How To: Create a Shot List

Hiring a production team to create a professional video?  Help ensure you wind up with the product you’re anticipating with some pre-planning of your own.

You may not need to get as detailed as a Director or Producer, diving into the details of each shot to be taken as well as the angle and motion, but taking time to think through a more general “shot list” can help prevent any guesswork and keep the content you are creating on track toward your desired goal.

The shot list is a helpful tool to share with your video team to ensure their most effective planning. You don’t need all of the answers, but collaboration, asking questions and raising concerns is always to your benefit.

Your Shot List should include:

Locations / Time of Day
Who will be in the video

Start with locations: Where will the video take place? What’s the background or time of day? Do you want to include sunrises and sunsets?  Will it be in one area or will there be several to cover? Whether the locations are far away from each other or in the same building it’s important to consider details from time of day to parking and transporting a crew with equipment from one point to the next.  

Scenes:  What actions do you want to see?  Who do you want to see? Will this be a video following a day in the life of a character? Will it have an interview with a CEO? Will there be a scene with people playing a sport or riding a wave? Jot down a few story line ideas you may have to drive the message you are trying to convey home.

The Shots: Like ours, many production companies take advantage of a variety of cameras to get just the right angle.  If you have specific ideas from what you have seen in videos before, share examples with your production team. GoPros and action cameras lend interesting perspectives, and take excellent time-lapse video, while Drones help step up the production value, and give a great eagle-eye view.  Add them to your shot list. Do you like slow motion or are you more into the reality style of video? After you start watching a lot of videos, you’ll get a sense of your own style and what you want to see in your video.

It will be your Director, Videographer and Producer making sure all of the visuals are captured to reflect the story line of your video, which will then be threaded in a professional, well planned edit.  Be sure to add your input early for the best production planning and guarantee for success.  

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