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Shot list & storyboards

Shot list Storyboards

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#1 Prasad Kumar

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 06:47 PM

Hi:

 

I am a student filmmaker specializing in directing. For my short films so far, I prepared the shot list and storyboards and then handed over to the cinematographer. He goes through that and based on his comments, I revised those again.

 

For the feature films, does the director prepare the shot list/storyboards separately and shares it with the cinematographer or is this a team work, they sit together and prepare?

 

Also, what I do was, first I draw the floor plan in 2D. Then, I assign the camera set ups (based on my pre-vis on blocking), prepares the shot list and finally I draw the story boards. Most of my friends do it the other way. First, they draw the storyboards and then prepares the shot list. Is there a right approach to this or can it be done either way?

 

Thanks.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 09:19 PM

There's no standard way, do whatever works for you.  If you hire a talented cinematographer, it isn't a bad idea to get them involved in the storyboarding / shotlisting step.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 01:21 PM

As David said, it's good to get the cinematographer involved with the storyboards because it's wise to understand where you're going visually and what can be done within your budget. A lot of filmmakers (especially young ones) don't understand some of the limitations on set. An experienced cinematographer will and if you take them to locations prior to shooting to work out camera angles, it helps even more because they can decide where the lighting will go, which in a lot of cases leads to the decisions of angle.
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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 03:23 PM

Provided the director can draw, I've always felt it's best to let the director do the storyboards and then hand those over to the DP.  The DP now has an idea of what the director wants to depict on-screen, so the DP can now take care of the lighting diagrams and so forth. 

 

But I really feel that the director should be doing the storyboards - especially on low-budget projects - since it's really the very first visual depiction of his or her vision.  It also helps the director to convey a sense of composition.  If someone other than the director is physically drawing out the storyboards, the director should be working very closely them.

 

Of course, there are many instances where storyboard and/or conceptual design artists are an absolute necessity, primarily on films with extravagant production & costume designs (Alien, Blade Runner, Tron, A.I., etc.)


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#5 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:33 PM

Shotlists and boards and floorplans are great.  But the very best prep in my opinion is a walkthrough on location where you frame up each shot with a still camera, standins and/or the talent and your team, A.D.,scripty, art etc.  So everyone can see each frame and know what will be on camera when you come back to actually shoot.

 

Lots of issues will be worked out during this visit like parking, power runs, staging issues, time of day issues, weather, etc. loadin/out concerns.  So it's very useful from that perspective as well as drafting the shotlist, schedule etc.

 

When you board with a still camera on location with talent or stand-ins, you can get a much more realistic pre-vis of how it'll look cause you're actually in the space you'll be shooting in.  This can allow you to troubleshoot things far in advance of the shoot.  It's not always possible but I often ask production if it's something they can accomodate.  It makes my job way easier because I get to see the film happen far in advance of the shoot day.

 

It does mean they need to get location access and the crew together but when you do this, it's very hard for anyone to be confused "on the day".  Cause we all saw it happen weeks prior.


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