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#1 Brad Smith

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:01 AM

Not sure about the rules and regs on this but I've posted a question over on the other forum and there's plenty of guys here it'd be great to hear from.




Edited by brad smith, 29 May 2008 - 07:01 AM.

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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:08 PM

["Hi all,
I'm curious how much directors/DP's use storyboards/previs when shooting Narrative/Commercials. How heavily is it used, relied on? How much is it adhered to on the day, how much gets discovered on the day? What's the norm on an episodic Drama? When does the DP get involved (in previs/storyboarding), how much is is he/she involved/responsible.

I realise this is a broad question. The situation and arrangements must be different for every project depending on the people involved. But as a ENG/EFP guy who doesn't yet, but would like to be working on narrative projects, I'm curious about the creative workflow.

Thanks for your feedback,

Storyboards and Previz are great tools for the Director to convey to his crew including his DP what he is trying to achieve. I worked with Directors where the Storyboard was the Bible to the set up and others where it was mere a guide.

Usually Boards are used on narratives for a difficult and intricate Action sequence where many variables are in play and the more problem you can eliminate early on in preproduction, the safer will the stunt/sequence be on the day. Watch some of the Extras on DVD's these days, like the finished sequence compared to the story boards... Story boarding some scenes makes sense, doing it for the whole feature is a waste of time. I talked to director that did that and basically threw it out after the first day of principal photography.

A good director will use it as a guide, a great director will be always prepared enough to just throw it out and make it work anyways. If you are a newer Director it's great to be able to visualize the shot, as you get more experienced you know how it will look like... and trying to achieve the exact storyboard picture in real life will be redundant...

Commercials relay heavily on storyboards as you usually have only 22 seconds to tell the story (8 seconds are for the Product placement, Cereal box, Shampoo bottle, etc. That's how long it takes for the human brain to commit the product to memory and will later recognize the product on the shelf) and you can easily lose yourself into a way to big story arc and you have limited amounts of time to get what you want. 60 to 80 setups or more where you just use a couple of frames but it takes hours to set up and light... easy to lose track.

I hope that made any sense,


PS: Keep in mind that posts in the "off topic" only stay visible about 60 days and later will only be available if you search for them... so chose your forum carefully.
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:14 PM

Over the years I've agreed to shoot low-budget stuff for young directors and on the occasion they will present me with a set of storyboards that they got their amazing comic book artist friend to draw up and they are quite impressed with. Inevitably I take one look at them and say "oh, very nice, now let's talk about how we are going to shoot your movie" (i.e. we throw them out).

For myself, I will only board shots or sequences that need to be communicated in advance to a number of people (as Erwin says, action sequences or effects sequences). There's not much point in a storyboard that shows an over-the-shoulder shot.

Shot lists on the other hand can be invaluable especially when time is short and the show is scattered, as many indie productions are! Both when I am shooting or directing, I'll make at the very least notes for myself, crossing off setups and re-arranging the shooting order as needed. Walking into the day with a game plan is pretty critical, of course you have to revise it as you go but you hate to realize you forget a setup and you've already turned around to the other side of the set so it's too late, or even worse you remember it on your drive home.

So overall--big thumbs up for shot lists (hopefully with the participation of DP and AD) but except for specific times, not so much with the storyboards, at least for features/episodic. Don't think I've ever seen a storyboard on an episodic show...? But yes, they are standard in the commercial world for the reasons Erwin listed, plus the fact that they have been approved by the agency who are watching closely.
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#4 Brad Smith

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 06:30 AM

Erwin, Charles,

Thanks for your replies, you guys are exactly the sort of operators I was hoping to hear from. Actually I haven't had a response on the other forum, so thanks again.

Cheers, Brad.
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