Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shot Lists

So with two days left before principle photography, I am working on Shot Lists, in between a thousand meetings with the production team. These meetings cover everything from what do I see the makeup and hair looking like, treatment of music videos, special things needed from the Art Department, etc.

In the past, I do a shot list the night before the day. I use the Tech Scout to really communicate to the different departments what's needed and on the night before I do "bird's eyes" of the setups. This means I draw a bird's eye view of the set/location and I diagram the basic blocking and where the camera will be.

But on this shoot, more communication is needed, so I'm working on have a "shot list" (SL) completed before we start shooting. Then I can adjust the day before. The SL comprises a list of every single camera setup. So it might look like this:
Day 3 Sc. 153 1A Dolly master, looking towards south wall

The 1A means that it's the first setup for Camera A (this movie has two cameras so the next entry would probably have something for 1B).

I just posted location photos on my Facebook... and these I took to work from on the tech scout to better create the SL. I believe it's imperative on indie films to be as prepared as possible yet flexible enough to catch the magical, serendipitous shot that comes along. I have to fight the temptation to go "I don't need detailed shot lists-- it will box me in." Because these departments, especially Art can help the movie bunches if they have a little bit of lead time.

Which mirrors and important life lesson I've had: The "hero" is not the one who, by the seat of his pants, cleverly thinks of ways out of the mess, saving the day. The hero is the one, because he thought ahead, wasn't in the mess to begin with. Of course the other is more dramatic. But I'm hoping the drama stays in camera and not behind the scenes. Don't need drama there.

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