How to Make a Shot List Like Terrence Malick’s Movies

How to Make a Shot List Like Terrence Malick Movies

Terrence Malick’s film have a visual signature that has influenced several filmmakers in recent years, from Andrew Dominik and his magnetic Jesse James… to David Lowery and his Saints (both excellent films and both with Casey Affleck as a side note).

Malick is a filmmaker surrounded with mystery but as he became more prolific in the last five years, we got to see more of his work and hear about his collaborators, from his creative producer Sarah Green to actors talking about how he directs.

We know Malick works with one central direction: make it as difficult as possible for the camera operator to shoot actors. So he probably doesn’t have a clean cut shot list.

That being said, you only need to watch a handful of Malick’s films to recognize a pattern in style (constant movements through Steadicam and tracking, switch from wide to close-up etc.)

StudioBinder used a couple of Malick’s films to build a possible short list. If you’re a fan of the filmmaker, definitely watch the video below, but maybe cut the sound, that doesn’t really work with Malick’s universe and won’t make you lose any of the benefits from StudioBinder’s work.

Check under the video for a recap of the different shots.