Why you must create a shot list

December 29th, 2020  |  by amaliehluthra

Why you must create a shot list

Creating a shot list:

Plan your shoot for the day using a shot list. Astute planning for a film shoot is essential. The amount of time you save by having a shot list is incredible.

A well thought out shot list will allow you to run an efficient and smooth shoot day.

It’s incredibly expensive, filming a television series or a short/feature film. You must have a plan before the day begins, which allows you to plan and get the right shots set up to ensure it goes as well as possible.

A well-structured pre-production plan will allow you to produce a film of high quality.

Here we look into what a shot list is and how it can help you shoot the film of dreams and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. 

What is a shot list?

A shot list is a plan of all the shots in which you want to take within one day of shooting. The plan is devised to scope out what type of shots you will be taking during the filming of a scene over the course of the day.

This allows the director to organise the day correctly and ensure they get all the shots they need to tell the storyline as well as they possibly can.

This will also keep the rest of your crew aligned on what’s coming up next. This is an absolute timesaver as the crew will know what they need to prepare for.

It will allow them to dress the actors, get the correct props set up, the right lighting for the scene, and so forth. This allows you to move from shot to shot to a scene in pretty quick time.

Key people to include in the document are the DP (Director of Photography) and AD (Assistant Director). You will want to have their opinion on the shots and what they feel will be suitable for the given time or budget.

What needs to be included in a shot list?

  1. Split the days
  2. Work your way from wide to close up.
  3. Include set up time on the day
  4. Include B-roll in your shot list

Split the days

Splitting the days in the shot list is important. You will want to organise each day separately to ensure you capture the right shots and the timings are accounted for.

Work your way from wide to close up.

On your shoot day, if you are looking to shoot multiple shots of the same scene, make sure you start far and work your way in.

This tip will save you a lot of time when trying to rearrange the shot set up and ensure you capture the shots you need.

Include set up time on the day

Make sure you include time for your crew to get all the equipment moved onto the set and set up correctly. It’s something that gets lost along the way quite often and ends up adding additional time and additional stress to the shoot that could be avoided.

Include B-roll in your shot list

Including B-roll in your shot list is very important. B-roll is always a must, and forgetting to add it to your shot list can be disastrous.

It will save you time, in the long run, having to book an additional day to shoot all the b-roll; simply add it to your shot list where you feel it fits best.


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