91 Set-Ups in 3 Days

Posted on June 12, 2008

Yes, we got 91 set-ups ((A set-up is essentially a shot. Every time you move the camera, change lenses, change lighting, or film new action, that’s a new set-up.)) in 3 days. That’s about 30 a day. The 6 day show had 106 set-ups. Bottom line is we got a shit-ton of shots.

And this was despite company moves, lots of extras, a tired crew, and broken/missing equipment. The odd thing is no one brought up any objections or said we were crazy when we submitted the shot list, unlike my 60 set-up F3 that made my Director of Photography think I had lost it (we got the shots and wrapped early).

I think the main weapon that allowed the Director and I to get the shots was preparation. We storyboarded everything together in Frame Forge and had print outs of the boards on set. This way we could easily refer to a shot and communicate visually what we wanted to the crew and with each other.

I also used minimal lighting and kept the camera on the dolly when possible for easy repositioning.

It doesn’t seem like another show will pass the 91 (the other 6 day show has 80 planned), unless I manage to think of a few more for my movie. Apparently I just have a thing for lots of set-ups

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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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