Coverage, storyboard and shot list


It is essential to plan how you will ‘cover’ all of the important aspects of each scene effectively. This involves creating a shot list to ensure you get enough shot types and footage to communicate your narrative clearly.

What is the difference between a storyboard and a shot list?

A storyboard breaks down each scene of a film to support the cinematographer and production designer to share the ‘vision’ for each scene. A shot list is the breakdown of each shot that you intend to record on filming day and the order in which you plan to shoot them.

Things to consider:

  • What are the essential things you need to convey in this scene? For example, establishing a location, actors exchanging dialogue, a dramatic or comedic moment, a visual ‘reveal’.
  • What kind of coverage do you need to put together the scene?
  • Do you need to set up more than one camera? For example, over the shoulder and reverse over the shoulder shots to capture dialogue scene/s.
  • Will your shots make sense visually? Consider continuity of characters facing left/right depending on their position in the scene and moving through doorways from one space to another.

Sample storyboard

Here is a sample storyboard for the short film ‘The Interviewer’ by Genevieve Clay-Smith.

Camera operator on a ladder

Watch scene 4 (07:18 – 09:35) and follow storyboard pages 11 and 12 above. Describe how the storyboard has been translated into film?