The next step in our pre production section of the coursework is to create a full set of storyboards. This aspect of the process is arguably one of the most important parts as it helps us to clearly and accurately map out our film openings. It will most probably be at this point when we decide whether to stick with our original plan, or to start from scratch. The storyboards will also prove to be hugely useful when we begin to film because we can use them as a set of instructions on how to set up the scene and where to position the camera. By following the plan of the screenplay and storyboards, hopefully our filming process will be much easier and more efficient with the best outcome possible. In order to create realistic, accurate and ultimately useful storyboards I have researched into the codes and conventions of a professional storyboard…
Although I had a vague idea as to what a storyboard was, my understanding was fairly limited. Because of this, the first thing that I decided to research was… What ACTUALLY is a storyboard? From a brief search on Google, I found that a storyboard is “a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a film or television production.” From this definition, I learnt that the drawings themselves would have to be drawn in order to display the specific camera shot and composition of the shot. From previous experiences with storyboards, I simply sketched the images in a chronological order in order to display the storyline of the video. I also noted that directions and dialogue would need to be included in our storyboards. Although I gained the main points from this definition, I thought it be best to research deeper into the conventions of a storyboard…
Here are a few of the legitimate storyboards drawn for Disney’s ‘Lion King’ released in October 1994…
Conventions of professional storyboards…
Film Aspect Ratios – As storyboards are used in order to plan what the audience will see when watching the film, the size of the boxes must match the size of the screen. By matching these sizes, the storyboards can be more accurate as planning of positioning and angles can be made considering the space that would be given in real life. Some common ratios used in film are 1:1.85 and 1:2.2.
Camera Angles – It is important to include the camera angles going to be used in reality when planning storyboards as when filming, the storyboards can be used as a prompt and visual aid in setting up the shot. By displaying all camera shots on the paper before filming, the variety and range can also be planned efficiently. Without planning the angles, it could be argued that storyboards would be almost useless. Camera angles may include long shots, close ups and down shots.
Camera Movement – Planning the movement of the camera before actually filming allows you to get a sense of the film and how it will flow and work together. By planning movement in advance, rules such as the ‘180 Degree Rule’ can be put into place more efficiently. Some movements may involve pans, tilts and zooms.
Location – The location of a shot can be planned in advance by using storyboards. Not only this, but mies-en-scene within this shot such as positions of props can also be planned out earlier and moved around if not aesthetically pleasing.
Characters – The specific characters, their positions and actions can be displayed within a set of storyboards. By having a visual aid, the director’s of the film will be able to see the aesthetics of the shot and be able to alter them if not pleasing to the eye.
Sound – Important sounds, including both diegetic and non-diegetic, must be noted onto the storyboards.By planning this out before, you will get more of an understanding as to when what sounds are expected and when.
Timing – The length of each shot must be noted on the storyboards. Typically, this is noted in the top corner of each individual box. By planning out the timing, you can easily assess the flow of the film.
After researching the many conventions that are necessary when creating storyboards I was fairly overwhelmed as had not considered many of these before. However, now that Emelia and I have the knowledge of these conventions, we plan to use them when creating our own storyboards for our film opening. In doing so, we hope that our storyboards will be to as much use as possible in future aspects of the task such as filming and editing.
We were introduced to various new terms and terminology. We focused on Camerawork and new various techniques and terms to do with it…
Wide shot – A wide shot is the most common shot used in cinema. It displays the character from the waist up which doing so shows the environment in the background. Wide shots are also known as mid shots and medium shots.
Long shot – A long shot is similar to a wide shot but taken from further away. It shows the feet to the top of the head.
Extreme long shot – The extreme shot is a further away long shot. It displays more of the environment that the character is in.
Close Up -A close up shot frames the face of a character. It is a commonly used shot and can display emotions and reactions.
Extreme Close Up – An extreme close up is much closer and displays features of the close up.
Rule of Thirds – The rule of thirds includes 3 vertical and 3 horizontal columns in a grid. The points of interception of the lines guide you. Aligning the composition of the shot with these interceptions allows the shot to be more aesthetically pleasing.
One Shot – A one shot displays one person in the shot.
Two Shot/Three Shot – A two shot displays two people in the shot. This is often used to display a conversation between two actors. This is the same for a three shot but there are three characters shown rather than two.
Point of View Shot – A point of view shot displays to the viewers what the audience are seeing.
Over the Shoulder Shot – The over the shoulder shot displays the conversation and actions of two characters or more.
Shallow Focus – A shallow focus is when the focus of the shot is very specifically on one thing/object. This draws the audiences attention to it.
Deep Focus – In order to carry out deep focus in a shot, the camera operator would have to use a different lens. It is where everything in the shot is in focus.
Focus Pull – Focus pull is where within one shot the focus changes from one object to another. This type of focus is often used to reveal something.
Eye-Level Shot – An eye level shot is where the camera is on an angle so that the middle point is within eye level of the character. It is the most common angle used in cinema and film.
High Angle Shot – This type of angle is where the camera is higher up and looking down on something.
Low Angle Shot – A low angle shot is the opposite to a high angle shot and the two are often mixed up. The low angle shot is taken from a lower angle looking upwards. These two types of shot are often used to present the power and hierarchy of the characters involved in the video.
Birds Eye View Shot – This angle is used when the camera is looking straight down, almost as if seeing the setting from the eye of a bird flying over.
Down Shot – A down shot is similar to a birds eye view shot but is more limited. For example, seeing a table in a classroom rather than the whole school building.
Up Shot – The up shot is the opposite to a birds eye view shot as the camera faces directly up. This shot may be used to display the view of someone stargazing for example.
Dutch Tilt/Canted Angle/Oblique Angle – This type of camera angle is usually used for disorientation or confusion.
Helicopter Shot – Helicopter shots are very common in film making, this is because there is lots of variety in shots, heights and positions available when using a helicopter. However, this is a very expensive type of movement as a helicopter is required to carry it out.
Drone Shot – A drone shot includes almost all of the advantages of a helicopter shot but is much cheaper and is becoming more available to amateur film makers because of this.
Wire Shot – Wire shots are relatively cheap to carry out. A filmmaking advantage to using wire as a move rn technique is that you can do the same shot precisely again and again and again.
Crane Shot – A crane shot moves the camera very smoothly. Because of this they are commonly used.
Dolly Shots are smooth, precise, repeatable techniques of movement.
Dolly In, Dolly Out – Dolly in simply means that the camera is moving closer and vice versa for dolly out.
Crab Shot – A crab shot uses a camera on the dolly track. However, the camera is at 90 degrees to the track and so moves sideways almost like a crab.
Arch Shot – An arch shot is where the camera on the dolly is moving in an arch/circular motion.
Pan – A pan is the movement of the camera from a fixed point moving horizontally.
Tilt – A tilt is the movement of the camera from a fixed point moving vertically.
Handheld shots are often filmed with the camera on the operators shoulder. Because of this, handheld shots are very manoeverable.
Steadicam is in fact a brand name. The operator of the camera wears a harness with the camera and some weights attached to it. The weights allow the camera to be constantly balanced resulting in smooth movement.
Zoom In – Where the shot is zooming into one point.
Zoom Out (Also Known As… Reverse Zoom) – Where the shot is zooming out to display more.