Shot Lists

sonnyboo

New member
That is a great template!

I always do shot lists before storyboards. They are invaluable at the least as a backup to shooting on the fly and making sure you get everything you intended.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
You make the shot list from the script, right? I was thinking maybe we post a script and then make a shot list for it and then a story board? How many pages would we need for a good shot list? What is the rule of thumb on number of pages shot per day?
 
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Depends on the budget and schedule. Think of it this way, if you have a 100 page script and 25 days to shoot it in, you'll have to average 4 pages a day. Of course, in reality, some days are heavier than others to balance the actual work better, it takes longer to shoot some types of scenes than others.

I generally find that if you only have one camera, a shot list that has over 30 set-ups on it is a bit ambitious though possible. My feeling is that you have to prioritize and mark which shots on the list are more important than others.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Thanks you David! That Makes sense. I remember how important you said pre-production is. Is the shot list a collaboration between the cinematographer and director? It seems like it is something that much change at least some because you might see that it would be better to do it one way than the shot list specification. However, as far as time management goes it would be faster to stick to a shot list? Do you have a shot list we can see from something you shot?
 
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Every show is different, sometimes the shot list is a collaboration between the director and the cinematographer, sometimes it's just the director's list, sometimes there is only a list for big complex scenes or only for the first few days of shooting. If I don't have the time to prep a list for the entire shoot, I'll get the director to concentrate on the first week's work because it's useful to get the show off on a good start and everyone can see that you know what you want. After that, it's OK to be more "reactive" to what's going on the set because you've nailed the style down for coverage and often by this point, there may be script changes, location changes, schedule changes, that require you to be more flexible, unless the shot list is being created every night before the next day's shoot -- some directors do that rather than do all of that work in prep.

Here is a shot list that I wrote down for the first day of shooting on a feature, based on notes from the director:

Sc. 2 & 7 – PUMPKIN FIELD
Golden late afternoon light

#1 Extreme WS of stage, shooting beyond set area, to be enhanced in post. Patrick & Pumpkin Farmer

#2 A-CAM: WS of set, no efx, w/ Patrick & Pumpkin Farmer. Slow sideways DOLLY along f.g. dressing. (B-CAM: medium 2-shot)

#3 Tight on clod of dirt in Patrick’s hands / TILT UP to MCU Patrick

#4 MCU Pumpkin Farmer

Sc. 58 & 61 –PUMPKIN FIELD w/ ROAD
Overcast light

#5 DOLLY past fallen crates & bags to MCU Chet looking around (efx adds more distant parachutes & crates falling in b.g. sky)

#6 Camera inside car looking over Cleveland’s shoulder / Car pulls up and stops with Chet visible in b.g. through front windshield / Cleveland gets out of car and joins him, all framed by front windshield.

#7 MCU Cleveland stepping out of car and looking up at sky (efx adds more distant parachutes and crates falling in b.g. sky) / he exits frame towards Chet

#8 A-CAM: 2-shot Chet & Cleveland stooping over bag & broken crate.
B-CAM: tighter 2-shot of CU Chet & Cleveland

#9 INSERT: gold powder in fertilizer
 

david landau

New member
A lot of it has to do with your schedule. I did an indie feature that only had 18 day (three weeks) to shoot. We shot with two cameras and every night after dinner I would sit with the director and Ad and we'd do the shot list for the next day. We had scouted a month before and I had written down notes on every scene during that, working with the director, so these evenings were a fast recap of my notes and diagrams from the scout. The PM wrote it up and the AD put the list on the back of the call sheet. This really helped the crew as the camera dept knew what they were going for each day as well as the electric and grip depts. If it hadn't been as tight a schedule, there would have been more time to be more reactive to each scene. Of course things would change lightly sometimes, but by and large we stuck to the shot lists. When shooting with two cameras the printed shot list really makes things move faster since the ACs can set up the right lens as they set up the cameras and the Ops have an idea of the framing they'll be doing.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Thank you to both Davids and thank you David M. for the real life example. I wonder if you ad notes on lenses or other details on things like equipment or specific details for set up you want or if that is something your crew has learned or knows by experience.
 

david landau

New member
Yes, I add lenses and filters to the shot list. That might change but at least it gives us a start to see what we're looking at as fast as possible. It helps the Ad and the director's work flow as they have something to look at immediately during the blocking rehearsal.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I think maybe another topic about lens choices. Are there categories of lenses and what are the differences and what makes one a good choice over another for what purpose? I have wanted to have a lens workshop for sometime now. I am not sure how to set it up but there must be a way to teach about lenses.
 
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