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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 38 of 39

Storyboarding, Shot List, and Gear List

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

38. Storyboarding, Shot List, and Gear List

Lesson Info

Storyboarding, Shot List, and Gear List

So a storyboard element, I'm gonna save this for later. A storyboard element looks like this. So now here's where we get creative with the story. We go all right, say the owner's name is Chad. So Chad, I'm envisioning the opening shot being of the outside of the gym and what we're gonna do is we're gonna push in very, very slowly into the sign of the gym. And actually give the sensation that they're actually walking in the front doors. So as we're walking through the front doors I wanna show different aspects of what they would see. So we're gonna walk the gym and show basically what they're gonna see and then be a part of. And then since we want the video to be inspiring, confident and transformational, I kinda even want that journey to be transformational as they walk through the gym as well. So maybe if there is like a pathway that we can take through your gym that shows a transition. So maybe what we do is we walk through like the locker rooms and we walk through this and then we g...

o into the gym itself. And then have a first perspective of lifting weights. So I am almost envisioning that this video is shot entirely in first person, because if it's gonna be a unique and visually stimulating video. That's what I'm thinking. Is if we're gonna show the pathway of a new member, let's make it first person, let's actually make it kind of following through. Or we shoot for the top and if we can't get a steady cam, we can't get a glide cam or we can't find a way to show the movement properly, well we can use sliders to do the push-ins. We can kind of show the perspectives, we can do the tilts and the pans at certain points to still insinuate that they're first-person. Remember we can still do the same first person perspective type stuff and make it work. So when I do the storyboard and I've gotten all the information that I needed to and at this point here once we get to this point, we'd actually meet the client. We'd actually meet the client, fill out some of these things a little bit more. But when it comes to the storyboard, here's how I kind of work my storyboards. So if I have a storyboard and I'll probably like draw a box whatever it is. And maybe what I'll do is the first frame is maybe the building's here, that's a really messed up building, maybe some trees here, there's a parking lot. Maybe it's a wide shot. And the next frame here maybe is the building centered. And the next shot is of their sign, the name of the gym. And what we're doing is we're probably gonna use a slider and we'll push into it. Okay. Do you allocate the amount of time for each shot? Like you'll know you have a two minute budget. No, I haven't allocated any time. I'm just spit balling a storyboard and putting shots together so that I can visually start to imagine what this piece is gonna start to look like. Okay. So I'll go here. All right, we'll push into the sign and then the next cut'll be a hard cut maybe into opening of the doors. So the door is gonna open up that way. I'm a really bad artist. And someone's gonna be walking in. So we can do that a number of different ways, can't we? We can actually make this a continuous shot, wide, close up, cut to the sign, push in, pull down, tilt down into someone walking. Right? Or we can go hard cuts. Wide, medium wide, close up of the sign, tilt down to someone walking through the door. The purpose of a storyboard is just to kind of visually line ourselves up so that we can kinda see what's possible given the equipment that we might have or might need and given our skill set. And I think if you kinda build this out frame by frame, you'll start to see what matters and is important to you. So how we doing? Good. Are you doing this after your meeting, by yourself, not with the client, right? Exactly. Okay. I'm doing this by myself after my meeting. If I've got an art director or someone that I'm working with, we're gonna do it together. But I'm doing this after my meeting. I'm gonna do this, do the work, so we meet, I'm gonna do the storyboard, I'm gonna come back to the client and I'm gonna show them the storyboards. Cool. So here's what I'm thinking. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. That way they're on par with my vision. So Hannah Banana wanted to know where music fits in to that process. So at this point here, we picked our words. Here when we start storyboarding, that's when I'm listening to music. I'm just gonna let music play. I start listening to music. So you've met with the client before? Yep. Let music play, that way now let's go dot, dot, dot. I'm gonna take this slides or my storyboard plus soundtrack options to my client. So what we'll do, what you should do, is show them the storyboards and just play clips of the music. So here's what I'm thinking for the music and then you show them as they're looking at storyboards. So that they kinda get a feel for what they changes will be like with the music. And then you go we can try this song too. We can try this one too. We don't have to pick one now, but here's what I'm thinking for some of the music. What do you think? Well I don't like this song, but I like this one. You start taking your notes. Makes sense? Mm-hmm. And it's funny, because you can do all or none of these things. But I guarantee if you start doing most of them, it's gonna make your life a lot easier. Who else we got? We good? All right, so we'll do soundtrack. So once your storyboard is approved or you have a good handle on your storyboard, you start creating a shot list. So this will lead into your shot list. And Willow was just talking about who's perspective it's from and in the shot list do you map out who's perspective each shot is from? So it's both. You map out the perspective in your storyboard. So we've completed it through, maybe it ended up being a first person perspective. What you end up doing is in your shot list, so this is frame one, you're gonna go shot. So here shot one. Maybe that's gonna be wide and I want that maybe what five, six? Support. if I can do a steady cam, but I can use a slider. Notes. Slider will be push in back to front. Make sense? So you match your shot list to the frame. And you go to the storyboard and you will build out this shot list. Now what we're probably gonna do as well is build some sort of a shot list on the side for let's see here, B roll and interview. So if I were to do this, I'd match my storyboard, blah, blah, blah, frame for frame, yadee yadee yada. Next one will be okay two, I'll do a close-up of building. Maybe I want that medium wide and I want that maybe at like F4. I'll probably put that on a tripod. And I'll go through and I'll build all these shots. Then on the other hand, I'll have another thing here for interview. And I probably build another shot list for the interview as well. Do I wanna use one camera, two camera, what am I gonna set? All that kind of thing. So if I have an interview, not necessarily a shot list, it's just parameters. So I'll probably shoot two camera, I'll probably shoot two camera stacked. One at 85 millimeters and then one at 200 millimeters. And that's my parameters here for my interview. So I'll shoot two camera my interview, I'll build the shot list for the rest of the story, but I'm gonna be recording the interview anyways so I'll make sure I have that set up as well. And maybe in my shot list over here, then I do like a talking head. Oh that's not a head. See here. Might do a talking head for my interview and then maybe I've got another frame here that's like maybe they have a rock wall and people are climbing the rock wall. That rock wall would look something like this and people are in here, climbing up here, and there's another person up here. And we shoot different perspectives of the rock wall. And then my second camera angle is of the person side. So you would include where you wanna cut to the interview, all that kind of stuff in your storyboard. You include it here in your shot list and you build it out. You just build out. And in places where you have interview, I would just go so in frame five, so in frame five let's put a dot, dot, dot there for three and four. Five I go okay well interview and then. Okay? That work is the fun work. Now okay, we've looked at this, we've kind of assembled already like a gear list of sorts, right? So we do the interview. Okay now, we talk about a gear list. So ideally, we look at our storyboard, we look at our shot list and we start putting together gear. How many cameras do we need? We need two cameras. How many lenses? Well what lenses do we need? Wide, a medium wide presumably, two portrait lenses. So wide lens, medium lens, telephoto times two. I'm doing an interview so I need three lights, stands, sandbags. All times three, times three. I need flags and scrims times three, which makes the stands times six. So start building that gear list out and I come over here. Well okay, I need a feel dmixer, recorder, laut mics. Or I can actually do a poor man's lav. So I start building out that gear list 'cause you don't wanna get on set, you don't wanna get to production day, and be missing something. The night before you go through and you check it all. So my only question is with the interview part, because you are doing this before you know really what they're gonna say, how do you know like you said you wanna put the interview in-- You don't. So you're just guessing. You're guessing that maybe I'll cut to the interview here. But the storyboard will be fluid, because the content, you've yet to record the content. At least at this point you've met with your client and you've gotten enough direction from your client to start assembling and getting to the point where they finalize it. Okay great, you start assembling the rest of your stuff that you need. So a lot of people don't do a gear list and they always forget to include-- Batteries. Batteries. (audience chuckles) Chargers. Cords. Water. Snacks. And baby wipes. Reflectors. Hand sanitizer and gaff tape. Can you guys tell he's done this before? (class members laugh) Batteries, chargers, water, snacks, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, gaff tape and also first aid kit. 'cause when you set up your camera you always sacrifice blood to the camera gods. (chuckles) Totally unrelated, just when you said stacked, does that mean from two different angles or from the same angle? So if this is my camera A, my camera B will be right here. This will be 85, this will be 200. 85 millimeter, 200. Okay? Sometimes I'll even move it off a little bit, but depending upon their facial features, depending upon what I want the images to look like. I used to do camera and then off camera, way off camera from the side where I'm pushing the most light, but then I just realized I didn't like that anymore. The jump between the angles was too much, so I tend to keep it kind of like this. Stack them off a little bit, this is always a longer lens. Two different supports. This will be on one tripod, my photo tripod, my video tripod, that kind of thing. What's up? Quick question from the Mindless Head, do you ever pre-plan the length of your sequences while you're shooting them? Like you've got your establishing shot there, how long do you actually shoot it for? Do you plan that out or do you just feel it out? You know I don't. I feel it out production day, because you never know how it's gonna turn out production day. So you just leave it as a frame and you kind of get to it. Now here's a funny thing. There could be like two shots between my storyboard one and storyboard two, I might get to production day and something fortuitous happens where I actually include three more frames that I didn't think I was gonna do. You've gotta be able to be flexible. Or maybe you envisioned a shot a certain way and it's just impossible. You gotta know when to say no to that shot and just move on. I notice on the gear list we don't have memory cards, is that included with the camera? We gotta put that in. But my question in addition to that is how do you know how many memory cards, not just for the storage, but for the pose? Like being able to organize them. You know what I'm saying? 'cause I can see how that could just blow way up really fast. So there's two ways you can organize footage. Can I get that mini whiteboard that's on the table right there please? Thank you. All right, check this out. You can write on a white board, storyboard one, maybe you write the shots. So it's building and it's wide. We call these slates. There's actually a real slate with a clapper board, whatever it is. So you'd actually put this on frame, hit record on the frame, take it out, roll your footage. Come back, roll your footage. So that way when you look at your thumbnails in post, you can be like oh hey that's storyboard one, that goes in that folder. Oh hey that's storyboard two, that goes in that folder. Oh hey that's storyboard three, that goes in that folder. And you start to organize your footage that way. So every time you see one of these things then you move, you move the file separately. It gets a lot easier. So in terms of memory cards, you get 12 minutes per four gigs. In a two minute video, you're gonna probably be shooting, if it's an all day shoot, how many hours in a day? Eight. So you just gotta plan out if you're gonna be really truly rolling for eight hours or you're truly gonna be rolling for three or four hours. You think about the total amount of footage that you can capture over the course of that job in one day and you get that many cards for that. It's roughly four gigs for every 12 minutes. So you shoot on 32 and 16 gig cards. It can get pretty dicey if you don't have enough cards, but bring a computer. Computer and an extra hard drive that way if you do run out of cards, boom, just offload them. Let's you check your footage as well. So how are we doing? Does this help demystify a little bit for you and start to look at the project in manageable chunks? How are we doing over here? We're doing good. I had a question that came up earlier from Motion Man when we were talking about meeting with a client. Do you ask for the location visit during the initial meeting and how do you create the shot list if you have not seen where you're gonna be filming? So we create shot lists and storyboards after we've met with the client. So this board over here we do before we meet with the client and then we kind of interface with the client a little bit. Then we meet with the client. And after we meet with the client, we create the storyboard, the shot list. Now in this process you can talk to the client, do a scout location, look at the location, maybe they'll send you pictures, all that kind of stuff. That way it can help provide information for your creation of storyboards and shot lists. You do any discovery work in the research phase. You do any discovery work in the research phase. So as we're kind of talking about this, you're having multiple discussions with your client. Hey, I'm gonna come by and check out the space, I'm gonna come by and see what you guys do. Your gonna research and spend a lot of time there, so that when it gets to this phase where you're actually building a storyboard, you've been immersed a little bit. we had a question from a couple of people on the shot list who were wondering why you included the aperture on there, why do you include the F-stop? So it was funny. At the beginning of the day I was talking about using a light meter and having it dictate a certain aperture and that kind of stuff and then I had a question about well I wanna be creative with my aperture. I wanna pick my aperture and I wanna know that I have control over everything. So I'm establishing an F-stop for myself, because I want to later look at my entire shot list and if I'm shooting everything at five, six, and not enough stuff at two, eight, or not enough stuff at 11, not varying my depth of field enough, then I'm gonna change some of those apertures. Because in the process of production you never pay attention to the overall project look in terms of the depth of field. But if you shoot an entire project at five, six, or you shoot an entire project at F and an entire project at F11, it's just an opportunity for you to change and shake things up without actually adding a piece of gear. So you can mix it up just by changing your aperture just a little bit. So I put it out there so I have a quick look and I put this a little into an Excel spreadsheet. so if I wanna put it all into an Excel spreadsheet, I can actually sort my spreadsheet by aperture. Just so I can see what apertures I'm using and go oh I'm really liking eight today and change that. Helps you kind of just stay creative 'cause you'll be in a production day and you'll look at your shot list and you'll just keep going. And you'll go through the end of the day and go oh dude, I didn't realize that everything's at F8. And there's some things like let's make believe we're doing rope pulls or something, we're climbing ropes. You would want that very shallow. You'd want that at like 2.8 and you'd want it punched in. And you'd want their hands nice and gritty. So there's reasons to actually list out that aperture, because also what if you're working with a second person or a second camera? And they're working the camera and you don't give them a direction, well they're gonna shoot willy nilly aren't they? They're gonna shoot willy nilly. So that's not what you want. And then here, so in the shot list, I'm gonna fake a shot, okay? 'cause I ran out of space up here. So maybe here we'll call that shot and it's of exercise. Maybe I want it close-up at 2.8. I want it on a tripod, but maybe my note here is I wanna use a fast shutter. So I key in fast shutter there, because it's gonna help make it look more jittery like we learned. So anything that you wanna do stylistically here with the footage, you add in your notes. Everything else here becomes a thing that you work with. All right, so let's cross some stuff off. Shot list, equipment list, location, we have a call sheet, crew, and sound.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!