Who sees the film first?


Posted September 8, 2021

Dear loyal film supporters,

Happy late Labor Day! I hope it was relaxing. Unless of course you worked, and then it really was a labor day.

Bad joke.

Here’s the deal: I want each of you to not only enjoy these updates, but also obtain a better understanding of filmmaking.

So with that, here’s a behind the scenes question:

After the script is finished, who do you think sees the movie first?

The Director.

Before a single day of shooting happens, the director pictures the entire movie. And by this, I don’t mean some dreamlike experience while they sit by a fire sipping coffee.

It’s a meticulous scene by scene, shot by shot visualization.

I dare you to watch the first three minutes of your favorite movie and count every time they cut to a different shot. Directors see all of this ahead of time, and create two very important things:

1) A Shot List

2) Story Boards

I’ve begun the shot list for Reckoning.

Here’s what it looks like:

Pro Tip: A single page of script is roughly one minute of screen time. Reckoning is 23 pages long, so the movie will hit around 25 minutes.

The shot list above covers ONE PAGE of the script.

22 pages to go.

Story boards are also happening now.

They’re drawings of each shot and used to quickly show department heads like the DP (head of camera & lighting) and Art Department (set design and props) what the director is visualizing.

For me, the best time to story board is while creating the shot list. You can see a few of the opening shots for Reckoning below:

(Yes! We’re gonna have horses.)

As you can see, this all takes time.

It’s one of the many things that happen during Pre-Production. But shot lists and story boards help directors be efficient on set. And that allows us to be more creative.

If there are other things you’d like to hear about, let me know.

Otherwise, the next topic will most likely be costuming!

Now it’s back to work…

Kyler Boudreau