Film School Friday – Do I need to storyboard my project?

Storyboard Episode Summary

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about storyboards and if you really need to storyboard your next project.

Storyboard Episode Notes

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about storyboards and if you really need to storyboard your next project.

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Storyboard Transcript

Corey Allen  0:10  

Welcome to film school Friday. I’m Corey.

Bill Cornelius  0:13  

I’m Bill.

Corey Allen  0:14  

And together,

Bill Cornelius  0:15  

we host the in focus podcast.

Corey Allen  0:19  

Film School Friday is our special weekly episode where I get to quiz bill to see how much knowledge he’s retained from his years of film school. And not that they were many years of film school, but

Bill Cornelius  0:30  

no, they were a normal four years.

Corey Allen  0:32  

It’s been many years since you were in film school.

Bill Cornelius  0:34  

That is correct.

Corey Allen  0:36  

So today’s topic is one that is probably very near and dear to your heart. I feel like but it’s one. I don’t know that I’m a true believer in. And that is storyboards? Yeah. And what are storyboards? And do we really need them?

Bill Cornelius  0:52  

So storyboards? It really it depends on your preference. A lot of times, especially in the indie world, storyboards are essentially a visual guide for what your shots are going to be. I kind of describe it as almost like having a frame by frame comic book of your, what you’re shooting. And it looks that way. It’s it’s little panels that are sketches of your shots. It’s the shot list comes first.

The storyboards are the visual representation of that they’re easy to bring on set and then guide the DP in terms of what the shot needs to look like, or what the director’s vision is, rather, a lot of people I know a lot of people, at least in town that that don’t really operate with storyboards. And that’s fine. I don’t always do it myself. It really depends on the shoot. There are times like, for example, if I’m the director, and I’m the DP, which is the case A lot of times, I don’t need to make storyboards for myself, because I know what my shots are going to be. I know what my vision is, as a director.

If I’m working as a director, with a dp that I’ve hired, I like to make storyboards or provide storyboards to that dp to to better communicate ahead of time before we get on set, what kind of shots I’m looking to have, give them a visual representation, because this is a visual medium. So yeah, you can you can give a regular shot list to someone, you know, it’s just a bulleted list, but then I feel like it just it just sells it even more when you can give them a visual representation of what’s going to happen, even if it’s just rough sketches. And so I’m a big believer in storyboards, I think I think they’re very helpful with communicating the entire vision.

Corey Allen  2:47  

Yeah, so and I think that’s a good point, too. So the communicating the entire vision is they’re thinking of all the different components that could be made up in a storyboard like, clearly framing or composition show up in there. Are you also talking about like potential focal links or anything else relevant to the makeup of the shot? Is it really just about composition? And I think to your point, telling the story and more of a comic book style to give you an idea of visually what the idea is.

Bill Cornelius  3:17  

I think it depends on preference. I’m, I’m one of the few I feel like that does my own storyboards. There’s storyboard artists out there, or that’s their full time gig. It’s just preference. It’s whatever you’re looking to do. I’ve seen very simple storyboards that are stick figures like James director James Gunn, very his his Guardians of the Galaxy storyboards were famously minimalist stick figure he sketches that he would post on Instagram and have people guess what scene It was really, because they were so rough.

Yeah, we’re talking napkin type sketches. But then there’s, there’s people that that do these beautiful storyboard sketches that have depth of field can be read in a pencil sketch. And you know, there’s software out there that can allow you to communicate what the lighting and the shadows are going to look like a lot more and fill that in for you digitally. And of course, like there’s room for notes on storyboards.

So you can put things like focal length, and, of course, this scene and shot number, any sort of actions that you’re going to want to capture you put in there like so and so walks from left frame to right frame. You know, of course, the obvious thing like this is a close up. This is a medium, you draw the little arrows in there to show the action. So it does have that comic book vibe to an extent.

Corey Allen  4:43  

Okay, makes sense. You’re clearly a fan.

Bill Cornelius  4:45  

Yes, I am. I am a fan of storyboards. A part of that too is because I like to draw. That was my first love. any opportunity to draw, do a little art. prelim art for a film is great. Yeah.

Corey Allen  4:58  

All right now are you available to hire For storyboards,

Bill Cornelius  5:01  

I have never made myself available to do storyboards outside of my own stuff. Now’s your chance, but I’m sure I could talk to you about it.

Corey Allen  5:13  

Now’s your chance your shot. Alright, so at bill,

Bill Cornelius  5:16 

if you need to start, you need some storyboard if you need a comic book representation of your film. Yeah,

Corey Allen  5:22  

great. Okay, well, nice job. I feel a little better educated. I’m still not sure I’m sold on it. But I think that most of the work that I do, storyboards probably not necessary definitely in the narrative space makes a lot of sense. Yes, definitely helps a lot from a pre production and probably even a post production standpoint, you start cutting stuff together.

Bill Cornelius  5:41  

And I would add that storyboards are completely unnecessary. If you’re doing like, let’s say, a performance video. You don’t need that. You don’t need to storyboard out the different angles of someone playing a guitar. That’s just write useless. It is more complex stuff like narrative, where there’s a lot of talent, action and camera movement, and even in music videos that have a little more going on, like logistically and maybe from an effect standpoint, storyboards are good.

Corey Allen  6:13  

Okay. Good deal. Good info. Bill, as always, nice job. Thank you so much.

Bill Cornelius  6:18  

Thank you. Thank you.

Corey Allen  6:19  

You did it. You did it. Alright. For our listeners, make sure you check us out on Instagram at infocus pod or online at infocus. podcast calm. And if you liked what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. And if you’re on Apple podcast, please leave us a rating. It would help us out a ton. And until next time feed your crew