shot. Make a new row in the spreadsheet each time you fire a new shot.
4.Ensure that every element of the scene has its own shot.
5. To better understand how your shot list will come to life and make necessary adjustments, draw basic ideas or create a storyboard.
Beyond the Shot List Filming
As long as you're getting everything on your shot list, which serves as your guide, you should have enough time to also get any additional material that's not on there. Every film needs breathing room, and in the editing room, you can find that you need to shift between locales, evoke a space, or just illustrate the passing of time.
Plan to gather a bank of photographs throughout shooting that may not technically fit your planned shot list but may be useful and provide possibilities during editing. Work with your cinematographer to ensure they are aware of the kinds of images that excite you, and urge them to look into how each filming location may be used to its fullest advantage for these extra pick-up shots.
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