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Do you storyboard?

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  • Do you storyboard?

    I haven't drawn a storyboard since film school. I just write out a shot list in text. Do any of you guys draw storyboards? What do you consider the advantages of it? It just seems like a big waste of time to me.

  • #2
    It can give you perfect visualization of what the scene should look like.

    The problem I ran into with Us Sinners (which I did not know at the time) was the rooms we were shooting in couldn't handle to movement and angle of the storyboards. So, the beautiful storyboards became useless.

    I also just write out a shot list and work from that. Because of the spaces I'm pretty limited. So, it usually comes down to the best wide shot possible, over the shoulder mediums, and CUs. Then of course the CUs of anything important (hands, kisses, feet, props etc)

    Storyboarding is great, if you know that everything is possible to shoot.

    I had an actress once post she was at a shoot where they were doing a dolly shot of the two actors walking down the street. It took them all night to get this one "nothing" shot.


    • #3
      Storyboards are useful but I find them unnecessary. One of my professors said to always do a storyboard but I have no patience to sit and draw out scenes


      • #4
        When I went to film school I storyboarded. Now, not so much. The only drawing I do is if I'm trying to visually communicate a shot to my DP when shot listing.
        Never a day's rest.


        • #5
          I will usually still do storyboards along with a shot list mostly for visualization for not only me, but anyone who may need to know how I envisioned the shot.

          Yes you'll run into situations like UniqueAmI said where the location does not prohibit a camera move or position, but it still gives you a base to start.

          I personally love doing story boards, I used to draw comics as a kid so it naturally evolved, but I understand it's not for everyone. Whatever works for you on set and will reduce any headaches.


          • #6
            i always storyboard. Incredibly rough ones but I still do them. When I develop an idea for a film I literally run through the scene in my head, improvising dialogue and shots, then I go back and refine and write it down. Of course, scripts are sometimes necessary so I'll then write the script out from what I've denoted on the storyboard, since they're often so abstract only I can understand them!


            • #7
              I have been on many productions, some directors never storyboarded and other did.

              The directors that did storyboards always had a much better film because all of the crucial people DP, SPFX, etc.. had the vision on paper...

              I don't fund films if there will be no storyboards

              Nuff Said. :)
              Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


              • #8
                Yes. The screenplay I'm currently co-writing is an alien mutation slasher film, and we've got an awesome storyboard artist who so far has sketched the creatures out, and we will continue to use him once we have a final draft.


                • #9
                  Most of the time, when I'm writing the screenplay/script, I do. I handwrite the first draft ALWAYS, then translate it onto the computer for the second and so on. But the first and/or last draft always has little comic book panels I draw next to it to show what's happening in my head. I wouldn't really recommend this if you are writing for someone else to direct. But if you, like me, write and direct its a wonderful tool that kills two birds with one stone.


                  • #10
                    If I were to draw storyboards, no one on the set would be any wiser as to what I wanted trust me. I am that bad at drawing. It would look like I am trying to make some weird abstract film. I suppose if I were rich enough to pay some artist to make one, it could be useful to a certain extent.


                    • #11
                      I always storyboard my stuff. But then again, I've been drawing since I was 3 and have a better-than-average skill at it.

                      But even stick figures are better than nothing, IMHO. Whatever conveys the idea to the crew.

                      When I was at NYU film school and it got out that I could draw, everyone wanted me to storyboard their films. Many times, I felt like I was directing the film for them on paper, they were so indecisive as to what they wanted to see.

                      Anyway, some of my panels aren't even actual drawings from the camera's POV--as is the norm. Sometimes an overhead shot of the set/location with the actors placed and camera angles drawn in can save time on set. These can take the place of a shot list or use a kind of both.

                      It's all about saving time on set.

                      Folks I know who don't use storyboards always seem to forget to shoot something--even when using a shot list. It's easier to "see" you have a story hole in storyboards than on a shot list, it seems. When I get their footage to edit, there's a big hole where they forgot to shoot something important.

                      To avoid this, I also suggest "lining" the script as the storyboard is being drawn, so you can see you have all the coverage you need. Usually a script is lined on set during production [in Hollywood, the script supervisor would do it]--and you can do that with a clean copy during shooting, but doing a version in advance with storyboards allows the team to spot coverage problems before they get forgotten.

                      A few months ago, I put together storyboard templates for those who don't have any. Several types are included--live action, special FX, etc. Pick the one you like and use it. All Free.

                      FREE Storyboard template__ 2012__:

                      Kurt Hathaway
                      VikingDream7 Productions
                      Video Production & Editing



                      • #12
                        It depends on when you want to do your creative work. At some point you will need to figure out your framing and shots in order to tell the story the way you want to. You can either do that with storyboards or burn time on set. Some directors work better on the fly and that is fine, in my personal experience productions have gone smoother and tighter with storyboards completed. This doesn't mean they are law, you can always be creative and change them but START with a road map of shots and that will help.

                        Interesting point mentioned above about the location restricting planned camera moves. A program like Frameforge is FANTASTIC for this. It is easy to storyboard, looks professional (you don't have to be an artist) and you can set your lens and camera limitations and if you set up the virtual location close to where you will be shooting, then the program will follow the limitations of the set and alert you to any issues ahead of time.

                        I am new on this message board so it won't post a link, but do a search for "Frameforge 3D" and you will easily find it.


                        • #13
                          I am familiar with Frameforge and it looks great but also expensive.

                          I do write out detailed description of shots in my shot list and have a very clear idea of what I want before showing up on set. I just don't feel the need to draw a picture... which will ultimately not look anything like what I want anyway because I'm terrible at drawing.


                          • #14
                            What you need to do is take your detailed notes and give them to someone who can draw. That's what I did till I found out I didn't have the room to do the shots.

                            Us Sinners STORYBOARDS

                            These are from my detailed notes. Nice but completely useless.