Naming of scenes and shots

You can use several different approaches to naming of scenes and shots. We describe five of them and use two of them for our own productions, i.e. slate & take and US numbering.

When starting production, it's not allowed to change numbering of the scenes in the script. If you need to add or remove scenes, both the US, European and UK scheme have described way of handling exceptions.

 
 
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Slate & Take 

This numbering scheme is primary for use in non-scripted work where you don't have scenes defined in forehand. 

Increment slate for each shot with different setup of the camera and 

 


US numbering

Scenes are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc and  each shot is numbered A, B, C.

First shot in scene 6 is numbered 6A and the second shot is numbered 6B.

Reshot of a scene after principal shooting is done will be numbered as R6A, take 1

If you need to insert a scene before scene 6, this scene will be numbered scene A6.

Most NLE can handle separate fields for scene and take to make organising clips easier.

We prefer to use this numbering for scripted work as its easier to see the difference between 61A and 61/1 on the slate.

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European Numbering

Scenes are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc and  each shot is numbered 1, 2, 3.

First shot in scene 6 is numbered 6/1 and the second shot is numbered 6/2. Sometimes 6:1 or 6.1 is used instead of 6/1.

If you need to insert a scene before scene 6, this scene will be numbered scene 5A.

Most NLE can handle separate fields for scene and take to make organising clips easier.


UK numbering

This fourth schema, the slate numbering is continuous, from slate 1 day 1 of filming an onwards. First shot will be slate 1, second shot will be slate 2, regardless of scene numbering.

If you need to insert a scene 6, this scene will be numbered scene 5A.

The benefit of this numbering is that it's easy for the script editor to take notes, using one page for each slate. 

As NLE's have issues with handling two separate fields for slate and scene, I don't recommend this numbering schema. 

You either have to scene or slate as identifier together with take, which makes it hard to find individual shots.


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invent our own numbering

This fifth schema, invent your own numbering, is something I don't recommend.

It only confuses people not used to work with you in pre-production, production and post-production.

It will also make it harder to automate the workflow in editing programs and increase time in post-production.