The Ins and Outs of Shot Coverage: How to Always Get the Footage You Need to Deliver a Finished Product

Hosted by Brenda Wachel

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Brenda Wachel

Webinar hosted by: Brenda Wachel

Script Supervisor (CAPTAIN AMERICA, JURASSIC PARK 3, Netflix's DEATH TO 2020)

Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. Brenda has overseen shot coverage on countless films and television shows and knows how this process can save or destroy a project. Now she’ll share her experience with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Making movies is filled with stressful moments and on-the-spot choices and decisions, all with a ticking clock. The last thing you want as a filmmaker in post production is to have to compromise your visual story because you didn’t get that one shot you needed. Yet this is incredibly common and one of the main reasons for reshoots, delays in a film’s release, and ultimately going over-budget. This is why having a full understanding of shot coverage and what constitutes the bare visual minimum for any type of scene is essential to making a compelling movie.

Everything begins with a visual plan. But as a director, DP, AD, or script supervisor, how can you design shots before you have blocked a scene? How many shots do you actually need? And how do you know when it is time to move on when you are running out of filming time? It’s a difficult balance, but skillfully navigating when and when not to spend a few more precious moments on an unplanned shot separates wise filmmakers from the pack. It requires a vision, visual literacy in storytelling, and a willingness to communicate and collaborate with your coverage team while maintaining your role as visionary on the set.

Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRRORs Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. Brenda has overseen shot coverage on countless films and television shows and knows how this process can save or destroy a project. Now shell share her experience with the Stage 32 community.

Brenda will give essential and helpful tools to allow you to best prepare for your film or project’s production and ensure you get the footage you need the first time around. She’ll outline the different tools the directors have and the choices they have to make, including shot sizes, angles, lens choices and focus choices. She’ll next delve into the tools to use for successful shot coverage. She’ll explain how to build a strategic shot list and how to use storyboards and look books. She’ll explain how to collaborate with your core coverage team (the director, DP, script supervisor and AD) to ensure you’re getting the footage you need in the moment. Next, Brenda will give a deep dive into what to do to cover basic scenes, including dialogue scenes between two people, dialogue scenes with three or more people, walk and talk scenes, and interior car scenes. Finally, Brenda will offer a live case study by showing a scene from a notable film and reverse engineering the shot list to demonstrate how the filmmakers got the coverage they needed to make the scene work.

 

With the tools and knowledge Brenda is providing, you’ll be able to attack your next production more strategically and ensure you wrap production with exactly what you need.

 

 

 

Praise for Brenda’s Previous Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Loved the level of expertise. I often take webinars and find that I'm as knowledgeable as the instructor, but this one was exceptional."

-Scott F.

 

"Brenda was clear and generous in sharing her knowledge."

 

-Kathleen O.

 

"I loved Brenda's talk! She provided a ton of work-related experiences that can be applied to the job, many that you cannot find in a book. She was very enjoyable to listen to and she was open and honest. I loved it!"

-Allish S.

 

"Brenda’s wealth of working knowledge was amazing."

-Pamela F.

What You'll Learn

  • What Is Shot Coverage and Why Is It So Important to a Film’s Production?
  • The Director’s Tools
    • Types of shot sizes
    • Angles
    • Lens choices
    • Focus choices
  • Tools For Successful Shot Coverage
    • Building a shot list
    • Using storyboards
    • Look books
  • Collaborating with the Core Coverage Team - Director, DP, Script Supervisor, and AD
  • A Deep Dive of Basic Essential Coverage
    • How to cover dialogue scenes between two people
    • How to cover dialogue scenes between three or more people
    • How to cover walk and talk scenes
    • How to cover interior car scenes
  • Live Case Study- Reverse Engineering a Movie Scene
    • Brenda will break apart a famous scene from a notable film and explain how they got the coverage they needed to make it successful
  • Q&A with Brenda

About Your Instructor

Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRRORs Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. Brenda has overseen shot coverage on countless films and television shows and knows how this process can save or destroy a project. Now shell share her experience with the Stage 32 community.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

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A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

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A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
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Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Find and Work With a Script Supervisor to Make Your Film Better

One of the most critical and underappreciated roles necessary to make a film work is the script supervisor. This person is vital to helping a director achieve his or her vision and is one of the most important positions a director must choose for his or her team. A good script supervisor not only keeps track of script progress and continuity, but serves as the director’s trusted confidante. They save time, money, and are instrumental in helping a director achieve his or her creative goals. But for this to work, the relationship between these two roles needs to be solid. A director and script supervisor have an interesting and complex relationship. You can have a great script, a spectacular cast, the most talented cinematographer, production designer, and gorgeous costumes, but if your film doesn’t edit well, it will be a disappointment. A good, experienced script supervisor helps a director avoid missteps, gives them cinematic choices in the editing room, and becomes their narrative storytelling accomplice. A bad script supervisor can be a real nuisance, interrupt the creativity on a set, and fail to protect a director’s vision. It all comes down to understanding and communication. Forming the vital and promising relationship between a director and the right script supervisor will have a lasting, positive impact on the film. No matter the size of your film, mastering this complex relationship can make all the difference. Let’s explore how to make this work. Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for upcoming projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. No one knows the role of script supervisor and how to find success through this position better than Brenda, and she’s prepared to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Brenda will break down the importance of a script supervisor throughout the process of making a film and demonstrate how to make the vital relationship between a director and script supervisor work. She will begin by delving into the job of a script supervisor and why they’re especially important to directors. She’ll also explain their duties during prep, filming, and post production. She’ll also explain why a script supervisor is necessary for films of all levels, from low budget features and shorts to big budget blockbusters. She’ll give tips on how to find the right script supervisor for your project as well. Next, Brenda will look at how to shape the relationship between a director and script supervisor including how to establish one and how to grow and maintain it. She will then teach you how best to communicate between these two roles and then go into how a script supervisor can help with the relationship between directors and actors. Finally Brenda will share the biggest lessons she’s learned in her storied career as a script supervisor. If you are a director preparing to start a new project in the new year, no matter the size, it’s imperative you have a good script supervisor on your side and a good relationship with them. Brenda will show you how to do this.     “The role of a Script Supervisor is vital for any film production, but also often a misunderstood, under-utilized, and underappreciated one. Doing it well sometimes means being invisible. I’ve been on enough films and worked with enough different directors to know how much a good relationship between a director and script supervisor can elevate a film, and how much a film suffers when the relationship isn’t there. I am very excited to share my experiences with you and teach you what I know about being an invaluable script supervisor.” -Brenda Wachel

Advanced Shot Coverage - Implementing Shot Lists and Visual Diversity for Your Project

Whether you’re a director, a cinematographer, an assistant director, a script supervisor, or an editor, you’ll be unable to fully do your job on set if you don’t have a visual plan. This doesn’t just mean how you want the film to ultimately look, but what exactly you need to do in production to get it there. The last thing you want as a filmmaker in post production is to have to compromise your visual story because you didn’t get that one shot you needed. Yet this is incredibly common and one of the main reasons for reshoots, delays in a film’s release, and ultimately going over-budget. This is why having a full understanding of shot coverage and what constitutes the bare visual minimum for any type of scene is essential to making a compelling movie. No matter what project you’re working on, shot coverage is a vital aspect to have down pat, but as you start producing more involved and complex shoots, coverage needs to be a lot more intricate. If your film or television series contains more than just basic dialogue scenes—if you are working with action scenes, non-verbal scenes, or scenes with a lot of characters—forming your visual plan becomes a lot more challenging and even more important. Not only must you ensure you’re getting the footage you need, but you also need to employ visual diversity so your vision can stand out. This is no easy feat, but mastering advanced coverage will improve your relationships with your editors and actors, make post-production easier, and boost your skill and reputation as a filmmaker. Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. Brenda has overseen shot coverage on countless films and television shows and knows how this process can save or destroy a project. In this advanced level, interactive, and intensive two-part class, Brenda will dive into the intricacies and strategies of shot coverage and give you a series of tools and strategies you can use to best shoot and cover your project, no matter how involved it may be. Brenda will review strategies for shooting basic scenes like standard dialogue scenes and interior car scenes, and will dig more into how to capture complex scenes like action sequences, non-verbal scenes, and transitions. Brenda will also go through how to put together an effective shot list ahead of time and will teach you how to pivot and adapt in the moment as plans change on set. She will then dive into what you can do to expand beyond basic coverage, like employing visual diversity, having multiple masters and using inserts. Brenda’s lessons will be accompanied by live demonstrations and exercises, including reverse engineering shot lists of notable film scenes and creating new shot lists for a scene of an unproduced script.   Brenda’s deep dive and nuts-and-bolts approach to shot coverage will leave you with a thorough understanding of how to best get the footage you need for your next project and work effectively with your team while doing so.   WHAT TO EXPECT: This class is designed for intermediate and advanced students looking to learn how to better cover scenes for a film or television show. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This class will consist of two sessions, both roughly two hours in duration and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Brenda will be walking you through various elements of the craft of shot coverage, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process. To see the full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".     Praise for Brenda’s Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Loved the level of expertise. I often take webinars and find that I'm as knowledgeable as the instructor, but this one was exceptional." -Scott F.   "Brenda was clear and generous in sharing her knowledge."   -Kathleen O.   "I loved Brenda's talk! She provided a ton of work-related experiences that can be applied to the job, many that you cannot find in a book. She was very enjoyable to listen to and she was open and honest. I loved it!" -Allish S.   "Brenda’s wealth of working knowledge was amazing." -Pamela F.

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Session 3 will focus on production, including working with actors, making your day, knowing when you “got the shot” and how to manage your crew. Finally, Heath will spend the last session going over post-production, including working with the editor and and dealing with notes from producers, investors and the editor. You’ll leave this class with a clear idea of how to tackle every step of a director must take and the confidence to bring these skills with you to your own project. Plus! Heath will provide you with a series of exclusive and helpful handouts to take with you and use when directing your next project. Downloads include: Camera Level & Shot Size Shot lists Ground plans – hand drawings Pre-production guide Mood board Camera Bible & Camera techniques   WHAT TO EXPECT: This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of directing a film or television show. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This class will consist of four sessions, each roughly two hours in duration and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Heath will be walking you through various elements of the craft of directing, you will have the opportunity to ask him questions during each session. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process. To see the full class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".     Praise for Heath's Previous Stage 32 Directing Class   Sometimes one signs up for a class not really knowing what to expect. This class I could never have anticipated! Heath went above and beyond any expectations I might have harbored. This was one of the best classes I have ever taken on Stage 32 or any other platform. I walked away with so much information, confidence and respect for the role of the director. My heartfelt thanks to Heath -Angela R.   "This was a phenomenal class. Thank you for providing a class of this caliber. Heath was informative and engaging." -Angel M.   Heath was extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. He had a perfect combination of facts and passion. He invested a lot of energy into, not only, teaching the class, but he also went above and beyond to inspire the class. Very grateful. -Rainy K.   I found this course so relevant. The content and the presentation were amazing. I especially liked that Heath gave us the ability to look for the big ideas when directing not taking just one or two nuggets. Thank you for always bringing the best instructors and relevant content.   -Susan L.    

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