Making a Shot List Step by Step Daniel Schiffer on how to make a shot list for a B-roll style video including transitions

Photographer, Daniel Schiffer published a new video looking at an important part of his work process creating his amazing videos. This time around he shows how he makes a shot list and plans the transitions between shots as well as combining it all together to make a fluent video.

When you plan your next shoot there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Most videographers think in the context of a storyboard that goes over all the scenes that need to be shot, however it does not talk about the actual shots themselves and how they should be done and that is a very important point.

Making a shot list is therefore essential (you can of course combine the two if you like as long as you go into the details in a way that will be beneficial to your project). If you are shooting a food video (this might also apply for a product video) you can start by listing all the different ingredients that you might need as well as the required tools (or props). Basically everything that you will need either in front or behind the camera should be listed.

Schiffer suggests that some of the items that you will be using list everything that you can think about that might be interesting actions that you might use for your shot (so, for example, roll/spin/toss/throw/cut etc.). At this stage you are just throwing ideas on paper, later on, you will actually choose what works for your video.

Now comes the part when you actually list the shots and here you need to start considering things like movement, direction, and continuity to make the shots work and produce a cohesive video that can incorporate relevant transitions.

As an example, if you roll in something from the right and the camera follows this object having your next shot combe from the right will look more natural than a shot that will come from the other direction. That is not to say that you need to keep your entire shot list identical and you can break directions and change movement angles, just make sure that those happen at a logical part of the clip (for example when you are moving to the next segment in your video).

Another important tip by Schiffer is that even in case you got a shot that is not really perfect in terms of continuity of direction (i.e. you want to clips to be moving right and one moves down) you can use the magic of editing to fix that (especially if you are shooting in higher resolution than you are delivering and zoom in and use keyframes and create a sort of a fake movement. This won’t work in every situation but it might save you in some cases).

For more video and behind the scenes from Daniel Schiffer, check out our dedicated page here. If you are into food photography and videography we have a special sub-section here on LensVid dedicated specifically to food photography.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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