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Old January 21st, 2005, 02:32 AM   #1
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Easy way to visualize storyboard shots?

I'm a newbie and don't really know the lingo, so here's the Q:

Other than holding my hands in front of my face, is there a cheap and easy way to visualize what my shots will look like while I storyboard?

I'm horrible at drawing and having a hard time visualizing what shots will look decent. I dont want to drop a couple hundred on a directors viewfinder and I rent my camera by the day (PD 150) so I can't lug it around while I'm storyboarding.

Any poor-boy ideas? I was thinking something like taping a matchbox to the end of a toilet paper role... yeah, pretty ghetto but better than nothing.
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Old January 21st, 2005, 02:48 AM   #2
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Try a digital still camera and Powerpoint.

You could even pre-plan your shots on your kitchen table if you've got some old GI Joe & Barbie dolls.
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Old January 21st, 2005, 02:46 PM   #3
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Storyboard software is another route. I know of several; I'm sure there are more.

Shotmaster www.badhamcompany.com
Boardmaster www.boardmastersoftware.com
Storyboard Quick www.powerproduction.com
Storyboard Lite www.zebradevelopment.com

Good luck.

Dennis
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Old January 21st, 2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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FrameForge...it's the best. I've been using it and it's amazing.

Murph
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Old January 21st, 2005, 10:12 PM   #5
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Cheap, light & baffling to passersby

Michael, I usually carry a couple empty 35mm slide-frames in my pocket & hold them up in front of my eye. If you're shooting 4:3, add some masking tape.

JS
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 02:13 AM   #6
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thanks man! I'lltry it.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 07:23 AM   #7
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I learned this in a Film Lighting class in Boston. It's the cheapest way I've ever seen to storyboard/check a shot. Take a piece of paper and cut out the ratio you want in the center. That's it - it will be exactly the same as having a viewfinder. You move it away from your eye or pull it towards your face...it's perfect and cheap. Your eye is the zoom while you adjust the zoom of the paper.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:51 AM   #8
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You could get yourself a directors viewfinder. Very useful thing to have.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : FrameForge...it's the best. I've been using it and it's amazing.

Murph -->>>

totally agree..
FrameForge3d Studio.. allows u to set points, and focal ranges, as well as integration of your script and literally create and animation of yoru fim before u even hit record.
It will also help in gettin your ideas across to the talent, production crew, editors and producer$ as they get the gist of what your wanting to do.. makes things much easier as oppsed to trying to explain to people waht yoru tryint to convey to the viewer.. this way they actually SEE it..

it also works in real world scenarios, being that you put in yoru mesaurements, blocks, lighting configs etc and it will let you build your shot around those elements and wont let you go over restrictions.. (ie a crane shot indoors over a swimming pool.. put in your cranes dimensions, and put in your Ceiling height... FrameForge will then block you from going over that ceiling hight. This helps with setting up remote focus etc etc
Same concept works with Dollys etc
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Old February 17th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #10
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I used Frame Forge, and find it to be a fine program. Although I ended up not using it for most of my shoot due to time constraints.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #11
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In an interview with Shane Carruth (Primer) he talked about taking a 35mm still camera to all of his locations and storyboarding; he also shot tungsten film, and made notes about his still exposures, then referred to those when he shot the scenes.

If you can't afford a director's viewer, you can always use a still camera with a zoom lens to play with scene setup and focal lengths. If you're doing wide angle or really squashed tele stuff, your eye just won't show you the lens effects... you can walk a location pretty quickly with a manual-zoom camera (seems faster than powering up your DV) and play with angles.
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