Creating a shoot list

Behind the scenes, promotion video with actors, lights and camera crew

Creating a Shot List

The process of creating a video is complex and lengthy. Hours of work go into project managing a perfect video, whether it is a brief explainer video or a longer documentary style piece of content, video producers go through many stages to create the perfect piece of video content. When a video production company begins the process of creating a new video, they will carry out considerable preparation before they even start to film. A professional videographer will need to source a suitable set, coordinate logistics, manage the lighting and capture the right angles at the right time. Some videos are more complex to produce, and they will require even more thought, planning, time and consideration. One of the best ways that a video production team can better organise their video production schedule is to create what is known as a shot list.

A shot list is a valuable document that all good video producers will use. It will clearly outline what will occur and when but in meticulous detail. Each video will be divided into a series of scenes or screens and the shot list will detail what happens in a particular shot or scene. A shot list is one of the most important documents in the video producer’s toolkit because it will serve as an in depth checklist that serves as a framework or outline of how the video will unfold and it will sufficiently prepare the production team for producing the content.

Larger productions with lots of complicated content, multiple people and a variety of scenes will always benefit from a shot list. This is because when a video is lengthy and complex, a video production team will need to keep track of all the different elements involved in creating the video and also to keep the production moving toward the end goal. A long video will typically involve many different scenes, lots of people and an endless stream of props, so keeping track of all this would be impossible without some official document to keep everything in one place. Many production teams will use the shot list as a way to organise their thoughts prior to starting any filming and this will often be used as a form of schedule to govern how the video will be produced

Purpose of a Shot List

When shot lists are developed, they are usually created in line with the pre-production process and script writing. Both of these elements are important to the final production and the shot list should complement and strengthen each of these processes.

Although business owners don’t really need to understand the various components of a shot list, it can be beneficial to understand how they work so you can provide your production team with the right information.

It is relatively easy to create a shot list but there are quite specific pieces of information that should be included such as:

The number of the scene
The shot number
The location of the filming
A description of the shot
Information about framing
Details about specific actions and/or dialog to be included
Who is involved in the particular scene (important if the video includes many different people)
Whether any props are needed
Additional notes that will facilitate the process

Your shots should be clearly organised based on the location of the shoot. Sometimes in a complex video filming can take place in multiple locations and it is easy to lose track of what was filmed and where. It can make things easier to shoot similar scenes together because you can film everything you need to at a specific period of time which will save resources and increase efficiency. More often than not, a production team won’t film a video in the same order as the storyboard, so a shot list can prove very helpful.

Different Types of Shots

The video production team will also need to determine what kind of shot they will be filming, whether it’s a close up or wide shot. This will also detail the specific camera angles that will be required and the movement of the camera to create the desired effect. Camera angles can be high or low and they could be on a handheld device or a crane. These are all important considerations for a video production team and is only a very small part of the process. Once the camera is arranged for each scene the production team then need to do the same but for audio devices.

The shot list will also need to identify the object of each shot or scene, whether this is a single actor, an employee, a group of people, a prop or something that is focal for each of the shots. The shot description is integral to this process because it will give the production team a clear outline of what needs to happen in each shot. The description will also include information on what actor will be in the scene, what action they need to take and any props that are involved as well as what the camera will need to capture.

This document is invaluable in any production process and it can help production teams map out the direction of your video and consult it through each stage of the production process. Once each of the shots have been captured in accordance with the shot list, the video production team can then start putting together the various components to create the final video.

If you have never worked with a video production agency before, you don’t need to worry too much about things like the shot list because this will be something that they will take care of. The more information that you can provide however will really help the team create a comprehensive list that will capture everything that you want to and save time during the editing process. Working with a video production company is one of the most effective ways that you can create high quality, high value content that really does engage with your audience.

Are you ready to succeed with great video production?

Three Gables
Hemel Hempstead


Get in touch to see how we can help.

Copyright © 2020 Square Pixel Productions Limited