When beginning the filming process, there comes a lot of preparation before hitting the record button such as finding a set, adjusting lighting, and having the proper camera angles. One way to organize this preparation is with a shot list.
Why is a shot list important? A shot list is a document that maps out exactly what will occur and what will be used in that particular shot, or scene, of the film. It serves as a detailed checklist that gives the video a sense of direction and prepares the crew for film expectations. Shot lists are helpful for bigger productions that require shots at multiple settings or features several actors, therefore it allows directors to organize their thoughts before filming begins.
Making a Shot List
So how do you create a shot list? Typically, a shot list includes the scene number, shot number, location, shot description, framing, action/dialogue, actors involved, props needed, and extra notes.
Below is an example of a shot list:
Begin by organizing your shots based on the shot location. Grouping similar shots makes it easier to shoot because you are able to film everything you need at one given time.
It’s important to note that this may not necessarily be in order of shot number. For example, if you were going to be shooting a scene at a lake for the beginning and end of the video, you’d want the shot list to indicate that when at the lake, you need to capture all of those shots.
Even though you will not be filming in order of the storyboard, this makes filming much more convenient.
Type of Shots
Next, decide what kind of shot you’ll be filming, such as a wide shot (WS) or a close-up (CU). In addition to the type of shot, the camera angles and camera moves should be specified.
Angles may include a high or low level, where a move may be on a handheld camera or on a crane. Once you’ve decided your camera work, it’s important to address how you will be picking up the audio, may that be through a boom mic or a voice-over.
Capturing Your Subjects
Next, identify the subject of your shot, which is considered the focus of the shot.
A subject can be an actor, a group of actors, a prop, or a setting that is focal to the shot. Adding the shot description gives directors a clear guideline of what is happening in the shot.
This can include the actor involved, the action they are taking, the props involved, and what exactly the camera will be capturing.
Now that you’ve mapped out the direction of your video, you’re ready to start shooting!
Once you’ve captured your shots, it will be time to start putting them together and building your video. In case you’re in search of a video editing tool, TechSmith Camtasia is an easy-to-use option. Download the free trial to get started today!