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Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Lesson 28 of 44

Create a Shot List for Your Film

Courtney Holmes

Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

28. Create a Shot List for Your Film


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:09:38
2 The Spark That Inspired Me Duration:13:50
3 What Are Family Films? Duration:06:15
4 Gear for Family Films Duration:11:50
5 Camera Settings for Video Duration:02:56
6 Frame Rates & Slow Motion Duration:20:48
8 Settings for Audio Capture Duration:14:13
9 Exposure for Video Duration:13:21
12 Camera Movements Demo Duration:12:02
14 How to Film a Scene Demo Duration:09:22
15 B-Roll & Use in Storytelling Duration:17:57
16 Jump Cuts & How to Avoid Them Duration:04:30
18 The Importance of Audio Duration:10:45
20 Client Prep Duration:10:49
22 Managing Client Expectations Duration:10:39
23 Uncovering Your Client's Story Duration:17:51
24 Developing a Story on the Fly Duration:07:12
25 Think Ahead as a Storyteller Duration:11:45
26 Student Film Critique Duration:38:56
27 Ideas for Your First Film Duration:06:31
31 Demo: Work the Scene Duration:28:12
32 Demo: Decide What to Shoot Duration:26:06
35 Cull & Edit Photos First Duration:17:09
36 Sourcing Licensed Music Duration:14:57
37 Begin to Edit in Premiere Pro Duration:07:08
38 Editing to The Music Duration:19:54
40 Breaking Down The Final Film Duration:37:38
41 Editing: Color Grading Duration:15:51

Lesson Info

Create a Shot List for Your Film

Create a shot list for your first film. I have a template that I've put in the bonus materials as well that is an example of what a shot list would be and it's a list of memories, basically, okay. I don't go into client sessions with a shot list. I have a loose idea in my head about what I'm going to shoot based on the information that they've given me, but if I went in with a shot list I think, not that it would be hard, but I don't want to try and assume too much in terms of how, I have no idea what they're gonna do. So I can't say I'm gonna get a wide shot of this and a close up of this and a mid shot of this and it just doesn't work that way. We're not on a film set. I don't have control over what they're doing. So I like thinking more on the fly, but with that said, I love the idea of creating a shot list for your first film, because what you can do is take the questions that I give you to figure out what it is you want to remember, your memory list, then take that and then write ...

out exactly, you know, when does that normally happen and then where does that normally happen and who is that usually going to be. Things like, for me, when we were in Tennessee last year we only see my parents maybe once a year if that and so there was some specific things that I wanted to shoot throughout that summer and things like my daughters birthday, and then bringing out the cake. So that was one thing that was specific. I really wanted to shoot, also it's important to note my parents are gonna be moving in a year or two and this was the house that I was in when I was a teenager,. so it's important to me. So the butterflies in the garden, just Dad's garden in general it's a special place, and the flowers and the butterflies in the garden, the shadows on the fence, the way the wind chime moved, the way the tree moved in the wind in the backyard. Things like my son and his golf in the backyard. My dad plays baseball with my son and my husband when they come. That's the only time ever they play baseball, 'cause it's cricket in Australia. So it's things like that that they were specific memories that I knew I wanted to document, so that's what I would recommend this process be for you, because if you can take that memory list and then create a shot list it's gonna make your film a little bit more successful. It helps you plan it out a little bit better and it doesn't all have to be on one day, it can be shot over a period of different days. That doesn't matter, but this is gonna give you something to start with and to work with and I would also really encourage you to incorporate light into that somehow. So even if it's just filming light on its own, incorporate that into it somehow.

Class Description

Portrait photographers capture moments in time for families, parents, and children. But in order to tell the whole story, you need to switch your camera to video mode, and become the storyteller behind the camera. Join Courtney Holmes, family photographer, filmmaker, and founder of FilmingLife Academy as she empowers you to add video to your photography business.

In this class, Courtney takes you on location to a home in Seattle to see how she organizes a family shoot from start to finish. You will learn in a unique way how Courtney works to capture authentic family moments on video and how to stay flexible in a new home environment that you’ve never filmed in before. 

Courtney will teach you:

  • How to change your mindset from photographer to videographer
  • How to add videography to your brand
  • Pricing and marketing tips
  • What to ask in order to capture the best story for your clients
  • The technical skills you’ll need for video
  • Post-processing using Adobe® Premiere Pro®
  • How to choose music, import, organize, create, and polish the final product

Courtney has learned how to make filmmaking into a viable business, and is going to give you the tools to move forward and tell the stories that families will treasure for a lifetime.


Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!