Film Production – Cinematographer’s Journal

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A cinematographer’s portfolio will be focused on the production stage more than most other roles. Since the responsibilities of the cinematographer involve the creation of the image – both in terms of camera angle and movement and lighting, much of the cinematographer’s work will take place during the shoot. – Film Assessment Clarification Document 2015 (PDF)


  • Create a journal documenting each stage of film production


  • Create blog posts (3 total) with embedded media evidence for each of three production stages.



  • Students need to conduct extensive research for the IB Film projects and need experience moving through the workflow of producing films

Production Steps Evidence Requirements

Pre-production Blog Post

Include all of the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Brainstorm with the team regarding IDEAS, GENRE, CONCEPTS and group INTENTIONS.
  2. Research the chosen genre and any influences for the production of the film, identifying CONVENTIONS and TECHNIQUES in relation to the creation of image.
  3. Go over the script and storyboard and make NOTES about how these might be PRESENTED VISUALLY.
  4. Collaborate with the director about how MISE-EN-SCÉNE, LOCATIONS and LIGHTING will be handled.
  5. Collaborate with the editor about how TRANSITIONS, EFFECTS and COVERAGE will be handled.
  6. Create a SHOT LIST for EACH SCENE.
  7. Scout for LOCATIONS and create NOTES regarding IMAGE and LIGHTING CONCERNS.
  9. Make a CHECKLIST of equipment for the shoot.
  10. Carry out PLANNING and RESEARCH for particularly TRICKY SHOTS or SEQUENCES, for example, learning how to use green screen or create the “vertigo effect”.
  11. Create DIAGRAMS of each location showing LIGHTING DESIGN, CAMERA PLACEMENT and MOVEMENT.

Production Blog Post

Include all of the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Prepare all FILMING EQUIPMENT and make sure it is there and READY FOR FILMING.
  2. Set up and design all lighting to CREATE MOOD and ATMOSPHERE.
  3. Set up and operate CAMERA, DOLLY and FILM EQUIPMENT.
  4. Communicate with the director regarding CHOICES MADE and help SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS encountered during shooting.
  5. Make DAILY PRODUCTION NOTES with a description of CHOICES MADE, CHANGES to the original plan and any ISSUES that arose during the film shoot.
  6. Make sure that FOOTAGE IS SECURE and BACK-UP COPIES are made and stored in a GROUP PRODUCTION FOLDER.
  7. Communicate with the editor and sound person regarding CHOICES OF FOOTAGE captured that may affect their roles.

Post-production Blog Post

Include all of the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  1. Collaborate with the director and prepare for any SCHEDULED RESHOOTS as a result of the editing process.
  2. Collaborate with the editor regarding CHOICES IN COLORING or IMAGE ALTERATION in post-production.
  3. Screen a first draft of the film and provide COMMENTS/FEEDBACK to the director/editor.
  4. Attend a test screening to a new audience and make a NOTE of REACTIONS AND/OR SUGGESTIONS.


  • Pre-production
    • Review Cinematographer Responsibilities (PDF)
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Pre-Production – Cinematographer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Test Shots
        • Lighting Tests
        • Equipment Checklist
        • Collaboration with Director
        • Set-up Sequence Workflow
        • Map of Each Location
        • Storyboard Notation
        • What I Learned
    • Research material …
    • Explore and select the Cinematic Storytelling conventions you want to highlight in the film from the resources section below for the film
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Production
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Production – Cinematographer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Camera Evidence
        • Shot Choice Justification
        • Lighting Design
        • Consultation with Editor
        • Alternative Shots
        • Camera Work and Lighting Evaluation
        • Influences from Films
        • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • Assist in filming script, making changes to the script as necessary
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Post-production
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Post-Production – Cinematographer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Evidence of Further Contribution
        • How I Could Have Improved The Film
        • What I Learned
    • Assist in editing the film
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post

Film Language Resources

  • Film language research from Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
    • Cinematic Storytelling book and website
      • 9. Camera Lenses
        • 52. Wide-Angle
        • 53. Wide-Angle (Vista and Establishing Shots)
        • 54. Telephoto
        • 55. Fisheye
        • 56. Prop Lenses within the Scene (Fisheye)
        • 57. Objects
      • 10. Camera Position 
        • 58. Close-up (CU)
        • 59. Extreme Close-up (ECU)
        • 60. Two-Shot
        • 61. Over-the-Shoulder Shot (OTS)
        • 63. Point-of-View (POV)
        • 64. High-Angle
        • 65. Low-Angle
        • 66. Hi-Lo Combined
      • 11. Camera Motion
        • 67. Static Shot
        • 68. Pan
        • 69. Tilt-Up (Character)
        • 70. Tilt-Down
        • 71. Rotation
        • 72. Tracking Shot
        • 73. Circular
        • 74. Push In – Push Out
        • 75. Crane
        • 77. Handheld
        • 78. Steadicam
        • 79. Aerial
      • 12. Lighting
        • 80. Rembrandt Lighting (Light versus Dark)
        • 81. TV Lighting
        • 82. Candlelight
        • 83. Motivated Lighting
        • 84. Unmotivated Light
        • 85. Motion

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Posted in Le DucTagged CinematographerCinematographyFilmFilm ProductionIBProductionWorkflow