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What format does one present your storyboards in to your DP and crew?

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ryan elder
What format does one present your storyboards in to your DP and crew?
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:49:44 am

When it comes to doing storyboards I was thinking about learning how to use frameforge and doing it that way, to present them with more clarity. But how do you present them to your DP and crew, after you are done?

Does it look more professional to give them a binder with all the storyboarded shots in, or a perhaps just a downloadable file with them all in if I do it on frameforge, as oppose to on paper?

What do you think?


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Gary Huff
Re: What format does one present your storyboards in to your DP and crew?
on Oct 18, 2018 at 12:58:59 pm

You don't need to use storyboards.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What format does one present your storyboards in to your DP and crew?
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:26:49 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:35:15 pm

I don't normally disagree with Gary, but Storyboards can be very helpful, particularly for inexperienced teams.

They don't necessarily need to be highly detailed or fancy. Somewhere I still have a literal cocktail napkin with some stick figure sketches that the client and I used to storyboard a spot. I grew up on using the two-column TV script format with little TV bezel-shaped drawing boxes across from each key piece of dialog, and stick figures and arrows were about all you could do in those, unless you got creative with the Xerox machine, scissors and glue. Later, I used the free version of SketchUp to make my boards with, sometimes, PowerPoint slides output to paper.

Point is, the specifics don't matter. The boards, in whatever format you want, make for a quick visual way to communicate the needs of the scene to the crew, so they can get on with logistics, props, lighting setup, camera placement, etc. and they give an actor an impression of the framing the Director is going after.


This can save a lot of time by standardizing everyone's understanding of the Director's vision. Of course things may change and evolve from there, but it's a starting point. I do not suggest the boards be super-elaborate for live action. Gestural, simplistic is better. For Animations and CGI, heck yes, the more elaborate the better. How to share the boards with the crew is, whatever works best for you.


Important note: the kind of boards you do for the set, would be very different from the storyboards you present to a client or potential funding people, or the editor. When you are pitching a project, more formal, detailed, artistic, fleshed-out boards and even animatics that spell everything out are necessary, because the people you're pitching to may not have the creative vision or ability to extrapolate what a finished product might look like. The flip side of that is, they may fall in love with or get hung up on a specific image in the boards and make decisions based on that, which will have deep, lasting consequences. You never know.


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ryan elder
Re: What format does one present your storyboards in to your DP and crew?
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:46:17 pm

Oh okay thanks. I think I meant more for pitching, as oppose to already in the shooting process. Like if I wanted to pitch to not only a DP but also other potential producers and crew, early on, perhaps I should go more detailed then?

As for the shootings storyboards, I have tried the whole shoot a scene without them once, for a fight scene that had to be drastically changed, but I didn't like the way it turned out, and prefer to do storyboards to communicate to everyone, well in advance, if that is the way to go.


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