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Ministry of Education.

A Classroom Approach

A Classroom Approach to Exploring the Language of Moving Images in Film and Television

A shotlist drawn up by the teacher and the students for a short part of a film or television programme under study can help to identify, utilise, and evaluate the effectiveness of particular visual language features and conventions.

A shotlist comprises a description of each shot, including the type of shot and lens, how many seconds each shot lasts, the action shown, and any dialogue, sound effects, SFX, music, and other relevant observations, shot by shot. These details are set out in columns from left to right.

In the reverse process, students integrate visual and verbal features for their own productions by firstly drawing up their own written script. To do this, they adapt or create narrative and break it down into sequences. The written script is then developed into a shot-by-shot shooting script. The shooting script may have a similar format to the shotlist, but it can also be in the form of a pictureboard or storyboard that shows the visuals in pictures or sketches and indicates how each shot relates to the soundtrack's various elements. Sketches or photographs showing the key moments of each shot are laid out on a sheet of paper or card, together with the relevant words, musical score, sound effects, and so on. This development of a storyboard helps everyone to visualise what is to be filmed and how it will look and sound.

A storyboard is usually the most important part of the presentation that a television advertising agency makes to a client when seeking their approval for an idea or concept. It is also an invaluable means of teaching, learning, and exploring visual language in the classroom.

Summary of Terms

shotlist shooting script storyboard
script pictureboard

Exploring language content page

Published on: 06 May 2009