Planning and Successfully Realizing Film and Video: Checklist for Filming

Planning and implementing film and video: Checklist for shooting backstage
Checklist: What to think about when shooting film and video | © Pixabay

A shooting checklist is no substitute for thinking along. Each film requires a different focus in the planning. Each video has different parameters and requirements for the level of detail of preparation.

A structured approach based on a list can help those involved in planning not to forget anything. That’s the idea behind this article with 55 practical checks for video and film producers. How do I plan an image film? As we all know, there are no stupid questions. Just questions you ask too late or not at all. The list is intended to help you ask yourself the right questions when preparing a video or film.

I’ll say:

Even the best planning can only ever support the telling of a story. The story itself is up to the writer, director and editor. Even the best, most precise movement under the dial cannot turn an ugly watch into a piece of jewelry.

Who is responsible for what?

The production of a film touches on a wide variety of disciplines. The demands on the knowledge of those involved are correspondingly broad. When it comes to technology or contracts, the involvement of specialists is not only advisable, but usually unavoidable.

Fields of competence for the production of a film
AEntrepreneurial skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills, visionary: producer
BNarrative competence and dramaturgy: director, author, editor, composer)
CLogistical competence, project management competence, leadership experience, negotiation skills: production manager and team
DVisual competence: cameraman and director
ELegal questions: legal advisor or external specialist (lawyer)
FFinancing, Accounting: Film Managing Director, Head of Finances
GTechnical competence image and sound editing: Post Supervisor
HMarketing competence: mostly ensured by partnership with distributor


Checklist for filming

The listing assumes a commissioned production, whereby the regulations and agreements required for this are not listed. See the additional information in the articles Briefing Imagefilm and Parameter.

Contracts and insurances
01Contracts with all parties involved (especially freelancers)
02Arrangement with actors, featured extras, extras (incl. arrangement of rights transfer)
03Deal memo with filming locations (permission to use, compensation, regulation of rights)
04Accident insurance
05Liability insurance regulated? (Attention when filming in the Anglo-Saxon legal area, e.g. USA)
06Loss of earnings insurance: covers losses resulting from delays in filming due to illness of key players (director, actors, camera, others)
07Weather insurance taken out / required?

Checklist for filming: Insurances, contracts. See also Film & TV Insurance

Planning and logistics
08Contact lists (addresses and Tel)
09Call sheet (detailed planning of the shooting days) set up, approved, distributed to all participants of the shoot
10Vehicles dispatched (key people, crew, equipment, outfit, actors, extras)
11Parking spaces for vehicles clarified and reserved
12common rooms, dressing rooms for costumes, make-up or trailers organized
13Security arrangements (if necessary, depending on the filming location, e.g. road closures)
14Communication during the shoot on location (radio, smartphones, etc.)

Checklist for filming: Logistics and planning

15Scenarios for different weather conditions (Plan B?)
16Weather forecasts (short-term, medium-term, long-term)
17Weather to be expected during filming communicated to participants (request for warm clothing, etc.)
18Special cases: Shooting in snow, high altitudes, mountains
19Studio and indoor locations as substitutes (in case of persistent bad weather)

Checklist for filming: Weather situation

Filming location
19Lead time for delivery of equipment, decorative elements and technology
20Information talk with owner / proprietor of the location (invitation for visit to filming?)
21Electrical connections
22Catering at location (infrastructure set-up) or in restaurant
23lockable premises for production office and equipment
24Access facilities (loading ramps, goods lifts, rolling pallets)

Checklist for filming: Premises

26Camera list incl. Additional material
27Light list (including grip and consumables)
28Checking of light and camera list and regulation of material loading
29Back-up material in case of camera defects (is a replacement camera available? Where? How quickly available?)
30Responsibilities and accountabilities regulated (by Head of Departments)
31Light connections on site and electricity on site or with generator ensured (electrician)
32Special equipment such as drones, side booms for turning game vehicle, etc.

Checklist for turning operations: Filming material

33Material checked and returned (equipment, props sold or returned)
34Any damage reported to production, rental equipment and insurance company
35Return of film location, preparation of protocol for return and acceptance (or documentation of damage)
36Thank you to landlord location, authorities, further
37Payment of contractual obligations and invoicing
38Settlement of settlement money
39Cleaning and return of production vehicles

Checklist for filming: Shooting checklist

40Entry permits or work permits
41Dealing with foreign currencies and exchange rates
42On-site access to cash (via bank, regulated as), credit cards, check
43Production partner or co-production partner on location
44Knowledge of manners and customs (taboos, no-go, rules of decency)
45Knowledge of legal and trade union framework conditions and requirements
46Arrival, accommodation and transport

Checklist: Shooting abroad

47Documentation of the shooting (internally or for marketing)
48Regulation confidentiality (may be photographed independently on location? what?)
49Content generation for social media
50Interface to press
51Regulation set visits
52Rituals (schnapps flaps, birthdays, mountain festival, graduation party)
53Holidays on the radar (especially: local holidays or longer rest periods like Ferragosto in Italy)
54When shooting abroad: Attention compatibility power, ensure back-ups
55Templates and rules for reporting to superiors

If we have forgotten, misunderstood or listed something incorrectly in our shooting checklist, please give us your feedback using the comments function. Many thanks!

Also interesting:

Checklist for extras and actors for film and television.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Redaktion Filmpuls
About Redaktion Filmpuls 265 Articles
Unter der Bezeichnung »Redaktion Filmpuls« erscheinen Beiträge, die von mehreren Redaktionsmitgliedern gemeinsam erstellt oder bearbeitet wurden.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.