# Shooting Ratio

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### #1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:30 PM

Hi there,

I'm not quite a newbie but to this day I still get confused as to what a shooting ratio is (eg when people say 15 to 1 or something like that).

Could someone fill me in?

Thank you,
Ash.
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### #2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:36 PM

It's the ratio between what was shot and what ended up in the final cut. So if a feature length movie ends up being 10,000' long in 4-perf 35mm and they shot 200,000' of 4-perf 35mm stock, then that's a 20:1 ratio.
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### #3 Benson Marks

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:16 PM

Hi there,

I'm not quite a newbie but to this day I still get confused as to what a shooting ratio is (eg when people say 15 to 1 or something like that).

Could someone fill me in?

Thank you,
Ash.

Film runs through the 35mm camera, and the projector, at a speed of 90 feet per minute (16mm film runs at a speed of 36 feet per minute). Therefore, your final 35mm movie, if its running time is 90 minutes, will be 8,100 feet long (90 feet/minute X 90 minutes).

To determine the amount of film you will purchase to commence your shoot, multiply the first number of the shooting ratio (the ratio between [A] how many feet of unexposed film you purchase to start your shoot and the number of [B] feet of film there is in your completed print) that you have budgeted for by the number of feet in your final print.

For example, if budgeting for a 3:1 shooting ratio (three takes of a single shot or three shots of one take each to make a scene) on a 90-minute film (8,100 feet), you'd probably purchase 24,300 feet of film (8,100 feet X 3).

Shooting ratios can vary greatly between productions but a typical shooting ratio for a production using film stock will be between 6:1 and 10:1, whereas a similar production using video is likely to be much higher.
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### #4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:41 AM

Shooting ratios can vary greatly between productions but a typical shooting ratio for a production using film stock will be between 6:1 and 10:1, whereas a similar production using video is likely to be much higher.

This is often a budget restriction, a BBC film drama (Super 16) quite commonly has an 18:1 shooting ratio. Some major feature films have much larger shooting ratios, especially if the director likes doing lots of takes or multi camera action scenes. Personally I feel the 10:1 to 12:1 range gives you a degree of comfort about going for performances and decent coverage without a feeling of compromising things, but not going crazy shooting everything.

Video shoots have higher shooting ratios for various reasons: it's cheap, the cameras are ofyen left running as a shot is picked up, sound is commonly also being recorded single system so VT time is allowed for sound overlaps and recording wild tracks.
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### #5 Ashley Barron

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:37 PM

To determine the amount of film you will purchase to commence your shoot, multiply the first number of the shooting ratio (the ratio between [A] how many feet of unexposed film you purchase to start your shoot and the number of [B] feet of film there is in your completed print) that you have budgeted for by the number of feet in your final print.

I'm a tad confused..how do you decide on the shooting ratio before you know what to budget for?
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### #6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:50 PM

Well, unfortunately, it's a little like scheduling -- there are the number of shooting days you think you'll need... and then there's the actual number of shooting days you actually can afford.

So schedules end up being based less on reality and more on budgets. Shooting ratios are a bit like that. You may decide you need a 15:1 ratio... but you end up trimming that to 7:1 because that's all you can afford and you don't want to go lower.
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### #7 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:51 AM

I'm a tad confused..how do you decide on the shooting ratio before you know what to budget for?

There are some things - improvisation, lots of child talent, lots of big stuntwork that many camera will be running on - that will send up a flag that a higher shooting ratio will be needed.
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### #8 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:59 AM

Some factors to consider in shooting ratios include:

Lo-no budg productions in public locations. Noisy locations with random loud noises increase the number of blown takes. In my area, pick-up trucks are a common take-killer. ADR is sometimes the only way to keep the ratio intact at the expense of the post production budget. Usually, though, we've shot video and just let the camera roll. Uncontrollable noise, alone, doubles, even triples our ratios.

Untrained and quirky actors. Getting a take that is anywhere close to being useful from an average performer is hard enough. You get an actor that has head or emotional problems and the take ratio can go through the roof right along with the budget, patience of the crew, other cast and the sanity of everyone associated. Scenes that don't work can end up needing re-shooting. Fire crazy performers immediately (before re-shoots come into play) and recast with anyone who comes close or better. On the bottom end of production nut-bag performers are plentiful. They can act (lie) their way into your production. But, they can't hold up to the rigors of movie making.

Inefficient production techniques. This can happen at any level, at any time and with anybody. Keep everyone's ass in gear and keep grinding out takes as efficiently as possible. Movie making is part carnival, part factory and part art. Juggling that is up to the principle creators like the producer, director, production managers, line producers, DPs, assistant director and any department heads. On a lo-no budg production most of those departments and jobs are your job.

Hope that's useful.
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### #9 Ashley Barron

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:33 PM

Thank you all for the info, it has been really useful. Now I get it!
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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:43 AM

Some factors to consider in shooting ratios include:

Lo-no budg productions in public locations. Noisy locations with random loud noises increase the number of blown takes. In my area, pick-up trucks are a common take-killer. ADR is sometimes the only way to keep the ratio intact at the expense of the post production budget. Usually, though, we've shot video and just let the camera roll. Uncontrollable noise, alone, doubles, even triples our ratios.

Untrained and quirky actors. Getting a take that is anywhere close to being useful from an average performer is hard enough. You get an actor that has head or emotional problems and the take ratio can go through the roof right along with the budget, patience of the crew, other cast and the sanity of everyone associated. Scenes that don't work can end up needing re-shooting. Fire crazy performers immediately (before re-shoots come into play) and recast with anyone who comes close or better. On the bottom end of production nut-bag performers are plentiful. They can act (lie) their way into your production. But, they can't hold up to the rigors of movie making.

Inefficient production techniques. This can happen at any level, at any time and with anybody. Keep everyone's ass in gear and keep grinding out takes as efficiently as possible. Movie making is part carnival, part factory and part art. Juggling that is up to the principle creators like the producer, director, production managers, line producers, DPs, assistant director and any department heads. On a lo-no budg production most of those departments and jobs are your job.

Hope that's useful.

Awesome,it was the best description that I had heard. Cool.
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### #11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:41 AM

Bear in mind that the barest coverage needs getting on for 3:1.
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### #12 francois bordez

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

Awesome,it was the best description that I had heard. Cool.

I second that!

Edited by francois bordez, 28 September 2012 - 10:48 PM.

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### #13 Ins Portugal

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

I don't know if it's too naive to say this, but what confuses me is how you calculate the amount of wasted exposed film - I mean, not actual usable footage, but the time between the camera starting to roll and the actual beginning of the action, as well as the called 'cut' and the actual camera stopping.

If this is included in the ratio, how do you roughly calculate how much you'll be wasting?

If this could be residual when shooting a short length project, I can imagine that might not be the case in a feature, specially when shooting at a high ratio.

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### #14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

I don't know if you need to calculate it unless you are aiming for a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio, something super tight, otherwise if you give yourself a 10:1 shooting ratio, for example, that will include both shot footage not in the final cut and general waste and slop.  You generally figure that many 1000' and 400' 35mm rolls will end up with at least a 10' to 30' short end unless they rolled out on a take.

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