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Woodson
06-30-2004, 12:16 AM
Have all of you done storyboards for your films?

If so, do you have any examples I can see or know any links to storyboard examples. I can't draw but I know stick man will do. I just need a start and see how storyboards are done and what they include.

For those that don't storyboard, what have you done instead?

Scottdvx100
06-30-2004, 12:32 AM
Try this:
http://www.storyboards-east.com/storybrd.htm
You can search the web for many more examples.
You can do storyboards to help communicate your ideas to your camerman and other team members or you can use them to sketch up the scenes and angles you see in your head. This can provide your shot list of what you need to shoot. Quality level only has to be enough to suit the task. (i.e. if you're not selling a client or finacial person they don't have to be detailed or great)

Josh_Boelter
06-30-2004, 08:23 AM
You might want to look to your DVD collection. A lot of DVDs have storyboard to film comparisons that are pretty useful study tools for aspiring filmmakers.

JonnyMac
06-30-2004, 09:38 AM
You might want to checkout the book "From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process" by Marcie Begleiter.

And if you want a simple (and cheap) PC program to manage your "stick figures" have a look at Springboard (www.6sys.com/Springboard/index.html) -- not fancy, just functional (that said, I've only played with it and have not used it on a full project; I have a DP friend who is a great storyboard artist).

HansK
06-30-2004, 11:44 PM
Check out Steven Katz's book on film directing "shot by shot" which has a section on visualization and storyboards. Several examples from classic films such as "The Birds", "Blade Runner", and "Empire of the Sun".

You might also check out his "cinematic motion" book.

rsbush
07-01-2004, 05:59 AM
Check this out.
http://www.frameforge3d.com/

NoahK
07-02-2004, 03:10 PM
I used Storyboard Quick on my feature and it made all the difference in the world:

http://www.powerproduction.com/quick.html

Noah

David Jimerson
07-02-2004, 04:02 PM
A rare but welcome post from Noah K. :)

NoahK
07-02-2004, 04:46 PM
Well ya know- I gotta wait until there's something I know something about. :)

Noah

Slapdragon
07-03-2004, 01:02 PM
Although I use Storyboard Pro for storyboarding (and if you want to shoot good work, or sell your idea before it is shot, a storyboard is essential) I teach my students to use a digital camera and stand-ins to create a "virtual film". You can storyboard AND get a chance to get out and try your various shot angles to develop your script. No need to learn how to draw.

Barry_Green
07-03-2004, 02:42 PM
We used that technique on a short film we did once, and it was *enormously helpful*. If you can get some cronies to come along and be stand-ins, you can very quickly storyboard your whole picture and yes, you don't have to learn to draw at all!

Josh_Boelter
07-03-2004, 05:48 PM
In preproduction on my first feature, I've taken a ton of photos with my digital camera at the locations I've secured. And I'm drawing on top of those photos for storyboards of certain shots. I draw a little, but mostly cartoonish figures. But even with my amatuerish style, you can get an idea of the shot. And I've read that although Spielberg uses a storyboard artist, he's also known to do stick figure storyboards himself. Especially on set.

DVX100Shooter
07-04-2004, 10:10 AM
www.sonnyboo.com

I just came across this site the other day and they have storyboard templates you can download.

WOW that is a cool idea with the digital camera! I just got one a few months ago, I may have to put it to use.

Now I have heard that some Directors will only storyboard complicated scenes in the script. Like Jerry Brockheimer's ernormous Highway chase scene in Bad Boys 2. The regular or uncomplicated scenes would not have storyboards.

I know that for some movies, the entire picture is storyboarded.

Slapdragon
07-04-2004, 11:51 AM
Most productions in Hollywood, nearly all commercials, and many corporate peices are storyboarded. There are a number of reasons for this.

1) It is the basic way that creatives talk to each other. You can write camera directions all day, but in the end we all speak and think in pictures. There is no better way to communicate to a visual artists. In a similar way, many music types will noodle out ideas on a keyboard with a simple tape recorder going, then use the tape to transcribe the music.

2) Many times, we have to sell what we are doing to a client, to the money people, or even to our own staffs (anyone who thinks being a director is all giving orders and no taking orders has never been a director.) The storyboard is a basic part of the visualization process where you find out if the client likes the concept, if the concept is doable by your department heads, and if you have the moola to pull it off. A number of times I have presented the basic storyboard and had the DP or a talent say, well, that is simply not doable for less than x amount of time / cash, and we redid the thing.

3) Storyboards allow you to pre-edit a peice that is not even shot. Try this idea on for size. I usually use a digital camera to shoot my storyboard, adding elements in photoshop that are not possible to add using the camera (for example, graphics). Then I make a stilled storyboard on foam core. However, when I get really serious, I take the scanned images, import them to Final Cut Pro, read the script into the computer using a DV camcorders shotgun (and changing my voice to match characters so they can be told apart, sometimes doing this in the editor with flange or some other effect) and literally edit the entire shot sequence before it is shot. You can use the DVE effects in FCP to act as zoom / truck, and dolly actions, you can play with lighting in photoshop, and all those notes from your production work (done above the line so it is cheap) can be shared with your crew.

Josh_Boelter
07-04-2004, 10:35 PM
Excellent points Slapdragon. Especially the third point. I'm doing something similar right now. I'm shooting scenes from my script using toys as characters and recording the voices myself to get an idea of how I want to frame shots. As a writer/director, this is also useful in editing some of the dialogue. It sometimes doesn't sound quite the same once recorded as it does on page. Of course, as a writer, I'm always editing anyway.

Slapdragon
07-04-2004, 11:11 PM
Excellent points Slapdragon. Especially the third point. I'm doing something similar right now. I'm shooting scenes from my script using *toys as characters and recording the voices myself to get an idea of how I want to frame shots. As a writer/director, this is also useful in editing some of the dialogue. It sometimes doesn't sound quite the same once recorded as it does on page. Of course, as a writer, I'm always editing anyway.

I would love my writers to get a camcorder and some action figures when they write a scene. Even a commercial for women's underwear might be better when it comes from the creative / advertising types to my hands. I remember getting a "extreme close-up tilt down of panty line with husband in the background as woman models her new wonder panties" and I wondered if they ever tried to combine an XCU with husband in an "over the bum" shot while the jib jibs down and have the whole mess in focus. Their storyboard made it look so easy...

FaveDave
07-05-2004, 08:35 AM
Just to give an alternate opinion - I never storyboard. But I don't do commercials so i've never had to explain anyting to a client. To sell a music video to a band once, I put the song in FCP then just described what was happening in text as the song played. For them, it was like reading an outline to the music. It was very effective.

But otherwise, I don't storyboard and rarely even do a shot list. But my stuff is all character-driven narrative. (Even the music video).

If it helps you visualize or communicate, then do it. But it's certainly not necessary. And for me it would be a waste of time because of my content. You don't need to storyboard 2 people talking. I guess it would come in handy for car chases and stuff like that, though.

Josh_Boelter
07-05-2004, 03:21 PM
My writing is character-driven as well, but doing the video storyboard is still helpful for me. It's a chance to hear the diaogue out loud if nothing else. I heard Robert Rodriguez say he only storyboards complex action shots. Since he acts as his own DP, he doesn't have to storyboard for the DP, but he does it anyway for complex shots.

Mike_Donis
07-05-2004, 04:46 PM
I know that I find storyboards helpful because it gives you one less thing to worry about when on set. Seeing it in front of me helps me organize myself, and ensures that I don't forget any specific shots I wanted to take...I'm like that thought - It needs to be in front of me to guarantee I don't forget it.

taubkin
07-05-2004, 06:04 PM
Small sets can be fun to do without storyboard. It can be a very creative experience. But it definately helps, especially if the set is complicated. You need to comunicate, and if your key personnel know what to do in advance, it can save precious time.

Stanrick_Kubley
07-05-2004, 09:45 PM
I direct with a partner (I'm part of a brother team), and we nearly always storyboard. The storyboard is a sanity check, a safety net. It will give you the confidence that if you shoot the boards, you've got good stuff. Of course, you should always look for more opportunities on set/location, and some of the time you're moving the camera to the performances instead of vice-versa.

We both come from animation, so we do the boards ourselves, but good drawings are not important. What is important is good communication. Someone should be able to look at the boards and understand what's going on, whether you have colored boards or stick figures. Others have suggested using action figures, which is quite an excellent idea (isn't that how most of us started in the first place). Another way is to take still shots of actors or stand-ins.

Oh, and BTW, we put the storyboards on a big board and cross off shots as we get them done. A.D.-wise, it's a great way to keep things moving and get the WHOLE crew on board with your ideas.

Stanrick_Kubley
07-05-2004, 09:48 PM
Additionally, storyboards help you and the cast and crew know what is important in a given scene. There's usually a hierarchy of importance when it comes to things that need to come across on screen, and the boards can help to highlight big things.

Woodson
07-06-2004, 08:46 PM
Thank you all for that info.... wow... very interesting inputs.

I was thinking of taking photos.. maybe I can find a cheap poloroid camera and take pics of scenes... but then again I would have troubles with the scenes that have 5 or people in them, don't think I can get that many friends to come out and do this.

Maybe I'll print those storyboard templates from sonnyboo, arhhhggg stick man drive me nuts... and it looks like what I have in my brain my vision of the scene... I can't put it down on paper with stick man.

Slapdragon
07-06-2004, 08:49 PM
Thank you all for that info.... wow... very interesting inputs.

I was thinking of taking photos.. maybe I can find a cheap poloroid camera and take pics of scenes... but then again I would have troubles with the scenes that have 5 or people in them, don't think I can get that many friends to come out and do this.

Maybe I'll print those storyboard templates from sonnyboo, arhhhggg stick man drive me nuts... and it looks like what I have in my brain my vision of the scene... I can't put it down on paper with stick man.

Five people with signs on their shirts, 1 to 5, is all you really need.

Also, one reason for storyboards that no one else has mentioned. A director needs to appear to have their act together. Storyboards allow you to rehearse what you are doing and how you are doing it, so you can be the one with the final answer to a question.

Stanrick_Kubley
07-06-2004, 11:56 PM
Five people with signs on their shirts, 1 to 5, is all you really need.

Also, one reason for storyboards that no one else has mentioned. A director needs to appear to have their act together. Storyboards allow you to rehearse what you are doing and how you are doing it, so you can be the one with the final answer to a question.
LOL! How true. Our first big shoot, we made sure we had clear, organized boards. Boy, when the whole crew is questioning why you're the one in the director's chair, it's nice to be able to point at the boards.

Slapdragon
07-07-2004, 12:21 AM
LOL! *How true. *Our first big shoot, we made sure we had clear, organized boards. *Boy, when the whole crew is questioning why you're the one in the director's chair, it's nice to be able to point at the boards.


Plus, when you are putting together this complex shot, amd everyone thinks you are nuts, the extra time with the boards makes you all that more confident that you can pull the thing off.

ahtiro
07-07-2004, 09:47 PM
Here's another site for you all, one with a few simple (yet handy) resources for fellow low-to-no budgeters. In addition to storyboards, you'll find sample location contracts, cookie-cutter talent release forms, you name it.

http://www.dependentfilms.net/files.html


ps. its not my site, so all the kudos to them that have made it available to us all...

Woodson
07-08-2004, 02:26 PM
Ahtiro, thanks for that link. Lots of great documents.


Anyone know any links of storyboards that show stick man drawings?

uhrgl
07-19-2004, 08:22 AM
Hitchcock storyboarded every shot so his movies were already done in his mind -- he just had to film them. You can conserve a lot of time/tape if you know what you want before you start shooting.

Woodson
07-19-2004, 02:11 PM
Hitchcock storyboarded every shot so his movies were already done in his mind -- he just had to film them. *You can conserve a lot of time/tape if you know what you want before you start shooting.


I bet Hitchcock had great artists to do his storyboards.

Woodson
07-19-2004, 10:36 PM
For those that did shot lists, do you have examples of them that you can show?

Thanks

GenJerDan
07-20-2004, 10:43 AM
Has anyone here gone all out and "shot" their film using POV-Ray or Poser or one of the other CGI-ish rendering programs out there?

It seems to me you could pre-set everything...lighting, aperture, dof, angles, etc etc etc, and see just how things will look. Even do pans, tilts, zooms, and character movement with the animation features, if you wanted.

Dan

Mike_Donis
07-20-2004, 11:11 AM
I know that the stage I'm at doesn't require a full-out CGI storyboard. Rough sketches and descriptions of scenes do for me right now.

Barry_Green
07-20-2004, 11:37 AM
We shot storyboards for one film by going out with a video camera and taking digital stills. Get some stand-ins to pose in position and take the shot... it was all a one-location film, so it took about half a day to storyboard the entire thing -- most effective storyboarding I've ever done, and by far the quickest, and you'd know exactly what the shots could look like because you'd place the camera where you wanted it and get the shot you wanted...

Stas_Tagios
07-21-2004, 02:25 AM
Back when I was shooting super-8 short films, I'd often take a crappy VHS camcorder to the locations with stand-ins or the actual actors and roughly shoot the entire project and cut it together before actually shooting a frame of film, which proved to be a very handy pre-vis tool, especially given how expensive Super-8 was (and is) to shoot, compared to video.

Whenever possible, I still try and shoot stills in the actual locations for use as reference and as storyboards. If I can't do this, I'll draw crappy stick figure storyboards, but since I'm the one shooting my movies, I don't need to decipher my drawings for anyone else.

Inspiration can often strike on a set or location -- you find a better angle, a shot that you didn't think of before, whatever -- but having a shot list and/or boards can be a safety net, especially on complicated shoots, to help you avoid forgetting some important bit of coverage.

J_Barnes
07-22-2004, 08:05 AM
I think how you work with storyboards really depends on your style during production.

I hate using storyboards for most things because I feel like I tend to focus on the little pictures as being the ideal sequence of the movie. I know that I get fixated on the drawings and somehow that limits my ability to rethink things at the location.

When Iím directing, I use shot lists only, covering each master, 2shot, insert, establishing, and closeup that Iíll need in the edit. I have a loose idea of how things will be framed, but by putting it in text rather then in pictures...I donít get locked into a shot that might not fit the location as well as I imagined. Also, if Iím working with a DP on the shoot, that allows them to have a bit of creative freedom in framing the shots while still giving me what I know Iím going to need in the edit.

Every time Iíve used a storyboard, I find myself editing to fit the storyboard rather then editing to fit the scene, and as my directing style is more theatrical in nature, I need the extra freedom to cut the scene in the edit room rather then in the camera or on paper.

Of course, Iím really never doing anything action or physically oriented, and that stuff really requires the careful planning of a storyboard to make sense of the scene.

I tried using poser to do a few storyboards, but it still didnít fit my style. The way I used it was to take a digital camera and actually photograph the shots I wanted to have in the actual locations I was going to shoot, then I used those shots as the backgrounds in Poser and placed my figures in the appropriate places and positions. What resulted were some bizarrely photo realistic storyboards, but because Iím not very familiar with the program they took twice as long as a simple sketch would have.

I donít really have the patience to spend so much time on something Iím probably just going to end up tossing once I get into the shoot, but I must say that the mental planning that went into the storyboard really helped to flesh out the shooting style I eventually used.

Phil
07-22-2004, 11:12 PM
I've started story boarding right now, and even though I'm a good artist, I'd rather do the photo idea.
I read the guy from Primer did that with a Tungsten based slide film camera? where he could story board and test his lights at the same time! I'm good with digital cameras, I think this might be a good idea.

THiNSPiRiT
07-29-2004, 02:05 PM
Storyboards can be helpful, but you don't need them. I personally use them to keep myself organized on set. It just shows how your movie will flow on paper so when you're worrying about how your actor is acting you don't miss a crucial shot. It's a great thing to keep referring back to.

You also don't want to draw stick figures. Stick figures have no mass to them, a real person does. The thing you want to worry about most is simply proportions and eyeline in your storyboards... make a person just using simple geometric shapes so he fills the frame like you would want him to when you're filming him. Then use T shape on the oval that is his head to show his browline and nose...

a T shape is a great too to use to show where the person's looking...

I've even bothered to make an example. It's an over the shoulder shot at night... very basic and simple done in a few seconds in photoshop, even easier with a pencil and a piece of paper...

You want to focus on contrast and proportions...

http://www.midnight-tranquility.com/images/sbexample.gif

Mike_Donis
07-29-2004, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the pic thinspirit!

That is true, you always want to have the *shot* be the same shot, with the same compositional elements...and unless your person is going to be two pixels thin, your composition will look different.

Then again, any storyboards are helpful opposed to no storyboards. If you are too lazy to draw the circles for heads and shapes for bodies, your storyboard isn't useless: it just becomes more of a shot list than a "storyboard" sheet.

edmessina
11-06-2004, 02:59 PM
I agree that this part of the director's preproduction duty and copies of the boards are useful to the other dept heads, like lighting, sound, art direction, etc for their input and embellishment. I have been using FrameForge and I love it... beats the hell out of my scribbled attempts at sketching years ago. Part of the value is that it causes a certain discipline in your planning, even gives you an exercise in blocking before you get to the set. It is useful to take digital shots of the locations, using a neutral lens setting, so you can reasonably imitate it on the computer. I don't think it is a good idea to show the boards to the talent until the shooting day, and only then to show them what their "space" will be in the shot. IMHO.

Young-H._Lee
11-16-2004, 06:18 PM
I swear by storyboarding - I film a lot of action stuff and with all the angles and cuts, if I dont have a storyboard on set, then I'm a complete mess. what I usually do is visualize teh action in my head, get the tempo and pacing down and just draw everything out, and then replay everythign in my head. I find that doing so ensures continuity of action and dramatic effect. Of course, being prepared also gives you the chance for a little spontaneity, cause you can really have the room to add things (actions, movements) because you have a clear idea of what you want.

Young-H._Lee
11-16-2004, 06:45 PM
I recently filmed a chase scene in Chinatown, check out the video vs storyboard here:
video: http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/AE/chinatown_chase1.mov

http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase1.jpg
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase_alley.jpg
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase_sidewalk.jpg


http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase2.jpg
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase_sidewalk2.jpg
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase_sidewalk3.jpg


http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase3.jpg
http://www.glue.umd.edu/~younglee/chinatown_chase_sidewalk4.jpg


It was a difficult shoot so I had to make sure I knew exactly what I wanted. So to storyboard I did two things:

1. Come up wtih a basic sequence of what I wanted
2. Visit the actual location and re-visualize what I had in my mind already based on what I was working with.

It took me about 2-3 hours of brainstorming on the location before I finally came up with a 5 shot sequence that I felt was good. then I just drew everything down as reminders, rehearsed in my mind how I was gonig to communicate to my cast and crew how to do each shot, and then by the time the shooting day came, I was very prepared, went out there, got all teh shots and then was able to edit quickly as well.

hope that helps!!

mediamogul
11-17-2004, 10:23 AM
As I get ready to direct my first feature, I think storyboards are a must for any director. I am lucky that I met Robert Myers, http://www.robertmyerscreates.com/index.html , who was one of the storyboard artists for "Sky Captain". We met through a post I had on Craigs List. We hit it off and he created some amazing boards for me for basically nothing with the notion that he would get future business from me in the future. Storyboards really give you the ability to have a guide to get your creative juices flowing in my opinion. I have them posted in my office and each day I can visualize my movie as we get closer to the start of shooting.

As a producer, I have always made my directors work with storyboards. It is a must a deal breaker. I want to see the vision the director has for his/her film. I learned early with a director who put together a great cast but had no vision for the film and it was almost a complete disaster.

my 2 copper pieces....