Shooting a villain sequence

We’ve seen how Hollywood does it! Now you and a partner are going to create your own villain. This scene will be a maximum of two minutes long. It will involve a confrontation between a villain and a protagonist. Keep the scene simple.

Thinking about your villain

With your partner, answer the following questions

  • What motivates the villain? Do they hate someone? Are they seeking revenge? Keep it lighthearted, we don’t want to create anything too disturbing!
  • Who will play the villain? Think outside the box. You don’t have to act in your own films.
  • Where will your scene be set? Try to come up with an interesting or unique location.
  • What will the villain wear? Costuming will be essential to making this scene effective.
  • What props will you use? Give your villain a creepy or iconic prop. Maybe they’ll be carrying a walking cane. Perhaps they’re peeling an orange throughout the scene.
  • What will the villain say? Villains love a monologue!
  • How will the villain act? It’s important to direct the performance of your actor. Think about any idiosyncrasies that your villain might have.

Writing a shotlist

We’re going to plan out the sequence using a shotlist. Why are we going to use a shotlist? Basically because it’s the quickest and easiest way to plan a scene like this. We’re going to put all of the dialogue for this scene into the description column of our shotlist which means we don’t have to write a script. When you are writing up your shotlist, consider the following:

  • Camera techniques. Think about what type of shot size, camera angle and camera movement you are going to use in the scene. When you’re thinking about shot composition, you might like to check out this post.
  • Acting. In each shot that features a character, you need to specifically describe how they will perform. This will help you when you are directing your actors. Make sure you keep the performance of your villain nice and understated.
  • Mise en scene. What will the villain wear? What sort of props will be used in the scene?
  • Editing. How will you cut the scene together. Are there any particular editing techniques you will use?
  • Lighting. Think carefully about how you might light the scene.
  • Sound. Identify the sound effects, ambient sounds and music that you will use in the scene. This is the most important code for creating an ominous atmosphere. If you haven’t studied Media before, you will need to check out this post.

You can use the storyboards you created initially as inspiration but this time around, I want you to collaborate with your partner and think in more depth about how you might use these codes to establish your villain. You might also draw on your analysis of villains in film and pay homage to these directors in the visual style of your film.

Sample work

Here is a shot list created by a previous student and his finished production.