Hey, guys! It’s been a while since my last post! I’ve been busy working on my next film project. The script is done, and in the process of translation into several different languages. While the translators are working on that, I’ve been hard at work doing the storyboards. I have to admit, storyboarding is my least favorite part, but having them is a BIG help. I used to film my One-Phrase Lessons without storyboarding. Everyone would show up on set, my actors would begin going over the script with my rehearsal director, and I would begin planning shots based on the storyboards in my head. What happened? A lot of wasted time. I like to shoot quickly, and I’ve built a reputation for creating great-looking scenes in a very short amount of time. I would spend an hour or more just in the set-up and try to explain what I want/how I want it–all of which would have been avoided if I had only taken the time to create storyboards and shot lists. Once I started doing that, we could shoot longer, smoother scenes. This allowed us to create more elaborate stories in half the time. There are many different methods to approach storyboarding and creating shot lists, so I’ll tell you my method.
The way I create my storyboards is a little different than the traditional way. My storyboards combine traditional storyboards with shot lists. As a result, I have a lot of storyboards frames!!
I find this much easier because I am able to organize my scenes according to what I want shot and how I want it. This way I am able to organize my shooting schedule. I number each frame straight through to the final shot of the film. The film I’m currently working on has up to 200 frames (I’m not quite done storyboarding, so I’m guessing). I also label according to shots in a scene (i.e. 1A, 1B). I have now killed two birds with one stone. Storyboards and shot lists are complete so I can present a visual aid not only to my producers, cast, and crew, but the cinematographers will have a very clear idea of what I want. I give suggestions on what gear/lenses/filters might work, but those suggestions can be amended if need be. This helps as well so we can plan our shooting schedule in a way we don’t have to waste time changing lenses, or gear after every shot we complete.
The way I accomplish this is by making a special storyboard specifically for the shoot day. I arrange all the connected shots together, then place them in an order that makes for smooth transitions into progressive shots. For example, say frames #45, #48, #50 are all 2C (Scene 2, shot C), then I would put all those frames together in the shoot storyboard. My 1st AD can now look at these storyboards and quickly organize the cast and crew for each shot instead of waiting for me to decide what we should shoot next.
If this sounds confusing, yet interesting just leave me a comment or tweet me and I’ll answer any questions you have!