How to Use a Shot Angle Sheet to Setup Shots

One thing we find valuable in our productions is a Shot Angle Sheet, created in pre-production along with the editor. It's somewhat like a storyboard except its main purpose is to facilitate the composition of shots, whether for live action or animated project, to ensure they match in post.

We create our sheet by setting up the rough shots we’re thinking of using: a closeup, medium, medium wide, two shot etc, take stills of those shots and then bring them together in Photoshop. We lay them out side by side so we can get a feel for how the shots could potentially work together in the edit as we cut from one angle to another. For example, from a close up of one character looking camera right, to a close up of the other character who is looking at them camera left.

 Level Playing Field video "The Resume."

Level Playing Field video "The Resume."

During this process, we usual end up tweaking the shots a bit and adjusting the eye-lines, until we get a set of shots that we know will work.

We could even go a step further with these stills and create animatics if needed. Once it’s time to shoot, we open up the shot angle sheet and use it as our shot reference for the day.

Here’s a sheet with two characters sitting at a table in the company cafeteria. We decided to have them both sit on the same side of the table, because they were not eating lunch in the scene but reviewing resumes of potential hires. We had a few more shots than what you see here, but for the most part, these were the major shots that needed to match.

 Setting up shot angles

Setting up shot angles