This week was filled with storyboarding and planning for "Talent Night" short film. I bought program that is only intended for the storyboarding, so I tell couple words about it. There is also some templates for planning of your short film that I have done. I shared 'em in Google Docs, so you can use them.

Planning

Shot List

Before start to draw storyboard it's best to make "Shot List" first. Ok, but what is shot list? It a list where you can see important infos about current shot, like this one. Usually you'll find shot number, scene, location, shot type, lenght, movement and description from shot list fields. There is many different shot lists and of course it's best to find your own style. I like to use quite simple list style in my personal projects.

You can find more complex or just simple shot lists from web, like from the Google Templates. So, here is good examples from Google Templates:
SHOTLIST TEMPLATE - By George Kotelnikov (Complex)

And here is my own "Shot List" template design for this project:
https://docs.google.com/embeddedtemplate?id=1_TZeLed3Cc3Szab3doaPPCfkm0qW3ZlVYUPEb3-UOjY

I use duration field in my shot list. This is first estimated time for the shot. I mark this value usually in frames, because it's easier use in many softwares. I found very good program to measure the time with iPhone, it's called FPS Calculate. Check it if you need to measure time when you try to evaluate your shot timing. I used it and it works great.

Ps. There is also program called ShotList for iPhone and iPad if you need mobility for shotlists. I have not tested it but I saw it somewhere while surfing...

Scene Breakdowns

After I got my first version of the storyboard ready I started to breakdown those shots and scenes to the paper. And of course we need document template for this kind list 🙂 It's much easier to organize things if you use same templates for every shot breakdowns and forget that pen and paper mess.
https://docs.google.com/embeddedtemplate?id=1iSvUUDKMEQzR2aqlM9T2PKrO_OFG5XHtgltaePYV9YU

Props List

Same time as I figured out my scene breakdowns I keep list what props I use in shots. Again we need document for the list 🙂
https://docs.google.com/embeddedtemplate?id=1GO9eoBlwxEi-8a1JcGBKjpjh6Mi4Tk2ZkXgYFyx2HOQ

Storyboarding

Program for the Storyboarding, is there any?

I've been trying for a long time to find some good program for storyboarding. Now I think I have found exactly right program for storyboarding. It's enough easy to use and there is possibility to make video from images. Program called "Springboard".

After I tested it for a short time I decided to purchase it and do not regret it. I made whole storyboard just with this program. It's easy and fast tool for storyboarding if you do not need all those drawing tools that you have found from photoshop. There is only couple different drawing tools in Springboard, but it's enough for me because I just want to make simple storyboards not a high quality pictures. There is storyboard artists for that kind of job 😉 One big plus is that there is layers in Springboard. That can be really useful if you want to make animatic from your storyboard.

Some Theory for Storyboarding

So before I beging storyboarding I watched some theory how others do things in this area.

There is good video about "How to Plan a Movie Shoot! - Script Breakdowns, Schedules and Budgets" by Film Riot.

There is good video about "How to Storyboard & Schedule Your Film - Pre-Production in Filmmaking!" by same Film Riot. This video is more about storyboarding. I cannot embed it here, because they are disabled it, but here is the link "How to Storyboard & Schedule Your Film - Pre-Production in Filmmaking!"

Inspiration

Inspiration is your best friend. If you are alone with your project it's most important to keep your inspiration up yourself! There is no other people who can boost your motivation or inspiration, especially in the beginning when there is nothing to show. So I got mine inspiration from videos when I see how everyone else doing stuff. It's most instructive and fun to see different techniques. So here is couple inspiration source at this time.

Folder Structure and Naming Conventions

I almost forget the one of most important thing in bigger projects, it's "Folder Structures and Naming Conventions". It really is! I've been projects where this point was forgotten and at the end project we have really mess with folders. Someone can think "so what"... But if you need to open that project again after months you will thank yourself if you have done good folder structure and naming conventions at the beginnning. It's important to do it first when you have nothing material yet, because it's huge job to re-arrange all files later and it's waste of time...

There is good document about folder structure by Johan Steen: Filmmaking File Structure. There is some differences that I liked more, but it's helped me to update my own file/folder structures.

Here is mine base folder structure and naming conventions for this project. It may change over time, but I got good basis now. It's include PDF where is some rules for naming and full structure in text format.

Folder-Structure_Animation-Project.zip (215 downloads)

Summary of the week

The funniest part of this week was storyboarding. It's creative.

Planning is only part what I have to do if I want to stay organized. I think it's good training for the "real world" where you really need to stay organized if you work with more than one man groups. On the next week I start to do some animatic/previsualization and think more about characters on this film.

Thank you for reading.