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-   -   Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/537015-frameforge-worth-buying-storyboarding.html)

Paul R Johnson September 16th, 2019 11:40 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Five minutes in word, logo in the corner, done!

Brian Drysdale September 17th, 2019 01:11 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Create your own panels in Word with the logo, then print them out, do the drawings and put each page in a plastic sleeve and put these in a ring binder.

You can then add notes for the shots on a particular page into the sleeve. You've then got the option of either carrying the binder or the plastic sleeve. The latter means your page doesn't get wet in the rain.

Paul R Johnson September 17th, 2019 01:36 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I've no idea why we're still doing this topic - for goodness sake, storyboards are first term subjects in GCSE Media studies. Once you start to make money and work for a living, do you really get excited by this kind off thing. I don't care if it's on computers or paper - they're just annoying tools to aid what you do. I'm currently being bombarded with paperwork. Lovely, pretty lists of what's on the truck, it's exact place in the pack, who it's hired in from, and dates for return. I know exactly what colour connector is on the end of a rubber cable, and I have pretty pictures of what things look like when they are built and setup. I don't need any of this. I really don't care where in a truck things are packed - the doors get opened and people hump the kit off and leave in piles. You can now get software to make this 'easier' - I laugh!

Storyboards are great ways to give people an idea of what's in your head. They show one, or two actors, or maybe a huge group, and in the background, the Eiffel Tower, or Statue of Liberty, or Buckingham Palace - that's it. everyone in the room now understands where and how the shot works. I've seen perfectly usable ones with stick figures, because the director couldn't draw. I've seen wonderful artistic ones that would do a comic book justice.

There's just one question with a storybook frame. Does EVERYONE who sees it, understand it? That's it. Sticking your branding on each sheet of paper is great, but why go further?

Brian Drysdale September 17th, 2019 02:38 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Storyboards are useful if you're dealing with VFX shots, where there is a team of people involved or if there's a sequence of visual action shots that cut together, less so if you're dealing with talking heads in a dialogue scene.

However, there's no need to show it to everyone in the crew, just the ones who you need to communicate with and block the scene out with. The storyboard doesn't block out a scene, it's a only starting point, which may get changed because the real world kicks in, in the end, you block the scene out with the actors and the camera crew.

Since you're using DLSR, you can use your camera as a director's viewfinder to check out your camera position and lenses with the DP.

Ryan Elder September 17th, 2019 05:01 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay thanks. I find that if I make changes, that more things go wrong with the shot though in the end. The last project, I decided to stick to the storyboards and blocking I had exactly, and I felt things went better, than being tempted or pressured to make changes later. So I thought it was best not to make changes if it can be helped.

Brian Drysdale September 17th, 2019 05:42 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
As your films become more complex, "events" will mean changes and having the confidence to make changes is part of improving as a director.

Noticing how an actor does something that's better than you thought may bring about a change. Soap operas tend to be more rigid in their blocking, because you don't have much time to vary, however, shot suggestions by the camera operators will be taken if better than the planned shots.

Flexibility is part of live action directing, it's not as controlled as say animation, where it will be pinned down after much discussion before you get too far into the animators' action drawings.

Paul R Johnson September 17th, 2019 06:48 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I have to deputise for directors when they get called away, or emergencies happen - in every single case, I am 100% certain my decision is correct, but loads eventually get changed as the director is simply good at it and I'm not!

Ryan Elder September 17th, 2019 12:21 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Yep the blocking can be changed if there is something better. I just feared that something more might go wrong with change such as a continuity error or the 180 degree rule or 40 degree rule accidentally being broken, or something along those lines.

Paul R Johnson September 17th, 2019 12:33 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Ryan - in the one you showed us your location changed and important plot points were ignored - and yet you think rules are more important?

I don't even know what a 40 degree rule even is!!!

How will a good vs poor storyboard frame lead to continuity errors? I n' fathom your connection here.

Josh Bass September 17th, 2019 01:03 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I think hes saying if he doesnt have each shot exactly planned out and stick to that plan hes afraid he might have someone standing in the wrong place one shot vs a matching shot, that kinda thing.

Ryan Elder September 17th, 2019 02:41 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Yeah that's what i am saying. I though sticking to the shots and not deviating might help keep those things in order.

Josh Bass September 17th, 2019 03:01 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Let me suggest this:

If you shoot your master/wide shot of the whole scene first (like you SHOULD be), you can always refer back to that (play back footage) for continuity and blocking at every step in the closer shots/coverage. Then if you deviate from your storyboards you have a blueprint for the scene to keep you honest on screen direction and continuity. Make sense?

Brian Drysdale September 17th, 2019 04:20 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It's 30 degrees apparently: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30-degree_rule , which makes more sense than 40 degrees, which would be extremely limiting.

Although, i wouldn't get too paranoid about it, since it gets broken quite regularly during interviews, it also depends on the action..

Continuity is less of an issue on video, because you can check it on playback if you've got a doubt. However, storyboards won't prevent continuity errors, having an eye for detail and making continuity notes is what you need. Storyboards can only be a snapshot in how you previsualise a shot, it's not the shot in its entirety and there will be a lot more going on in a scene than can be represented in it, so you're wide open for continuity errors.

It's not unusual to cheat positions and heights when shooting a scene.

Ryan Elder September 17th, 2019 05:15 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, I thought the continuity flaws would be less though, if the blocking was already planned out and rehearsed in advance, rather than trying to come up with new blocking on the spot.

Plus I thought the storyboards would help for the more advanced scenes for sure, such as the chase scenes, fight scenes, etc.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 12:29 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Continuity errors can be caused by many things, from mistiming moves, the glass being less full, an object in the wrong place or disappearing, the actor uses their right hand instead of their left hand and many other things. These issues come up regardless of when you block out the action. Continuity is a job on a drama crew, so if you don't have someone doing that job, the camera operator and the director needs to keep an eye out, otherwise coffee cups can appear on the table in a fantasy drama.

Storyboards assist in many ways, but they're not the answer for everything.

BTW I've read Walter Murch's book and I recall reading the 30 degree thing in it. but since I had already learnt something similar from actually making films/TV productions and watching them, just I didn't go around rigidly applying 30 degrees to everything, so I just do what looks right and is natural for cutting a scene together. You can do this in your head as you watch the rehearsals, that's something you should do even if you've storyboarded it.

Paul R Johnson September 18th, 2019 02:45 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
2 Attachment(s)
With my educational hat on - consider the reason rules are formulated. Wasn't this particular one (30 degree) the result of somebody noticing over 100 years ago that some edits made the view 'jump'? After reviewing edits, it was noticed that the effect increased when angles got narrower, and by observation, it evolved into a 'rule'. In a multi-camera studio, especially on a small set, these angles sometimes get pushed because there really isn't the space to generate wide angle differences. They cheat a little by height changes which mean that the backgrounds have a significant change, while the heads might stay quite similar from the previous shot. The background shift seems to trick the brain into not finding the narrow cut jarring.

The weird thing of course being nobody notices until one cut doesn't work.

The killer with the visualisation software is simply time. I tried drawing a sketch on paper of this room. It took me 30 seconds. I then tried doing the same thing in my 3D software plan app, which works very similarly to Frame forge. I drew some walls, added some windows, fireplace and sofa etc from the library. Set the camera in the right place. 15 minutes later I got the image. Which is best? Not sure, but one took a lot longer and is nowhere near accurate in terms of content or placement.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 03:07 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
The use of enlargements from 4k cameras for use in HD productions don't always look that good when cut directly together.

Life drawing classes are worth doing to improve your drawing skills and how you see spatial arrangements.

Paul R Johnson September 18th, 2019 03:38 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I took a life drawing class once, but probably at 17, for the wrong reason............

Paul Mailath September 18th, 2019 04:16 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I've used frameforge for a number of short films, it helped me to lay out what I visualised and 'see' it outside my head. I can't draw for nuts so Frameforge it is

I could see and fix problems in camera placement, angles and blocking, but I think the most important thing for me was being able to hand out the storyboards to others and say 'here's what I'm thinking'

Sure, things change in production but at least we have a common starting point.

The current film I'm directing has storyboards for 1 scene and not others and I find more conflicting ideas and debate when there is no starting point. I'm much prefer to have storyboards all the time - I just ran out of time.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 04:23 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It really depends on what works for you personally.

Ryan Elder September 18th, 2019 07:07 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, I think I'm okay at drawing it out so I can try it that way.

I don't like making changes during shooting unless I have to because when you have the 30 degree rule, and the 180 degree rule already planned out on paper, changing any shots, may break those rules, without noticing at the time until later, I feel. So that is why I like to not make changes from now on, unless absolutely have to.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 07:14 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You seem obsessed by a 30 degree rule, you can sense if there's going to be a problem as you shoot. People shoot documentaries on the fly that cut together beautifully and they probably don't know anything about the 30 degree rule.

Ryan Elder September 18th, 2019 07:33 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh well people have pointed out to me that my shots look too much the same when cut together before sometimes, and I was advised by a couple of other filmmakers that the 30 degree rule would help that.

Pete Cofrancesco September 18th, 2019 08:32 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
If you follow what you first learn in film making, wide establishing shot, medium, and closeup, you should be able to mix those shots anyway you like and not violate the 30 degree rule. It should be apparent when shooting any of those angels you can’t make a minor change to angle/zoom/camera position and expect you’ll be able to cut to it.

You’re probably taking shortcuts while filming and not taking the time to significantly change angle between shots.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 09:46 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
moving the camera progressively closer to the subject's eye line as you get tighter, so that CUs are close to the eye line, while wider shots are further from the eye line, This generally will keep you out of trouble.with any 30 degree rules, get the DP to move the camera and not just zoom in for the tighter shots.

Ryan Elder September 18th, 2019 10:12 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Well I would cut from a MCU to a CU but was told they are too much the same and and i have to change the degree of the angle more.

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 10:31 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You must've been very close to the eye line with the MCU. Is this a monologue or part of a dialogue scene with other actors?

Ryan Elder September 18th, 2019 12:20 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Its just with one actor so far. When you say eyeline, do you mean shots that are at face level, as oppose to looking up ay someone, or looking down? Or shots that are dead on, and not on a diagonal angle?

Brian Drysdale September 18th, 2019 01:06 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Eye line is the direction the subject is looking, in some cases that's going to define where the line is and allow you to move it.

Single actors doing a monologue are different to dialogue scenes with other actors, you need something to motivate the cut, for example, a head turn and a cut to a closer shot, together with a new camera position, will assist the cut.

Ryan Elder September 18th, 2019 02:37 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
YOh okay, well none of the shots were eyeline MCUs or CUs.

Brian Drysdale September 19th, 2019 12:41 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Ensure that your framing sizes sufficiently different i.e. you're not cutting from a tight MCU to a loose CU: that there's motivation for the cut, the action matches and you're not using the same camera position

With a monologue, you may have to have the subject move in order to motivate the cut, which can be a surprisingly small movement depending on the size of the shots (a pause to gather thoughts may be enough).

It can also depends on if the subject giving the monologue is directly addressing the camera i.e the viewer, when I would;t worry too much about about 30 degrees rules or some unseen person (real or imaginary) off screen, when 30 degrees could apply because it's staying within the world of the film

Ryan Elder September 19th, 2019 05:08 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay. Should these movements decided during shooting, and plan the cutting during shooting more, or is better to just let the actors perform as it may be more natural to them then, knowing that they don't have to turn their heads during certain lines and what not?

Brian Drysdale September 19th, 2019 05:47 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Any actor moves/action should be discussed with the actor as part of their performance. If they have to move heads on cues, give them a reason for doing it, so that it feels natural for them. It will come out of the script and the beats within it.

John Nantz September 19th, 2019 01:12 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1953449)
... shots look too much the same when cut together ....

And it doesn't have to be just the 30º angle to make it look boring.

Speaking for myself, it can be difficult to watch a movie with my wife because she gets engrossed with the story while I’m looking at details in the shoot. For example, while watching Downton Abbey I frequently got really distracted because so many shots were obviously using the Rule of Thirds and it was so distracting. This is a very highly rated series with “a cast of thousands” (adding the actors and the production crew together), and a much bigger budget than the average person here has.

By contrast, the series Ballykissangel, from my viewer point of view, was easier to watch because the camera shots were more interesting. It seemed to me that Ballykissangel had more creative camera shots than Downton Abbey but then that may have been colored by the fact I also really enjoyed the series.

With Ballykissangel there were a number of creative shots where I wanted to remember what they did but now I’ve forgotten what they were. :-)

Even in the youtube “Ballykissangel Behind the Scenes - Part One”, it opens with the writer cutting to the Director and it seems so natural even though they are in a different setting. A following scene was with an interview (2:46) with two of the actors talking to someone beside the camera, who we never see, and it is so natural. Then there are the little parts like at 3:52. At 4:38 there was an annoying jump but from 5:13 > 6:20 were an interesting series of jump cuts and these worked well.

Another behind the scenes is "Ballykissangel Cast and Crew Full Episode" (long at 1.06:19)
The casting in this series was good and the Writer obviously liked the series. Writers often complain that any similarity between what they wrote and the movie is purely coincidental, or something like that.

Notice that the “Behind the Scenes” is all about the director, author, cast, storyline, personal reactions, and setting but nothing about the invisible production crew.

Bottom line, rules are not necessarily laws. In general, they are good guides depending on how they are implemented. The Rule of Thirds when constantly used can get very monotonous.

Josh Bass September 19th, 2019 01:48 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Maybe the ultra formal cinematography of downton abbey reflects the rigid people in the show?

John Nantz September 19th, 2019 02:47 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Josh Bass (Post 1953475)
Maybe the ultra formal cinematography of downton abbey reflects the rigid people in the show?

That's a good point.
So the style of cinematography should fit the kind of film that's being presented.
One fairly recent TV series "Amazing Race" was about couples who race around the world in stages. Typical of the reality-TV type series it uses a lot of handheld cams with shaky takes and extremely short edits, often only a fraction of a second, and was really difficult to watch.

So point well taken, the type of movie would be a factor in the video presentation style.

Brian Drysdale September 20th, 2019 12:33 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
A point to remember about the early "Ballykissangel" series is that it was probably framed 14:9 on Super 16, for showing on 4 x 3 televisions. This was common on film TV dramas around that time, I worked an the first episode and I don't recall it being different.

I used to switch my Aaton film camera regularly between standard 16 and Super 16 during this period, before 16:9 became the norm. The same used to happen on Digital Betacam cameras when you switched between 4 x 3 and 16 x 9 for a couple of years.

Josh Bass September 20th, 2019 01:11 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I was sort of (but only half) kidding. I've never seen a second of Downtown. My (half joking) theory would make sense though.

On the other hand I do remember a Jane Austin adaptation my girlfriend was watching once, that had very very dry cinematography...very plain, flat lighting, simple or no camera moves. One could say the same thing as above...buuuuuuuttttt I suspect it was just ultra low budget (for one thing, it had the video look/interlaced).

Ryan Elder September 20th, 2019 07:10 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Nantz (Post 1953474)
And it doesn't have to be just the 30º angle to make it look boring.

Speaking for myself, it can be difficult to watch a movie with my wife because she gets engrossed with the story while I’m looking at details in the shoot. For example, while watching Downton Abbey I frequently got really distracted because so many shots were obviously using the Rule of Thirds and it was so distracting. This is a very highly rated series with “a cast of thousands” (adding the actors and the production crew together), and a much bigger budget than the average person here has.

By contrast, the series Ballykissangel, from my viewer point of view, was easier to watch because the camera shots were more interesting. It seemed to me that Ballykissangel had more creative camera shots than Downton Abbey but then that may have been colored by the fact I also really enjoyed the series.

With Ballykissangel there were a number of creative shots where I wanted to remember what they did but now I’ve forgotten what they were. :-)

Even in the youtube “Ballykissangel Behind the Scenes - Part One”, it opens with the writer cutting to the Director and it seems so natural even though they are in a different setting. A following scene was with an interview (2:46) with two of the actors talking to someone beside the camera, who we never see, and it is so natural. Then there are the little parts like at 3:52. At 4:38 there was an annoying jump but from 5:13 > 6:20 were an interesting series of jump cuts and these worked well.

Another behind the scenes is "Ballykissangel Cast and Crew Full Episode" (long at 1.06:19)
The casting in this series was good and the Writer obviously liked the series. Writers often complain that any similarity between what they wrote and the movie is purely coincidental, or something like that.

Notice that the “Behind the Scenes” is all about the director, author, cast, storyline, personal reactions, and setting but nothing about the invisible production crew.

Bottom line, rules are not necessarily laws. In general, they are good guides depending on how they are implemented. The Rule of Thirds when constantly used can get very monotonous.

This is how non-filmmakers are when they critique my work, if I ask them if they noticed problems in the shots, that other filmmakers noticed, they say they are just paying attention to the story, and that the style of shots is not that important to them, they say.

Only filmmakers noticed that I broke the 180 degree rule, for example. If I show it to a non-filmmaker, they say they don't even notice anything jarring or strange, unless I explain to them what that is.

Brian Drysdale September 20th, 2019 07:52 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
That's the same with most crafts, people who aren't involved with it may easily may miss the difference between a good mortise and tenon joint in carpentry and a bad one. Although they'll notice after it breaks and they fall on the floor..

The brain also compensates from what's there to what expects to see, so you may get away with one or two shots with people facing the wrong way in a conversation/interview. However, if you do it continuously with every conversation the brain will spot the pattern and sense something is a bit strange.


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