23 Dec, 2015

Here’s how Storyboards can be really useful for your projects plus best storyboard making tools online n offline

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Many a times you sit back and think about your potential indie filmmaking career and believe it’s a walk in the park easy kind of stuff. Mark my words, I’d been going through similar feelings for the past few months until I sat down and taught myself some important aspects of this vast curriculum. Becoming an independent filmmaker is huge responsibility since you are the sole warrior and the face of your project. There’s no point saying that you need to be utterly positive and true to yourself before you even head out to walk towards being a filmmaker and if you’re already a step ahead and into your film, short film or feature film project and ready to carry the camera to shoot/record your heart out then you should definitely hold on and look out for your storyboard.

Ah! So you haven’t really thought about it? Well, it’s a pretty common mistake we all first timers make. We sit down and plan each and everything from the story to the script and from the cast to the locations, even we go overboard with the budget and funding worries. I know that’s important, but if you aren’t already into storyboards, you should research a bit about it. “Storyboards are organizational tools that help you out to create a somewhat rough visual representative of your film or video project. Think of storyboards as flow charts only visual and simple to understand.” If you still have doubts, go open Wikipedia and read something or better yet open Google images and spend some time looking through some amazing storyboards.

I’ve been working on my first short film for some months now and since I’m also a working professional (sadly a sales guy) it’s been tough going for me trying to manage time in order to finish my project. Anyhow, I was completely done with almost everything about my project, at-least on paper and was certain to go ahead and start shooting, but then like I say, filmmaking is a learning process and if you want your first ever project to look professional and not amateur, I was advised by a friend of mine to make a rough storyboard and plan everything out before the shoot. Now, you might believe you can actually live without this filmmaking jargon and head direct towards the actual process of video making and although that’s up to you, but remember; storyboarding process is widely used by professionals all over the world and ignored or overlooked by amateurs. So, you may ask, why would you bother with a storyboard?

  1. Investing time on making you visual storyboard (even roughly) would save you time in the longer run.
  2. Storyboarding allows you to think thoroughly about the flow of your story.
  3. You can decide upon the camera angles and shots you need to use.
  4. Determine when and where you need sound effects.
  5. Storyboards will allow your other team members to understand the essence of the story by watching and reading, rather than the normal listening.
  6. Storyboards strengthen your vision of the project.

 

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So, if you’re into storyboarding and not a great sketch artist (although, you should be fine with your basic drawing capabilities) here are some of the tools that you can use for making a storyboard of your project.

  1. Sticky Notes: What’s best than using colorful small sticky notes and drawing your heart out, nothing right? Well, you can get these sticky notes from any stationers’ shop for dirt cheap and get going. Organize them on a chart or white board or even a notebook and write excerpts from you script to understand better. Your team members will love your efforts.
  2. Blank Drawing Sheets: Somewhat similar to sticky notes, but where the sticky notes shine is with their size. Anyways, you can simply use drawing sheets and manage the space accordingly. You can use simple geometric shapes or stick figures to use as characters and landscapes.
  3. Use Online Tools and Apps: If drawing isn’t your thing at all, use online websites or mobile apps that help making storyboards easily on your finger tips. I have been using Storyboard That and Pixton online and as a free app on my Apple iPhone 6. You can even download and print Free Storyboard Templates from the internet and use them according to your needs.

 

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“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” -Stephen Chbosky
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