Shot Lists for video production

So, what is a shot list?

A shot list, as its name suggests, is a list of every shot to be filmed during the production of a video. This list is created in pre-production and includes details like scene numbers, framing, camera movement, lighting, etc.

How to create a shot list

To create a shot list you will need your script and storyboards. Take your script and go through it to see what shots you will need in each scene. Write them down in the order they will appear in the film. This order can change later to be by location for efficient shooting. For each shot write down the scene number and shot number. You will also need to record specific filming details such as camera framing, camera angle, location, movement, camera lens, frame rate, sound equipment, lighting, and any additional camera equipment needed. It’s also important to include a shot description, actors required, and props.

Check out this article for shot list examples and a downloadable template.

Movie slate

Plan for success with B-roll

Something that is commonly overlooked is B-roll, otherwise known cutaway footage. Let’s say you are making a video about a hockey team. You want to interview the coach, a few players, and maybe even a club volunteer. What will help tell the story and link all those interviews together is B-roll. For this example, B-roll might be a team training session where we capture footage of players stretching, doing a warm up, running drills, and then a practice game. We could capture footage of the coach speaking with the team as a whole but also moments helping individual players. Questions about the club and its facilities might be asked during the interviews so B-roll footage of the ground, building and facilities would help show the viewer what is being talked about. The key with B-roll is to get a variety of footage that will help tell the story.

RED Dragon film camera

How to make sure you plan enough shot coverage

It’s always better to shoot more than not enough. Having to re-shoot because you didn’t get everything you need is time consuming, difficult to organise, and costly, so do everything you can to avoid this. The best way to make sure you get everything you need for your video editor is to use your script and break it down scene by scene. For every scene capture a variety of shots; wide shot, mid-shot, close up. Also vary the camera angles to give different and interesting perspectives. When shooting keep in mind how the video will be brought together in post production.

RED video camera

Next Steps

A shot list is an essential tool in filmmaking. It’s the difference between success and failure of your project. Continue reading to learn about Video Equipment.