Becoming a More Efficient Filmmaker: Tips and Techniques

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Self Development, Tips and Tutorials

Today, I want to share with you some insights on becoming a more efficient filmmaker. Efficiency in filmmaking is crucial – it leads to better work, saves time, and generally makes you happier. Here’s a breakdown of the techniques that have helped me enhance my filmmaking process.

Key Strategies for Efficient Filmmaking

1. Creating a Shot List

  • Importance: A shot list provides a clear idea of what you need to capture.
  • Benefits: Helps in understanding the project better and forces you to think about the logistics of the day.
  • Personal Experience: Initially, I underestimated the importance of a shot list, but as I took on more projects, I realized its significance in ensuring I capture all necessary shots.

2. Storyboarding

  • Step Beyond Shot List: Storyboarding is a visual representation of your film.
  • Usefulness: Helps in outlining the film and highlighting any gaps in the initial planning.
  • Application: I use storyboarding to understand the vision of the project and create a shot list based on it.

3. Creating a Kit List

  • Purpose: Lists all equipment needed for the shoot.
  • Advantage: Prevents last-minute scrambling and ensures you have all necessary gear.
  • Process: I compile a comprehensive list a week before the project and keep updating it as needed.

4. Writing a Rough Schedule

  • Relevance: Even if the schedule changes, it helps you stay aware of your progress.
  • Experience: Knowing where you should be at a certain time during the shoot is crucial. A schedule, even if not strictly followed, provides a reference point.

My Journey to Efficiency

Over the years, my approach to filmmaking has evolved. Initially, I would turn up with my equipment and shoot spontaneously. However, as I undertook more complex projects, I realized the need for thorough planning and organization. Each of the steps above played a significant role in making me a more efficient filmmaker.

Practical Application

These efficiency techniques came into play significantly during the planning of a music video I shot. The level of planning was immense, but it was crucial for the project’s success. It involved detailed shot lists for different locations, outlining equipment for each shot, and considering various angles and props.


Being an efficient filmmaker is not just about having the right equipment or technical skills. It’s also about planning, organization, and having a clear vision of what you want to achieve. These steps have been instrumental in my growth and continue to shape my filmmaking process.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or your own tips on efficient filmmaking, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Remember, filmmaking is a journey, and we’re all learning and improving with every project we undertake.

Until next time, keep creating!

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I'm Will Chidlow, passionate about creating visually captivating content that tells a story. Whether it's through video production, photography, or content creation, I'm here to help you share your ideas with the world. Learn more about my work. Follow me on Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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