Citizen Kane Cinematographer Pre-Production Journal


For this film, my job is to plan the cinematic elements of our film. From lighting design to camera setups my job is to overview all elements of the film after pre production and before post.

For this project we will be using three main cinematic elements.

  • Film Element 58 – Close Up
  • Film Element 67 – Static Shot
  • Film Element 69 – Tilt Up

Test Shots

Lighting Tests

Equipment Checklist

  • DSLR body
  • 50mm Lens
  • Reflector Bounce
  • Tripod
  • RODE VideoMicro

Collaboration with Director

I started off by having my director print our screenplay so we could read through it together. We went through each beat so I could fully understand what his intended vision was with what we shot. I had him talk me through what would be in each location that way we could set up our shoot accordingly and efficiently.

Set-up Sequence Workflow

  • Set-up interview location
    • Set-up bounce
    • Set-up CAM A
    • Set-up CAM B
  • Set-up cut-in location
    • Set up CAM A

Map of Each Location


Storyboard Notation


What I Learned

I learned how much communication goes into pre production when working on a team. Most of our pre production time was walking with our director to ensure we fully understood his vision so we could uphold it to the best of our ability. A problem we faced was not fully understanding at some times what our director desired from us, but as I said, the solution was good communication and checking in regularly to stay on track.


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