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Why creating a shot list is imperative to creating a polished final video project

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Whether you are working on a 30-second television commercial or creating a feature film, creating a shot list is a key component to making sure your shoot runs smoothly and you end up with a polished final project.

 This blog will teach you about the importance of a shot list and how you can create one for your next video project.

What is a shot list?

A shot list is exactly what it sounds like. It is a comprehensive list of all the shots that need to be captured for a particular project. Shot lists are often broken up by various shooting locations, or in a longer video, they may be segmented by various scenes in your production. A shot list serves as a checklist so that on production day you can ensure you are capturing every shot necessary to create your desired final product.

 Why are shot lists important?

Shot lists are important for a variety of reasons. First, production days can often be stressful especially when you are coordinating with multiple shooting locations, talent, and many other factors.  Having a shot list can help take the stress out of shoot days by having a detailed plan for the day. Videos often aren’t shot in sequential order, so having a shot list can ensure you aren’t missing anything you wanted to capture. Going back to capture more footage can put you over your budget and your project timeline. Shot lists can help you lay out all the footage you need in the most efficient way possible. Giving a shot list to a videographer ahead of time can let them understand what is expected of them, how much time they will need for shooting, what equipment to bring, and more.

How to put together a shot list

The best way to put together a shot list is by looking at the script or storyboard for your project. This will help you determine the overall feel of the project and what you are trying to convey. Using this, you can better understand what types of shots are needed to bring your project to life. Once you have determined all the shots you will need, you should organize them into a schedule. Try and group similar shots together as well as organize your shot list by location or talent. This will help things go quicker and allow you to stay on schedule. Make sure to include time frames so the entire team knows the schedule. Include time for setting up equipment and any breaks that may be needed.

What are the key components of a shot list?
  • Shot Description: A brief description of the shot set up and the action
  • Talent: Are there any actors in the shot? If so, what are they doing?
  • Movement: Is this a static shot or will there be camera movement?
  • Sound: Is there any dialogue or sound for this particular shot?
  • Length of shot: How long should the shot be?

Creating and sticking to a shot list not only will help your production day run smoothly but will leave you with an amazing final product. If you need help with an upcoming video project, contact Robert Sharp & Associates. Our creative team can help you with every aspect from finding and coordinating with talent, setting up a shot list, professional directing and filming, and postproduction editing.


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