11 Aug

Most directors create a “shot list” prior to filming their movie.   In essence, a shot list determines how a camera is set-up and utilized during the filming of scenes.  There is no one way to create a shot list and I’m sure every director has his/her own method.

To begin with, every time the camera is set-up or used in a new or different way, that constitutes a new “shot.”  For instance, a movie might start with a shot of a man’s shaky hand, then cut to a new shot revealing a groom standing at the altar.  So, basically, a shot list covers camera angles, camera movement, camera distance from key subjects, and the type of camera lens used.

Here is a sequence of shots from my short film, Fade to Red:

You can see the camera has moved in some way, shape or form in-between each shot above.

And here is an actual page of my shot list from my short film, First Light (Note: WS = Wide Shot & MCU = Medium Close-Up):

As you can see above, I also include notes regarding the actors’ performance and blocking in my shot list.

Overall, my shot list for Girlfriend 19, is going very well and is near completion.  The most difficult part for me is fighting cliché.  It’s tempting to fall back on  shots that have traditionally been used and that convey a particular meaning.  Though I will utilize such shots often, I generally want to challenge myself to pick shots more intentionally, which will convey ideas and evoke moods more effectively.

In the end, every shot in a film must be intentional and well directed!

And if you’re interested, here is a link to watch my film, Fade to Red.


5 Responses to “GIRLFRIEND 19 Shot List”

  1. Carin Jones September 7, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    This is so mind boggling to a movie industry layman! It just blows me away!! When I sit down and watch a movie I never think about the deliberate, scripted, well planned shots that go into the making! Chris, I love how you have guided even the most elementary of us through this very complex process of movie making! I can’t wait to see the final product!

  2. Ryan Lucchesi August 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Indeed sir! Every shot must be intentional and well directed! It’s the difference between amateurs and professionals. Fade To Red was very intriguing. Hard to watch, in a good way.

    • Christopher August 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

      “Hard to watch, in a good way.” Love that! Thank you so much for watching for the comment. Much appreciated…

      • Ryan Lucchesi August 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

        :) I am the one appreciative of your technique and vision.


  1. No Ordinary Phone Conversation… « Follow My Film - November 20, 2010

    […] answer to my dilemma came as I prepared my shot list.  It occurred to me that a telephone conversation is a wonderful time to be creative visually.  I […]

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