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Storyboarding. Your Movie From Concept to Completion. Concept Points. Why am I learning this? What is Storyboarding? Why is it so important? The Production Process Real World Application But, I’m not an artist! Showing Action on Boards Advanced Techniques Tips for Success and Motivation

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Storyboarding l.jpg

Storyboarding

Your Movie From Concept to Completion


Concept points l.jpg
Concept Points

  • Why am I learning this?

  • What is Storyboarding?

  • Why is it so important?

  • The Production Process

  • Real World Application

  • But, I’m not an artist!

  • Showing Action on Boards

  • Advanced Techniques

  • Tips for Success and Motivation

  • Show Me, Don’t Tell Me


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Why Am I Learning This?

From my own personal experiences and failures,

The difference between okand great is the overall amount of thought and effort that went into the work.

Thus, your film and animation will be benefit from your level of preproduction.


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What is Storyboarding?

  • Storyboarding is a means to visually plot out a story shot by shot before producing the final piece.

  • The finished product looks like a comic book, but without the speech bubbles.

    A Sample storyboard from the short movie, “Troops”.


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The Production Process

  • Brainstorming

  • Story Outlines & Character Backgrounds

  • Writing*

  • Pitching (presenting your story to investors/professors)

  • Storyboards*

  • Photoscript* (storyboarding using still pictures)

  • Video Storyboards*

  • Rehearsals

  • Production (including “dailies” – reviewing takes)

  • Re-shoots

  • Pre-screening

  • Postproduction

  • Publicity

  • Open Screening (The Red Carpet)

    * This stage undergoes constant revision throughout the production process


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Why is it so important?

Storyboarding is an excellent way for a writer, director, or producer to visually express the “look” of the story to investors, peers, or even themselves.

In terms of this class, it will:

  • Allow your group to come up with preliminary ideas on how to tell your story before AND after writing the script.

  • Help you see potential problems in your story vs. film, before production begins.

  • Serves as a “visual shot-list” for your camera setups, lighting scheme, and crew. This saves a lot of time and money during production.

  • Improve your drawing skills.

  • Be the only way you’ll get an “A” in Jeff’s class. 


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Real World Application

  • Film/TV – Movies, Commercials, Animation, etc.

  • Business - Displayed thinking for group problem-solving & strategic planning

    • Flowcharts, Business Modeling, Process Improvement, etc.

  • Architects – Helping people to find their way in man-made environments

    • Blueprints, sketches, construction plans, etc.

  • Writers – Books, Novels, Operas, Screenplays, Poetry, etc.

    • Shakespeare used them when writing for theatre, often using live actors before he wrote the play.


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They All Have Similar Design Elements

  • Sequencing

  • Visuals

  • Framing

  • Storytelling

  • Displayed thinking

  • Compressed ideas

  • Universally understood language


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So I need to be an artist?

  • Well you can be, but you don’t have to.

  • There are professional storyboard artists that can give you results that look better than the final film.

    *However, its a good idea to hash them out yourself. It allows you to experiment quickly and cheaply, testing out different versions of how a scene may look and play on camera.

  • Storyboarding is especially useful for complex visual sequences

    *e.g. elaborate shots or special effects sequences.

    *Sometimes a storyboard is only used for difficult sequences and other times the entire film is storyboarded.

  • The Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Big Lebowski) storyboard extensively, allowing them to shoot just the sequences they require for editing, saving both time and money.

  • Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner) is famous for his small, and indecipherable “Ridley-grams”, but they help him on the set.

  • Taking a simple drawing class never hurts. Unlike math, you’d be surprised when you could actually use it! 


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Showing action on Boards

There are two types of movement:

Movement in the Frame (Characters Moving – Static Shot)

Movement of the Frame (The Camera Moving – Dolly/Crane)

Arrows - Suppose the camera is tracking in, following a bad guy's footsteps.

Draw in an arrow pointing into the shot to show the camera's movement.

Now the hero's head is pulled back by one of the bad guy's goons. Use an arrow to show the movement of the head being turned.

What about a zoom in? From each corner draw arrows pointing to the center, then draw a new, smaller frame to show the end of the zoom.

Generally artists use thick white arrows to show camera moves and thin black arrows to show objects moving.


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Advanced Techniques

  • The floating frame - What if you want to show the camera panning to show a cityscape or following a character as they walk through an airport?

    There are two options here:

    • 1) Illustrate one shot using more than one storyboard frame showing the key stages of the shot's movement across a number of frames or

    • 2) Draw out the entire scene (e.g.. the horizon of a city) and place a frame on it with an arrow indicating the direction of movement.

  • Transitions - The storyboard can also include transitions in your film. Write these in the gaps between the frames

    • e.g.. DISSOLVE TO : CUT TO: FADE TO BLACK:


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Tips and Motivation

  • Keep the area you have to draw small. It allows you to draw much faster. The pictures become more like doodles than works of art. Remember the point is to get an idea of how things will look on screen. Copy up a set of storyboard sheets so you don't have to spend all night drawing screen boxes. Download a storyboard sheet.

  • Sketch in pencil so you can make changes easily, then ink in for photocopying. Feel free to use any medium you are happy with - professional storyboard artists use everything from magic markers to charcoal.

  • Scribble down short notes about what's happening in shot (e.g.. BOB enters) what characters are saying ("Is this it? Is this how...") or sound effects (NSE: Roll of THUNDER).

  • An overhead-plan view of the location of the camera, actors, and light can be helpful if you know the location you are going to be working in.

  • Number your shots so that they can be quickly referred to on the shot list and during editing.

  • Drawing storyboards is an excellent way to keep motivated, to show you're organized, and to let everyone else know what's going on in your head.

  • Storyboards aren't there to constrain you.

    *On the set, you may see a new angle - go ahead, shoot it. Get the shots you need by checking your storyboard and give yourself the time and freedom to experiment. I always come up with my best shots on the fly after I get “coverage” of the scene for editing purposes, then artistic shots for fun.

    TYPE “STORYBOARDING” IN GOOGLE FOR HUNDREDS OF RESOURCES!


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“Show me, don’t tell me...”

If you’re ever in the business professionally, you’ll hear this often.

SOME FINAL TIPS

If you write, let it have imagery.

If you film, let your shots be invisible.

If you act, let it be natural.

If you direct, let it show when needed.

If you draw, let it be legible.

AND

If you dream, let it be you!

NOW FOR THE FUN