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Pre Production Major Project: Storyboards Research

One role of being director is the use of storyboards to portray my ideas in picture form. This helps me to show my team, as well as everyone else exactly what kind of shots I want, and the style I want to use. I am not the best at drawing, therefore I have made the decision to hire someone else to draw my ideas for me, as they will specialise in this field, and therefore help me get my ideas on paper with high quality. I found a girl named "Joey Ku"who studied Graphics at UCA; she has a business card and seems very friendly as well as passionate about drawing:

I am going to go with Joey as she seems reliable and has an impressive portfolio. After speaking with her, she seemed enthusiastic and very keen to help. But before I meet with her, I need to decide on what content I'm using, as well as the panels themselves.

After researching into storyboarding, I have found vital components to creating a successful storyboard for a short programme/film:

First of all I need to break down the script, I have done this already by printing it off and breaking it down into small shots:

Doing this has helped me envision exactly what shots I want to do, meaning I can then create a shot list so the team know what I want. This actually helped me progress as the script was rather overwhelming at first. My research also said this may happen:

"Figure out what you want these shots to entail and then transform those ideas into a series of storyboard panels. Stepping back and seeing your film in individual panels makes the project much less overwhelming."

My research then goes on to explain that I need to evaluate each shot in great detail, with several elements to consider:

  • What is the location setting?
  • How many actors are needed in the shot?
  • Do you need any important props or vehicles in the shot?
  • What type of shot (close-up, wide-shot, establishing shot, and so on) do you need?
  • What is the shot's angle (where the camera is shooting from)? Is it a high angle? A low angle? 
  • Do any actors or vehicles need to move within a frame, and what is the direction of that action?
  • Do you need any camera movement to add motion to this shot? In other words, does the camera follow the actor or vehicles in the shot, and in what direction?
  • Do you need any special lighting? The lighting depends on what type of mood you're trying to convey (for example, you may need candlelight, moonlight, a dark alley, or a bright sunny day).
  • Do you need any special effects? Illustrating special effects is important to deciding whether you have to hire a special-effects person. Special effects can include gunfire, explosions, and computer-generated effects.

All of these points are vital as they highlight the main aspects of each shot. These elements are going to help me create detailed storyboards

The next step in planning the storyboard process is the shot list:

"shot is defined from the time the camera turns on to cover the action to the time it's turned off; in other words, continuous footage with no cuts."

I have created shot lists before so I know what is needed in this department, however I have never made one on this scale, therefore plenty of preparation and planning is needed. My research shows that I need to concentrate on the major shots when creating the storyboard:

"Keep a shot list of all the events or scenes that jump out at you so that you can translate them into separate storyboard panels."

I am going to storyboard the most important shots that require the most planning or involve camera movements. My shot list will contain every shot I'm planning to use, which in turn will help speed and organisation on the day of filming.

The final step of planning a storyboard is actually constructing the panels. 

"A storyboard panel is basically just a box containing the illustration of the shot you envision for your film."

My research has shown me that there are different types of panels depending on the type of film, for example a television panel will have different shapes and dimensions to theatrical screens. 

"Decide which shape and size of panel to use.
A television storyboard panel, like the screen on your television set, resembles a square, only slightly wider. Theatrical feature-film storyboards are rectangular in shape, almost twice as wide as a television screen. Many filmmakers hope for a theatrical release and also like the picture information available with the larger, rectangular storyboard panel, but shooting a happy medium between the two is safer. You're more likely to end up on TV and you don't want a lot of your picture information lost on both sides of the image."

After using this research, I have looked for different storyboard templates which are in contention of being used for my own:

This is the BBC template that I have used before on past projects. They are very simple but have just enough room for appropriate images; however these are very rectangular and are more suitable for theatrical films for the cinema, therefore I want more square shaped panels.

These panels are much more suitable for this project as they are square. I like the fact there are less squares to a page as it means there is more room to draw more detailed pictures in the squares. On the other hand, the description boxes are quite vague, meaning I am limited to the amount of components I can describe for each shot.

These panels are perfect in my opinion as they are square, good size and have different boxes for the descriptions. There are three panels to each page which is great, as that means there is plenty of room for Joey to draw my shots in great detail. The size of the description boxes means I can describe each shot in great detail too, including the dialogue, music and action of the camera. Each panel are clearly labelled too meaning it's easy for everyone to read and understand along with the shot list.

I have booked a day with Joey so we can sit down in the library and work on the storyboards together, this research has helped me to know exactly what I need when creating detailed and successful storyboards.

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