The first thing you need to do when you start making a documentary is to create a shot list.

A shot list is a list of all the shots you want to include in your documentary. It includes the names of each shot, where it will be filmed and when it will be filmed (or even if it will be filmed at all).

Creating a shot list can be difficult because there are so many different ways of doing it. There are many different types of documentary and each one has its own unique way of creating a shot list.


How to Create a Documentary Shot List

What Is a Documentary Shot List?

A documentary film shot list is a comprehensive list of all the shots that make up the film. It contains all the shots, locations, and actors in each scene.

This is what makes it different from other scripts where there might be only one scene or at most two or three scenes per script.

A shot list also tells you how much money you need for each shot and what type of equipment you need for each shot.

You can also use this information to budget your production costs based on how many days or weeks it will take you to complete your project.



But no matter what type of documentary you’re making, here’s how I recommend creating your shot list:

Choose your narrator or narrator/director. This person will be responsible for reading out the narration over any shots that don’t have voiceover already recorded by an actor/actress or by yourself.

Make sure they’re comfortable with reading their lines out loud before recording them as they’ll need to do this multiple times throughout the project! In some cases, like if I’m making an educational film about something specific, I may decide not to narrate at all but instead just let my narrator/director read out their lines on video as well as record their own voiceover (and maybe even add some music

Creating a Shot List For Documentary – Review your outline

 Your shot list should be a list of all the shots you want to create for your documentary. This will help you plan out how long each shot will take, how many people are involved, and when each scene or scene will be set up.

The first step in creating this shot list is to consider what type of documentary you want to create. For example, if you want to create a documentary about a specific person or event, then your shot list should include footage from that person or event.

If you are creating a documentary about politics, then your shot list should include footage from news footage of that topic.

Once you have decided what kind of documentary it is going to be, then start making your outline by writing down all the different scenes and filmed interviews that will go into it.

It may seem like a lot at first, but once you start writing down everything on paper it will become easier to organize things into one place so that everyone knows what they need when they get there!

How to Write & Produce a Documentary

Documentaries are a great way to get your message out there. They are used by businesses to show their customers or potential customers how they can benefit from their products or services. Documentaries also provide an opportunity for people who haven’t had the chance to share their stories to do so.

There are many different types of documentaries, including news documentaries, nature documentaries, sports documentaries and even music documentaries.

Each type of documentary requires its own unique approach in order to make it appealing.

The most important thing when writing and producing a documentary is that you understand what your audience wants and needs. This means that you should ask yourself questions such as: Who will watch this documentary? Why would they want to watch it? What do they already know about the topic? What do they want more information on? How can this documentary help them?

Once you have these answers, then you can start working on your script

Shot List for Making a Documentary

 What is a documentary?

A documentary is a non-fiction film that is typically presented in a linear manner and includes only dramatic scenes or sequences. The narrative thread may be interrupted by either inserts of facts and information, or by brief reenactments or newsreel footage.

Some documentaries contain little more than an interview with one or more subject matter experts, interspersed with images of the subject being discussed.

What are some examples of non-fiction documentaries?

Some examples of non-fiction documentaries include:

  • Blackfish (2013) – This film addresses the controversial topic of killer whales in captivity. It gives a look into the lives of whales and their trainers at SeaWorld parks around the world.
  • Fitzcarraldo (1982) – This film tells the story of an explorer who attempts to build a canal through the Amazon rain forest without knowing that there are people living there. He ends up building a bridge for his boat over a river that no one has ever been able to cross before.
  • A River Changes Course (2006) – This documentary follows three people from different countries as they all attempt to make new lives for themselves in the same river basin. The three stories include those who have lived their entire lives along

Documentary Shot List Template

 Documentary Shot List Template – A documentary shot list is a document that you create to show the movie crew exactly what shots you want to film and the order in which they should take them. The shot list template is usually created using Microsoft Word or another word-processing program.

The following are some of the key points to consider about creating a documentary shot list template:

You need to add your name and contact information at the top of the page (or at least on every page).

The first page should be labeled “Page 1” with a numbering system that starts at 1 and continues through each subsequent page.

There may be multiple pages, so it’s important that you label each new page so you know where it fits in with the other pages.

Front Matter – The front matter section includes basic information about your project, including who you are, what kind of film you are making and any additional information that might be relevant for your specific project.

It also contains information about what kind of permissions you need from your subjects before filming begins and how long filming will take.

1. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Distinguish the camera

 The shot list is the document that describes the storyboard of your documentary film. It’s a series of shots, in order, that tell your story. A good shot list can be the key to making a good documentary.

Shot lists are easy to make and use, but they’re also easy to forget about and ignore. The reason why so many people don’t create shot lists is because they think it’s unnecessary or complicated.

But if you know how to create a great shot list, you’ll be able to make better documentaries than ever before!

The first step in creating a good shot list for your documentary is figuring out what kind of documentary you’re making. If you’re planning on making an educational documentary on how plants grow, then it makes sense that you would start with a plant growing sequence.

If you want to make a romantic comedy about two people falling in love over the course of three days, then it makes sense that your opening sequence would show them getting together at first sight — and then all their other interactions over those three days would be interwoven throughout the rest of the film as well.

2. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Describe the shot’s content

 The shot list is a description of the shots you are going to capture. It will help you organize your film, and keep track of what has been shot and when.

You can make a shot list in any format that suits your needs. It could be a Google Doc or on the right side of your screen in the video editor.


The first step in creating a shot list is to decide what type of shot you are going to take. The most common types are:

1-Shot: A single frame or still photograph that captures a moment and tells a story through its content

2-Shot: Two or more consecutive photographs or frames that tell a story about something happening within the image frame

3-Shot: Three or more consecutive photographs or frames that tell a story about something happening within the image frame

3. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Choose the Shot Size

 The shot list is a basic outline of all the shots you will need for your documentary. It is important to create a shot list for two reasons:

First, it will help you make sure that you have included every single shot you need in your film. A shot list should be comprehensive and precise. If you don’t put down all the shots needed for your film then this could lead to an incomplete or unfinished film.

Second, having a shot list can help you plan out how much time each shot will take to shoot and what type of equipment is needed (such as lights, lenses and other technical equipment). This will help keep costs down while still making sure that everything is covered.

Creating a Shot List for a Documentary

A shot list is a list of all the shots you want to make in your documentary. The purpose of writing out a shot list is to help you organize the flow of your documentary and keep it on track.

The shot list is also useful when planning how long certain scenes should take, which can help you budget for your production.

Creating a Shot List for a Documentary

  1. Write down all of your ideas for each scene in your script. This includes things like camera moves, shots, and locations.
  2. Make sure to include anything else you might want to add, such as special effects or sound effects that could be added later on in post-production.
  3. Add an estimated time per scene, so that you know how long each scene will take to shoot, including any breaks in between takes or other delays that may occur during filming (such as bad weather conditions).

4. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Describe the shot type

 This is the shot list for a documentary.

  1. Introduction to the topic. The introduction will be one of the most important parts of your film, so it’s best to create it yourself. It should include everything from who you are, what you’re going to talk about, and why this project is important.
  2. The main character/s voiceover (optional). You may want to include a voiceover in your film that’s spoken by one of your characters or narrators, or even by yourself (if you’re comfortable with that). It can be a good idea to give some background information on who these people are and what they want, then let them say their piece while you provide some transition or afterthought information or something else necessary for them to say their lines clearly and efficiently.
  3. Opening titles/credits and title card(s) (optional). These are simply two pieces of text that appear at the beginning of every scene in your film; they might also include information about who made it and when it was made as well as any relevant keywords (e.g., “Documentary”).
  4. On-screen graphics(s) or logos(es) (optional). These

5. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Select your camera lens

Select your camera lens

The first thing you’ll want to do is select your camera lens. The type of camera you use will determine which lens you should use for your documentary project. You can look at the list below for some suggestions and ideas on what kind of lens to use.

If you are planning on using a digital camera, then it is important that you choose one that has interchangeable lenses. A good example would be the Canon Rebel T3i/600D or Nikon D3200/600D.

Both these cameras come with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens and can be used with different types of filters, such as polarizing filters, graduated neutral density filters and more!

Another option that offers interchangeable lenses is the Sony a7S II, which will allow you to create stunning images with its new mirrorless full-frame camera body!

6. Creating a Shot List For Documentary Determine your equipment

Should you choose to film your documentary yourself, you’ll need to determine your equipment and the amount of time you have available. You also need to make sure you have enough resources and support to complete the project on time.

The following are some things to consider when creating a shot list for a documentary:

Location: Where should you film? What type of setting will make the most effective cut? Will there be a location change?

Camera: What kind of camera will record your footage? Do you want it to be traditional or digital? Is there any special equipment that needs to be rented or purchased? How many people do you want shooting in front of the camera? Do they need training before shooting begins? Do they know how to operate their equipment?

Sound: How much sound do you want as part of your documentary? Do you want it all on location or will some of it be recorded separately from your main camera while others are captured at different times during the shoot day (e.g.,

interviews)? Is there anything else that needs to be done with sound recording before filming begins (e.g., bring extra batteries)?

7. Creating a Shot List For Documentary List the Location

 Documentary is a type of film that is made by non-fiction. It has to be real and it can’t be fiction. The filmmaker has to follow the story which is presented in front of them.

There are some steps that you need to follow for creating a shot list for documentary.

List the Location:

There is a lot of location shooting involved in documentary films, so it’s necessary to know what location you need first before starting your shoot. You must also know where your subjects are going to shoot their scenes while they are filming their documentary.

This will help you with choosing the right places to shoot at.

List out Your Subjects:

Before listing out locations, you should also decide on who your subject will be and what they will be talking about during their interview or narration portion of the film. You must also think about who else will be involved in this documentary and what kind of shots they require from you and other members of your crew.

Create a Shot List for Documentary – Wrap Up

Create a shot list for documentary.

The first thing you should do is to think about what you want to tell with the film. What is the story? How can you tell it?

You should also decide on the structure of the film. Is it going to be a linear story or one that follows an arc? What should be shown and what should be left out?

If you have more than one narrator, it might be a good idea to discuss this first with them so that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and how they are supposed to act in relation to each other.

It’s important to know what questions your audience will ask after watching your documentary and prepare answers for them. It also makes sense to include supplementary materials in case people don’t find your documentary interesting enough after watching it once!