What Is Shot List and Storyboard in Video Editing?

What Is Shot List and Storyboard in Video Editing?

In the world of video editing, two vital tools that play a significant role in the pre-production phase are shot lists and storyboards. These tools help video editors plan and visualize their shots before getting behind the camera. In this article, we will explore what shot lists and storyboards are and how they contribute to the overall video editing process.

Shot List:

A shot list is a detailed document that outlines each shot that needs to be captured during filming. It serves as a roadmap for both the director and the cinematographer, ensuring that all essential shots are captured efficiently.

A shot list typically includes:

  • The scene number or description
  • The type of shot (e.g., wide angle, close-up, tracking shot)
  • The camera movement or action required
  • The location or set where the shot will take place
  • Any specific details or instructions for each shot

By creating a comprehensive shot list, video editors can streamline the production process, save time on set, and ensure that they capture all necessary footage for their project.


A storyboard, on the other hand, is a visual representation of each scene in a video. Think of it as a comic book version of your video project. It consists of a series of drawings or illustrations arranged in sequence to depict how each scene will look from start to finish.

A storyboard typically includes:

  • The main actions or events of each scene
  • The composition of each frame
  • The camera angles and movements
  • The dialogue or narration if applicable

Creating a storyboard allows video editors to visualize the flow of the video, plan the composition of each shot, and identify any potential issues or gaps in the narrative. It serves as a valuable tool for collaborating with the director, cinematographer, and other team members involved in the project.

Why Are Shot Lists and Storyboards Essential?

Shot lists and storyboards are essential tools in video editing for several reasons:

1. Organization and Planning:

Both shot lists and storyboards help video editors stay organized and plan their shots effectively. They provide a clear roadmap for capturing footage, ensuring that no important shots are missed during filming.

2. Communication:

Shot lists and storyboards facilitate effective communication between the director, cinematographer, and other team members. They help everyone involved in the production understand the vision of the project and work together towards a cohesive end result.

3. Time and Cost Efficiency:

By having a well-prepared shot list and storyboard, video editors can save time on set by efficiently capturing all necessary shots. This leads to cost savings as it minimizes reshoots or additional filming days due to missed shots or lack of planning.

4. Creative Direction:

Shot lists and storyboards allow video editors to explore different creative options before shooting begins. They can experiment with various camera angles, compositions, and movements to enhance the visual appeal of their project.

In conclusion, shot lists and storyboards are invaluable tools in video editing that aid in organization, planning, communication, time efficiency, cost efficiency, and creative direction. By utilizing these tools effectively, video editors can ensure a smooth production process and deliver a visually engaging end product.