Friday, November 14, 2014

Storyboards: More Important Than You Think

          Today I want to introduce a blog that I've recently go into, run by former Pixar employee Emma Coats. Here blog is called Story Shots, and it caters to a curious audience who are interested in seeing what actually goes into developing and making films (animated or not).
          And an interesting piece that was brought up dealt with the technique of drawing storyboards from pre-existing films. Now you might think that that sounds silly. Why would you need to draw someone else's work? What if you can't draw? Isn't that just a waste of time better spent learning a more practical skill? Wrong, wrong, wrong!
          See, the underlying basis to making any film is knowing what exactly you're going to make. This ranges from how it's lit, how it's staged, how it's colored, even how the character interact within their environment. It may seem like storyboarding is just one of those "small" things you do in the pre-production process, but you have to understand that without a good storyboard you're film is basically lost.
          A storyboard is quite literally your film in its most negative form. Every single cut, transition, pan, tilt, etc., is captured in these drawings. But now you might be thinking, "cool, that makes sense. So this  means I should start storyboarding!" Yes...and no.
         You definitely don't have to be an artist when it comes to storyboarding, but knowing how light, shadows, colors, and perspectives interact with changing camera movements only helps in the preproduction process. And this is why this kind of technique should be encouraged for those looking to make a film (or to even just draw). Emma mentions that some movies that are famous for being "ground-breaking" in their genre are Jaws, E.T., Raiders, etc. are the best to draw from because it literally shows you what they did to make them.
          This can teach you about composition, lighting, camera position, and even the types of lenses you should consider for each shot. So storyboarding isn't just some off-hand thing you can get away with half-assing. It needs to be taken seriously because it what makes a good film great.

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