Academic Master

English

STORYBOARDS IN FILM MAKING ESSAY

The process of filmmaking can be tiresome and tedious, but storyboards come in handy to make work easier. A storyboard is a rough draft of what you want to come up with. There are several types of storyboards used in the process of filmmaking. Their role, however, is not different from all work as a guide towards coming up with a perfect film. The structure and their working are what differs though, and this makes different storyboards suitable for different types of movies or motion picture needed by the producer.

For every film produced, some things cannot be worked on during the production period. This calls for pre-arranged actions such as storyboarding that will come in to fill in the gaps left by standard film shooting procedures. Storyboarding is the best way to anchor the production of a film because it leaves no stones unturned. It utilises the various requirements of filmmaking such as imagery, camera angles and shots, aspect ratio. These elements are an essential consideration because one can apparently get what they need to produce the film before embarking on actual groundwork. Pre-production saves the filmmakers a lot of time and money. It is the way forward for anyone who wants a successful career in filmmaking. Storyboarding ensures timeliness and quality.

Traditional Storyboard.

This was commonly used before computers and was useful in creating a proper sequence of the story. Its creation was done to ensure that the process of shooting the video is smooth and it also prevents redundancy because it provides step by step directions since it is made with the help of producers and the film directors. Other than providing direction, this storyboard ensures proper use of imagery and perfect timing.  This makes transitions from one scene to another very simple since it is already documented in the traditional storyboard.

The traditional storyboard is no longer used of late because the needs of the film production industry have changed. The use of Thumbnails as a storyboard has also declined over time since it is traditional. Currently, film production has advanced so much that producers are required to use advanced technology to come up with perfect films. Different storyboards can offer this. Different types of productions have different needs hence different storyboards are used according to what each production requires. This assignment will focus on digital storyboards and will seek to identify the different storyboards and which types of production best suits each one of them.

Animatics

This is a storyboard that is animated. It is available courtesy of the many opportunities that have come with the advent of computers. Animatics can be described as digital sketches where a filmmaker can make a rough draft of everything they need and watch it see whether it fits or not. This storyboard allows for one to get a visual flow of the film from the beginning to the end. With a full picture of what the film is like, they can edit out the mistakes, the time it and come up with a final perfect production. This type of storyboard is essential because it allows for the use of consumer video cameras and model actors. This will enable them to even further make the necessary changes in the film since the mimic gives a clear picture of what to expect.

Another critical element of animatics is it allows for the use of music and sound when doing trials. This makes the production even more comfortable since the filmmaker can insert all they need in the film, the time it and watch the visual flow of the test. This is done with less struggle since it is automated, and once a perfect draft is made, the filmmaker embarks on editing the original work, with the guide of the storyboard. They can make an exact estimate of time which is very essential, and they have an immediate step by step guide of what they need to make a perfect film. Animatics can be described as a collection of sketches put together to make a complete story used as a benchmark for the actual filmmaking.

In as much as animatics is not a favourite in the film production industry, it is one of the best tools in film production. It is not a favourite because it has been overridden by the various technological advancements that happen every day in the film production industry. However, it remains one of the most accessible storyboarding tools in the film industry. It doesn’t need a lot of technical knowledge, and its working mechanism can be easily grasped.

Another advantage of using animatics is its software is easily accessed compared to others which are technical and sometimes not open for all users. Animatics are best for people who are new in the film industry and are seeking comfortable but convenient ways of filmmaking before they advance to the next stages that require complex features of storyboarding. Another advantage of animatics is the filmmaker can feel in position while making the film. They can flow with the film so well that they can edit where necessary while making the story such that by the end they have a perfect product. Animatics are also time-saving since one can efficiently use it. Hence they do not waste a lot of time.

Animatics also correctly utilise the different camera angles so well, for example, when shooting conversations, it allows for neutrality especially in short talks. With this, one can focus their attention on the essential character, and when the audience is viewing, they can get fixated to the film because every shot taken has been well made to attract and keep their conversation. This storyboard’s end game is for the long run. Other than the necessary shots, animatics allow for reverse angle shots where the motive of the filmmaker is to make the audience fixated on one character hence their focus on them. Animatics create a perfect imagery for the filmmaker according to instructions and results in an ideal scene when all the sketches are put together in the correct order and visual flow.

Digimatics

Digimatics is so much like animatics. Like animatics, it utilises sketches and digital images to create a perfect visual flow. One significant advantage of using dogmatics is the ability to develop the whole filming and viewing it before deciding on what changes ought to be made. They are called test films. This makes the entire filmmaking process so easy since they can make the changes needed and can experiment with different imagery and visual techniques. Digimatics is one of the favourites when it comes to storyboards in the film production industry. Digimatics is essential since they help a filmmaker cut on costs. This is because some films can be very costly and it is necessary for a filmmaker to have a bright blueprint that will save them from redundancy which will otherwise make the whole filmmaking expensive.

As mentioned earlier, dogmatics utilises sketches just like animatics, it places digital images in place of the sketches, and they are then lined up in a proper sequence to create a complete scene. With this, the filmmaker can get a complete visual flow of the film they are making, and they can figure out areas of weakness that need changing. It is essential because mistakes are noticed very early in the process, and they can be corrected before the producers are way deep into the filmmaking process. The visual flow offered by dogmatics allows for a filmmaker to create a sense of timing and they can come up with a test film that is exactly what they need their end product to be. Digimatics is commonly used in the production of advertisements. As mentioned earlier, this storyboard is familiar with high budget projects hence the need for attention to detail and test results to ensure the final product is exactly what the investors want.

It also allows for smooth transition between wide and medium shots. This transition is usually meant to capture the attention of the audience so much since it brings them closer to the life of their character. Connecting the various types of shots is very easy with dogmatics since it is excellent when it comes to visual flow. With this, one can completely capture the attention of their audience, and they can now relay the message they intended to. It is one of the easiest storyboards to use when it comes to showing emotion, conversation and location. It allows for over the shoulder shots which are essential in connecting two different characters and their location through conversation.

Dogmatics is a clear example of how technology is essential in preplanning of the whole filmmaking process. Without such a storyboard, there are chances of redundancy and the filmmakers have to grapple with the costs that come with having to repeat a process over and over again physically before finding a perfect result. Planning helps in saving money and time. Digimatics perfectly offers this and much more. Other than being time-saving, a filmmaker can experiment with different imagery and visual enhancements. They can do this without having to alter the main film but experiment with this storyboard provided by technology. With this, they can try out different film editing techniques and transitions until they can come up with the best.

Digimatics helps the directors and producers a lot since having a final copy of what they need saves a lot of time during the shooting process. With the results of the storyboard being used to direct the crew during shooting, it saves time and doesn’t compromise with the quality of the film. This is one of the best technological advancements in the film industry.

Photomatics

This type of storyboard utilises still images arranged in a particular sequence, and the filmmaker gets to judge whether the story flows if the images appear in that order or not. With this, they can make the necessary changes and include the timing and image sequence. Photomatics uses a digital camera to capture the images making it comfortable and convenient for the filmmaker since they do not need to adjust the aspect ratios of the images to fit in the storyboard since they are automatically edited. The transitions are carefully chosen by the filmmaker and using the correct software; they can make a complete story and view it then edit out all imperfections.

This storyboard is also conventional in advertising because it can perfectly utilise images, which is common in advertising. As mentioned earlier, advertising jobs are costly, and there is need to consider pre-production before actual filming to save on extra costs that may be accrued courtesy of redundancy. Photomatics offers the best pre-production platform, especially for such work. Advertising jobs require beautiful imagery and professionally done transitioning to capture the attention of the desired audience. Photomatics offers this and more since it also allows for the filmmaker to edit out flaws and come up with a final pre-produced complete film. This enables investors to view and approve of it and whether the project should continue to completion or not.

This storyboard has two significant advantages which have been mentioned. One is the fixed aspect ratio and the ability to use various new camera angles. This is because this storyboard utilises the camera a lot and in the process, one can discover multiple camera angles that are better than what they had previously planned. The ability to make new and better discoveries is what makes this storyboard very essential to filmmaking because camera angles and imagery is critical in making short films which rely on image to thrive in sending the intended message, i.e. advertisements.

Another advantage of photomatics is it increases imagination. With every image and step comes new ideas. This makes the storyboard one of filmmakers’ favourites because this is a field that requires a lot of imagination and creativity. Photomatics encourages both, and when used in the pre-production process, the final product is perfect. Innovativeness is very important in the film industry, and this storyboard invokes innovativeness in its user. Without being innovative, one cannot survive in the highly competitive advertising market, and thus most filmmakers will choose to work with this for them to be able to explore the many possibilities that come with Photomatix.

Because such storyboards are excellent for productions that require one to capture the attention of the audience, photomatics makes the best cutaway shots. This camera shot is done at an angle that lets the filmmaker drive away the attention of the viewer from the characters closer to the screen to the characters far away. This is usually done as to support a story or introduce another angle to the story. The director of the film will always do this to create chaos in the mind of the viewer and keep them guessing on what the character at an indirect means to the current storyline.

Photomatics is also very time saving since it uses the computer. With this one can be able to experiment some transition styles, different camera angles in a short period. Other than this, they can make some rough draft films then the crew can compare which one is perfect before they settle on the final blueprint for the film. While this sounds like so much work, photomatics allows for this to be done in the shortest time possible. It’s a handy time-saving tool every filmmaker prides on.

Floating Storyboard.

This type of storyboard is used of sketches drawn inside triangles. The triangles must match the aspect ratio required by the filmmaker. With this illustrations, the filmmaker can come up with a come up with every scene needed for the film to make it whole. This storyboard doesn’t require much since it is unrestricted. This means it is possible to come up with the sketches without the triangles. Most filmmakers prefer this open structure and may want to experiment a lot with it. It is straightforward and flexible and involves a lot less compared to other storyboards. This storyboard also invokes a lot of unlimited imagination, and one can come up with a lot of ideas when using it.

However much every filmmaker would love to work with fewer restrictions and be allowed imagination as wild as possible, lack of order tends to create chaos. This means a lot of confusion and thus arranging back up the scenes and the many ideas can be tasking. This together with the fact that undoing the rectangles means one is working without considering the required aspect ratios may make the whole editing process tedious and time-consuming. It was thus suitable for projects that are not time sensitive. Other than this, the free storyboard requires unique skills and attention to detail. This means coming up with a perfect blueprint without following the rules can be tasking.

This kind of storyboard is also beneficial when the errors are detected and fixed in the early stages of filmmaking. This is because pilling up the errors from the first stage will positively affect the subsequent scenes since the errors will be carried forward. This will affect the whole film. Other than this, there are various elements of this storyboard that encourage experimentation that makes it one of the best, when one wants to come up with perfect imagery and a final film. This storyboard, allows for expansion of drawings and limitless trials until one can settle for what they like. This is because it provides for the filmmaker to develop their images and edit them into a crisp edge perfect form that they feel is impressive.

Floating storyboards are the best suit for low budget films where a filmmaker is allowed to take risks to break new ground. It provides for the production team to work together to try and see how far regarding quality diverting from the normal can get them. It is the best way to experiment various camera angles and different shots while postponing the oblivious consequences of not working within the required aspect ratio. However, for anyone who wants to learn and advance, they ought to be extraordinary and think outside the box. However, the sketches on a floating narrative perfectly advance the narrative and should be embraced by the various filmmakers. Using different perspectives and elaborate props, they can give the best results.

Most filmmakers are advised to stick to the use of triangles in this that fit the required aspect ratio of the film. This is because of the need to reduce errors and save time. For those who do not prefer using triangles, it is advisable to be unrestricted in the early stages of the filmmaking when there is less work to do thus errors can be easily detected. Later in the process, it is critical to ensure that all the work fits the required aspect ratio by the producer. Failure to meet this requirement will necessitate the need to start the process all over again to correct that since film aspect ratio is critical in coming up with the perfect imagery for filmmaking.

Framed Storyboard.

Knowledge of this storyboard is necessary for those who can work under rules and restrictions. This is because, with this storyboard, one is required to think inside the box. That means the rectangles drawn to the required aspect ratio limit the film maker’s exploration boundaries. Anything they come up with ought to fit in the aspect ratio. This is one of the most restrictive but useful storyboards. The filmmaker is limited to what they need to fit on the display screen. While most people may find a restrictive storyboard boring, it is a very useful element of filmmaking. This is because it encourages very few errors hence time-saving.

Other than being restrictive, there are some advantages that come with using this storyboard. As mentioned earlier, fewer errors hence time-saving. It also encourages orderliness in the pre-production process. It allows for the filmmaker to choose the sizes of the shots they need and work with them, this means they can choose something they are comfortable with. A framed storyboard is also essential because one can shuffle and reshuffle the various scenes as many times as possible until they meet the needs of the filmmaker. This storyboard is one of the most orderly and gives perfect work when used.

A framed storyboard allows for the use of the various drawing and image computer software to make work easy. With this, one can make perfect scenes using the ideal rectangles well measured to the required aspect ratio and then the filmmaker fits the scenes exactly how he wants them to appear. This means when they are done with each stage, they do not leave behind a trail of a backlog.

It is called a framed storyboard because the many triangles made to fit the various scenes are like a collection of frames. This storyboard is excellent because it comes up with tidy and orderly work at the end of the pre-production process. This means when the filmmaker is on the ground doing the actual filming, they have a complete and perfect guide to how they ought to work. When the film, they can use the step by step guidance of the now printed and bind storyboard scene by scene. This minimises errors even in the actual filming since all directions are embedded in the storyboard and interpreted by the directors. This storyboard is also essential in processing the correct imagery for every scene. In as much as there is no motion picture in the film process because a printout is used, it still offers a perfect visual flow of activities in the film and is an excellent filmmaking tool.

Another advantage of this storyboard is the filmmaker can regulate the aspect ratio according to the imagery they can offer. With this, they can work within their means and budget. This is because working without considering the aspect ratio sometimes can lead to one using hi-definition imagery that they do not have the proper tools to provide that. The fact that it confines the filmmaker to specific instructions and requirements, i.e. the use of rectangles and sticking to the aspect ratio should be considered more of an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

Framed storyboards are great for films that involve a lot of intimate conversations, especially between two people. These involve close up camera shots, and they work to bring out emotion and reaction from the characters in the scene. Such shots are also meant to satisfy the curiosity of the audience by bringing them up and close to the characters. It makes them so engrossed, and the viewer feels so much like part of the film. This is because they can either relate or, the way the shot has been made invokes a particular feeling or brings up a memory. This storyboard is the real epitome of the fact that storyboards bring concepts and ideas to life. Without such, film production would be dull and lack of imagination would make the final products even more boring.

Conclusion  

Before coming up with a storyboard, there are several things a filmmaker ought to consider. One is the type of shot. For example, a full shot is one that requires the filmmaker to reveal a lot about the location of the character. This means the character’s whole body is captures and their location. This means the viewer can see so much of the location of the scene. The surrounding environment, and all about the place. Such shots are intended to capture the attention of the viewer such that they become so engrossed in the film. This is one of the primary considerations when choosing the required aspect ratio and storyboard measurements.

Storyboarding is selling an idea visually. It is all about telling the story before actual filming. It is like setting the pace and pitching the concept up first before working on it. Without storyboarding, shooting the actual film would be a cumbersome and boring redundant exercise. Storyboards tell the story of the film maker’s work on it. It is like someone telling you a story as you act it out. It makes the work of the filmmaker easy because they can consult every second of the film as they go on with the actual process. It is like a professional script that is a combination of both images and words that show the directors and the actors what to do, when and how. Storyboards allow for editing of wide shots to medium shots where the audience gets to understand the characters even better.

Proper knowledge and skills in storyboards are essential for anyone who wants to make a high flying career in filmmaking. It is the anchor of all the filmmaking activities. Without a storyboard, it is safe to say there is no film. This is because the physical actions of the characters are even more important compared to the words. It is the action that is needed to make the film successful.

References

Christiano, G. The Storyboard Artist: A Guide to Freelancing in Film, TV, and Advertising, Michael Wiese Productions (2012) ISBN 978-1615930838

Glebas F – Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation (Focal Press, 2008) ISBN 9780240810768.

Halligan, F. The Art of Movie Storyboards: Visualizing the Action of the World’s Greatest Films (Ilex Press, 2015) ISBN 978-1781572863

Hart J – The Art of the Storyboard: A Filmmaker’s Introduction, Second Edition (Focal Press, 2007)

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