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Average Length of Time Per Shot


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#1 Adrian J

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:58 PM

Hello all,

When reviewing a shot list in pre-production, I was wondering if there is an average length of time that professionals allot to each shot (depending on location, of course), just to give a director or producer an idea of how to schedule things?

Is there a resource that might break this down incorporating different shooting scenarios?

Thanks for any help in this area,

Adrian
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#2 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:06 PM

impossible to say ... but I've always found things average out to about 1/2 hour per shot.

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom, 24 August 2009 - 08:07 PM.

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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:07 PM

I'd say it comes film to film. Sometimes you can roll within 20 minutes, other times you're working on lighting/rigging for hours. It all depends.
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#4 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:09 PM

but why is it a TV show can shoot 10 pages in a day, and a big feature can barely manage 1 3/8???
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:13 PM

Wouldn't know on TV shows, the only one of those I've been on have been studio set cooking/aerobics etc. But, I would think a lot of it comes down to the fact that you almost "have to" work faster on a TV show. I know in situations where I have to get x number of pages per day, I get 'em because it's required. I'd say that goes all the way through all departments. There are some days where you can take 10 takes to get it "perfect," whatever that means, and other times when you'll be lucky to get 2 chances at it. Again, just comes from my own experience, but I've done everything from 1/4 a page per day up to 15 pgs per day, but no two days of shooting have ever been the same. I think you have to guesstimate based on your own experiences and how you work, and then over-budget a bit. Again, this is where a good AD comes in as well, helping out to keep everything flowing like clockwork.
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:29 PM

Hello all,

When reviewing a shot list in pre-production, I was wondering if there is an average length of time that professionals allot to each shot (depending on location, of course), just to give a director or producer an idea of how to schedule things?

Is there a resource that might break this down incorporating different shooting scenarios?

Thanks for any help in this area,

Adrian


What you're referring to is known as a "setup." In a "standard" day, the first setup will likely take longer as it involves a rehearsal, a blocking rehearsal, the lighting and camera setup, one more rehearsal with the First Team once everything is in place, final adjustments, "Last Looks," the take (how many varies for many reasons), and "review" of the take at Video Village. Setups for additional Coverage on that scene shouldn't take as long because most of the lighting and other set/prop work is already done as well as the main rehearsals. Cameras will just push in, change lenses, while lighting gets adjusted for closeups.

Estimating how long each setup will take is something that comes with experience. Discussions with the Director and DP will help figure out those guesses "on the day" but the ADs will make educated guesses weeks prior when they construct the one-line schedule. Again, that is based on discussions and experience.

The best thing to do is to hire an experienced First Assistant Director and/or Second AD ... people who are able to break the script down and make educated guesses as to how long it might take to shoot certain scenes. Then, "on the day," they might do some basic math IF the Director is able to share a shot wish list for the day. For instance, if it takes forty-five minutes to an hour to get the first shot off for the day, then the AD knows that he really has about five hours to work until lunch. If the goal is to finish one scene before then so they can move on to the next scene right after lunch, and the Director has ten individual setups required to finish that scene off, then it's roughly 5 hours divided by 10 setups, so they have about 30 minutes for each setup after the initial setup of the day.

But this varies wildly as scenes are different and locations are different and coverage will vary. Some shots are "one-ers" while others require twenty setups or more and could take a week to shoot due to long Stunt or FX setups.

Ralph Singleton has a couple of good books that help describe how to break a script down and schedule it. Check out this link : http://www.amazon.co...r...amp;x=0&y=0

For more detailed information about what everyone on set has to do to prepare for the day and what they all do during each setup and each take, check out http://www.amazon.co...t...5862&sr=8-1 . This kind of information is very helpful so that you know more about what everyone does, what their "issues" might be, so that you can make better estimates on the fly as the shooting day progresses.
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#7 Adrian J

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 04:19 PM

Thanks fellas, this has helped out a lot.
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#8 David Rakoczy

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:17 AM

Per the rules of this forum, please go to My Controls and change your screen name to your real first and last name.

The members thank you in advance
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