≡ Menu

Issue #179 – December 11, 2017 (Shot Lists – Scene Order to Shooting Order)

Issue #179 – December 11, 2017
(Shot Lists – Scene Order to Shooting Order)

1. Script Order Shot List

During your early prep (when you are also location scouting) you begin to create your first shot list in scene (story) order. Once you get the preliminary one-liner from the First A.D. you then cut-and-paste your scene order shot list into the shooting order. This lets you know how many shots (set-ups) you have to shoot per day.

2. Shooting Order Shot List

After I get the preliminary one-liner from the First AD, I write the number of shots per scene on the one-liner for each shooting day. These set-up numbers tell me how many shots per day I have to shoot and if I have too many shots per day or too few shots.

I then go over the schedule with the First AD and DOP to see if we can move scenes around to accommodate the number of shots – or do I have to reduce my shots.

3. Location Shot Listing with DOP and First AD

After you have completed your scene order shot list and your preliminary shooting order shot list, you need to visit as many “locked” locations as you can with the DOP and 1st AD.

At each location you need to review every scene carefully to make sure your shot lists are based on the real location and how much work is scheduled on that shooting day. You will also need to factor in other logistics such as Day/Night transitions, lighting concerns and location wrap time.

It’s at this time when you now need to “do the math” and figure out realistically the number of shots/per scene/per shooting day with suggestions from the DOP and 1st AD.

TIP: An ‘average’ 2 page dialogue scene with 2 characters can contain anywhere from 3-7 shots.

1. Wide Shot Master
2. 2 Shot
3. OS Person A
4. CU Person A
5. OS Person B
6. CU Person B
7. Insert

To determine how long it could take to shoot all the scenes scheduled on a shooting day, it’s not always based how many pages you have to shoot per day.

It usually depends on how many camera set-ups you have to shoot per day. So a 4-page dialogue scene should be easier and faster to shoot than a 2-page action scene.

Template for Averaging Scene Shooting Times

To figure out how long it could take to shoot a particular scene (based on number of shooting days, shooting hours per day and camera set-ups per day) here’s a simple 6-step “formula” you can use a guide.

NOTE: This “formula” is based on your AD’s final One Liner and how many camera set-ups you have per scene. This “formula” is also based on a 12-hour shooting day with 1 camera.

(Step 1) Determine the “average” pages per shooting day based on script length and number of budgeted shooting days.

Example: 8-page script and a 4-day shoot = 2 pages /day

(Step 2) Determine “average” shooting hours of scenes per day based on the number of shooting hours per day and number of scheduled scenes per day.

Example: (12 hour shooting day) 3 scenes are scheduled on Day 1. So, 12 shooting hours divided by 3 scenes = 4 hours per scene.

Scene 5 (4 hours)
Scene 9 (4 hours)
Scene 17 (4 hours)

(Step 3) Divide Each Scene by the Average Pages Per Day

Example: (3 scenes scheduled on Day 1 for a total of 4 4/8 pages). Based on an average of 4 hours shooting per scene, this is the prorated shooting time per scene in a 12-hour day:

Scene 5 – 2 Pages (= 6 hours)
Scene 9 – 1 page (= 2 hours)
Scene 17 – 1 4/8 pages (= 4 hours)

(Step 4) Divide Scenes into Action & Dialogue Scenes Per Day

Example: (3 scenes scheduled on Day 1 in one location.) Average shooting time per Action or Dialogue scene in a 12-hour day:

Scene 5 (Dialogue) – 2 Pages (= 5 hours)
Scene 9 (Action) – 1 page (= 4 hours)
Scene 17 (Dialogue – 1 4/8 pages (= 3 hours)

(Step 5) Add Your Camera Set-ups Per Scene

Example: Total of 20 Camera set-ups for Day

Scene 5 (Dialogue) – 2 Pages (6 shots in 5 hours)
Scene 9 (Action) – 1 page (10 shots in 4 hours)
Scene 17 (Dialogue – 1 4/8 pages (4 shots in 3 hours)

(Step 6) After locking all your locations, plus revising your storyboards and schematics with your DOP, you can then REVISE: 1) the shooting hours/scene and 2) the camera set-ups/scene.

Example: Total of 20 Camera set-ups for Day

Scene 5 (Dialogue) – 2 Pages (6 shots in 4 hours)
Scene 9 (Action) – 1 page (10 shots in 5 hours)
Scene 17 (Dialogue – 1 4/8 pages (4 shots in 3 hours)

NOTE: Remember to change these “average numbers” based on your shooting hours and number of shooting days. (20 day shoot at 10-hours/day etc.)

Start working on your shooting timeline as soon as you get a realistic one-line schedule. Show it to your AD and DOP to make sure they agree with your scene time assessments.

Copyright (c) 2000-2018
ActionCutPrint.com Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved