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Shotlist vs. Nothing


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#1 Jase Ryan

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:28 PM

I'm in prep on a feature right now and the director is wanting to do a shotlist with me. I'm fine with that of course as I've always done them, but I do feel like the majority of whats written in the shot list is thrown out on set anyways. Sometimes I feel like the countless hours of shotlisting could be better used in other areas of prep. Do others agree? And do many of you not even bother shotlisting??

Also as a side question, if you use frame forge, what do you think? Is it a great tool?
Thanks!
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#2 Frank Glencairn

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 02:27 AM

I´m trying a Adobe Story for a screenplay the first time now. The great thing is, it generates an automatic shotlist in OnLocation. Pretty convenient while shooting and saves a ton of time.

Frank
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 02:50 AM

Doing a list certainly makes you think of the shot options, as long as you've edited to what you're going to need and get in the time available, rather than an every possible angle wish list.

Depending on what you know at the time, perhaps walking through at the actual locations while blocking out what the actors will be doing is more productive than a doing shot list without knowing the location. As you walk through, the shots will suggest themselves and you can note them. I know someone who did this with the story board artist on a short and you could almost tell the lens focal length by the drawings and there wasn't any wasted camera set ups.

Set plans with the camera position marked with notations is another way. They use these when shooting drama in multi camera TV studios, although perhaps this is less common now. They also break it down to a shot list for each camera. These evolve during rehearsals, so they're not set in stone.
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:30 AM

Bah, just shoot every thing from 50 different angles and let the editor sort it out :D

R,
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:32 AM

I don't think they're necessary, but sure as hell helpful and if anything you'll get a good idea of what kind of director you're dealing with in how they shot list their script. And, in truth, it's something I like to do over a few beers, or a few coffees, in a relaxed atmosphere, when possible. But, I also find that the shotlist is just a skeleton and when you're there in the location (which you should walk through first) with the actors and the lights up, you start to discover the happy accidents and the new angles (no pun intended) you can tackle the story via. And that, I'd say, is where the good stuff comes from. My 2 cents.
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#6 Matt Read

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:10 PM

I always like to use a shot list when possible. I find that taking the time to create a shot list in pre-production will save me at the very least twice that time in production (not to mention saving me confusion and aggravation). I also feel that going into things with a plan (even if I don't end up sticking with it) makes me look more professional. And I agree with Adrian that the actual act of creating a shot list can be a good way to get inside the director's head.
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#7 James Sutherland

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:48 AM

I get real nervous when a new or very young director comes to me and wants to shoot without a shot-list. Personally I haven't worked with anyone yet that have shown enough discipline to shoot without one. What I also feel is that with a shot-list you know all the time what you cutting to in the next scene and then, consequently you can work in the appropriate movement and technical stuff to accommodate the cuts where needed. Nothing is more unprofessional, irritating and a total waste of time to me then a director who thinks he knows (without having seen the need for a shot-list) trying to figure it out on set what to do next or doing shots that is not going to cut or which are totally unnecessary.

In the same breath I must confess I find it very exhilarating and encouraging to work directors who, while on set, see opportunity and take advantage of it to enhance the story. I really don't mind doing extra work or setups when the actor is having a "ahhh" moment or something which would otherwise not have been available presents it self. I reckon it all depends on what you shooting, who is directing, what the work setup is and how much time is available. For me it helps with my "workflow", I get a chance to wrap my brain around what the director wants so we end up making more of the same movie on set. Posted Image

Walking it through on set would be the second best thing to doing a shot-list but that is not always possible. What are these other areas your talking about? Maybe I'm getting too old for run and gunning it on set Posted Image
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The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Opal

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