Gregory Spoke About The Course

We made him sketched his body and moved around in the class at times.

It was what happened when Gregory Fred Perry attended our course early this year.

He was a very committed guy even during his tight schedule sleepless nights, turned up on time in the next morning classes.

We made him sketched his body and moved around in the class at times. It was what happened when Gregory Fred Perry attended our course early this year.He was a very committed guy even during his tight schedule sleepless nights, turned up on time in the next morning classes.

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hear What Our Participants Say…

Hazim Saini is an actor.

For another year, or less, he told me that he aims to be a Producer in the film production.

I kind of think that he is really so determined in achieving his goal, for he was the very first one in the class who handed up his home work without failed.

Hazim Saini is an actor.For another year, or less, he told me that he aims to be a Producer in the film production.I…

Posted by Clifford Ng on Saturday, 26 August 2017

I was quite astonished when first heard Jeremy Tan told me that he wanted to be a Script Supervisor or someone call it as Continuity Supervisor in a Production.

To be a Continuity Supervisor is indeed not a pleasing task to ingratiate oneself with many aspects especially when all sat behind the editor, often time were caught in surprise that something is missing from one shot to another.

Let’s hear what Jeremy had perceived it…

I was quite astonished when first heard Jeremy Tan told me that he wanted to be a Script Supervisor or someone call it…

Posted by Clifford Ng on Saturday, 26 August 2017

James Fong, an interesting local actor who runs his own production as a Indy attended our Production Management Couse this week.

As actor, he even “acted” in the interview to make everyone laughing heads off.

James Fong, an interesting local actor who runs his own production as a Indy attended our Production Management Couse this week.As actor, he even "acted" in the interview to make everyone laughing heads off.

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Friday, 28 July 2017

Miqi Lina has been a Casting Producer for many years.

She attended our recent Production Management Course and accepted our invite to do a short interview after the class.

Let’s hear what she said…

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Saturday, 29 July 2017

Jason Teo is a screenplay writer. He is quite ambitious about how to pitch a concept to a potential sponsor…

Jason Teo is a screenplay writer. He is quite ambitious about how to pitch a concept to a potential sponsor…

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Friday, 28 July 2017

Introduction to Storyboarding

Storyboards are illustrations that represent the shots that will ultimately make up a movie. They allow you to build the world of your film, before you actually build it.

There aren’t any strict, exacting rules on how to do storyboards, conveying information is what’s important. Storyboards are ultimately a technical document, a tool. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a skilled illustrator or not. This can work just as well as this. Even if you struggle with perspective or can barely draw a stick figure, you can still convey what types of shots you want and their basic composition.

Who storyboards? Typically, the director sits down with the storyboard artist to help articulate their vision.

However, it’s not uncommon for cinematographers and production designers to join in the process as well. I usually meet with the director and produce rough thumbnail sketches that summarise the important information in each panel, and then afterward I will fill in the details on my own.

Meeting with the directors once again after completing the panels to make sure everything works. We’ll then share the completed panels with the rest of the team.

Let’s breakdown the parts of the storyboard.

The panel, or frame, is a rectangle that represents what the camera will see. Panels come in a bunch of different shapes. Pick a panel shape that matches your shooting aspect ratio. Square, widescreen, really, really widescreen.

A person drawn really small in the panel is a wide, or establishing shot. A big head taking up half the panel is a close up. Deciding where you put the person in your frame is the basis of your composition. This may seem really basic, but this has a huge impact on how you prepare for your shoot.

These illustrations give your cinematographer a starting point. Things like, camera angles, lighting, depth of field, the whole gamut of decisions can be informed by the storyboards. It’s also a great way to decide what you’ll need out of your locations. Do you really need a giant bottomless pit? Or can you get away with one visual effects wide shot and then cover the rest with tighter shots?

Okay, let’s talk about arrows. So now that we have a panel with a character in it, let’s say that character is moving to the left. By drawing an arrow pointing to the left, we show where that character, or door, or dinosaur is moving. There’s no real rule to drawing arrows, and everyone has their own personal style, but what’s important is that your arrows are easy to read, and make sense. Here’s some examples of arrows. Arrows for characters moving towards camera. Arrows for characters moving away from camera. This character is kneeling down, and this character’s head is falling off. Arrows within the panel usually mean a subject is moving in the shot. Arrows around the edges usually imply some sort of camera movement. So here, the raptor lunges right, and the camera pans left.

Now let’s talk about camera movement. Camera movement arrows also aren’t really standardised. But let’s go over some common ways camera movements is illustrated. Dolly movements are typically done with one arrow, often narrowing a little bit to suggest movement in or out of 3D space. Both dolly shots and zooms can also be illustrated by placing arrows in all four corners of the panel. This shows a widening, or narrowing of perspective. You can draw a panel within your panel to show how far your dolly or zoom goes. Clearly conveying information is key, so it’s better to over-explain than to confuse people.

Pans are often shown with an arrow on the side of the panel, either pointing to the left, or to the right. Tilts up and down are done much the same way, except with the arrows on the top or bottom of the panel. You can also elongate the panel to fit the entire shot in a single drawing. Since this can get a little confusing, it’s ok to make a note indicating the shot is tracking, versus panning, or dollying versus zooming. Because arrows are often used the same way in both instances. You can make your notes beside the panel, or in the arrow itself. Sometimes you’ll need more than one drawing to illustrate what’s happening in a single shot, especially if it’s a really complicated action or camera movement.

When you take panels with angle, composition, onscreen movement, and camera movement, and then combine these panels into a sequence, you got the foundation of your movie. Storyboards are particularly useful for preparing scenes that require multiple effects techniques. But this scene from truck-flipper versus bus-puncher, we use storyboards to decide what was going to be stunts, what was going to be practical on-set special effects, what was going to be green screen, and what was going to be CGI, based on exactly what kind of action was needed in each specific shot. Without planning ahead, a scene like this would’ve been impossible to shoot in the amount of time we had available.

Storyboards are typically created based off the completed script. But if you’re doing a story that’s extremely visual, storyboards essentially can be your script, like with Mad Max: Fury Road. Since it’s such a visual film, the beats were more effectively planned out with pictures than with text on a page. While this is an extreme example, this holds true for preparing all visually complex scenes.

There’s also plenty of other alternatives to storyboarding. Stanley Kubrik used actual photos from his locations scouts to find his compositions. It’s also worth mentioning that filmmakers who adapted comics and graphic novels often use the original artwork essentially as the storyboards for the final film. You can make animatics of your sequences on your computer to include motion and timing. You can also video tape your pre-vis which is really useful for complex action. You don’t need the actual set, costumes, or magical flying speedo-bikes to test out your ideas.

In the original Star Wars, George Lucas used real World War II documentary footage to help pre-visualise space battles. Animation has also been used to help capture complex sequences. Jurassic Park used stop-motion animation to pre-visualise the dinosaur scenes. When the decision was made to use CGI in the final film, they’d already planned ahead in painstaking detail, and knew exactly what specific movements the CGI was going to need to be able to do. By the time Peter Jackson did Lord of the Rings Trilogy, digital technology had developed to the point where they were able to motion-capture the cave troll sequence, and then move a digital camera around in 3D space to pre-visualise the entire scene in a virtual setting.

There’s no hard and fast rules or one way to do it. But the ultimate goal is planning, and clear communication. So whatever tools is going to help you prepare and share your vision the most, use it, it will pay off when you get to set, and will help empower you to make the best film possible.

If you have any questions or would like to share some of your own storyboards, please visit our forums. I’ll see you next time guys.