Set-Up Sheet

Every newsroom has its way of giving out assignments. Many use a set-up sheet that gives basic information to reporters. Before you begin to report your story, create a set-up sheet for each shoot. It should give details about your planned shoot.

What is the story?

Briefly outline the story for yourself and your editor so that you are on the same page about what you hope to accomplish. This helps you focus your ideas and still leaves room for the story to change and develop when you go out to report and shoot.

Be aware that the story can change and that what you have in mind may not be what the story turns out to be. You want to remain open to that possiblity.

When will you shoot?

Make sure you have a definite date for shooting and that your team and editor know exactly where you plan to be.

Where will you shoot?

Make sure that you have the correct address and directions. Figure out the logistics if you have to go from one location to another, or if you can only interview someone via Zoom.

Who will you interview?

Make a list of your confirmed interviews and a wish-list of those you hope you will get. This also helps you to focus the story.

What B-Roll or Footage will you get?

Make a preliminary wish list of the shots and footage you need to tell your story. You may have this in your head. But it is always a good idea to put things down on paper so that you have a roadmap.

Remember that when you get to your location the story may change and the footage and b-roll that you want to shoot may change as well. Stay open and flexible.

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