I think you’ll agree that planning a shoot can be a little scary. Perhaps you know the shots you want, but still worry about everything cutting together in post.
After all, it is very hard to think of everything on a stressful shooting day.
Doing one thing will make sure you get the shots you need. Just make a simple list of shots (AKA “shot list”) to maximize your shooting day. It’s easy and will make your vision crystal clear to your crew.
Download the Shot List Template
There are times when all you need is a basic, quick shot list (i.e. a photography shot list template, etc.) and other times when you need something more robust. So we’ve created both! Download them both here.
What is a “Shot List”?
The easiest way to define a “shot” is as a single event your camera films. Shots sequence together and become scenes, and an organized list of shots (or “shot list”) will keep track of them all.
The director and/or cinematographer fills out the shot list template. It breaks down all the camera positions your scene requires (known as “coverage”).
A variety of camera angles cover the same subject or scene.
It is also useful to label your camera positions on the actual script page. This is called a “lined script”. It will inform how to create a shot list from a script by highlighting where coverage is needed.
LINE A SCRIPT TO PLAN YOUR SHOT LIST
How to line a script to plan your shot list?
Your script is the blueprint of your film, but it doesn’t tell you everything. One thing your script and script breakdown does not specify is where the camera will be for each set-up. So you will need to determine how many angles each scene requires.
To make a lined script, first print out your script and turn to the scene you want to break down. Let’s imagine you have a conversation between two people. One angle you’ll need is a wide shot of the two characters talking (or a “master shot”).
You will need separate angles for each character talking (known as “singles”). Draw separate lines to represent each of these angles. The lines should be parallel to each other in the left margin of the page. Number and label them as well.
A lined script will keep all of your camera angles straight.
Do this for every scene you intend to shoot. This will help you organize the number of angles you will need.