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

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.

John Nantz September 20th, 2019 02:15 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale (Post 1953479)
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.

Geeze, Brian, I'm impressed!
While watching the series on a digital TV I would have never thought some of it came from film.

Question: since this wasn't a Hollywood budget operation, as a cam operator, were you allowed some artistic license or freedom to decide what would be in the shot or how to do it? Storyboard? or how were the shot decisions made, by committee?

In at least one of the "behind the scenes" clips there were some short coverages of the cam operator with a roll-film cam so that has to be the film camera you were using. Maybe there was a shot of you in it? The cams with all the accessories was quite large and obviously heavy, not so much as the Hollywood 35mm but a significant piece of iron. Our daughter calls them "the olden days".

The thing about film is the expense, and, no instant re-run to see if the shot looked or sounded okay. Oh, and the large umbrellas for when it rained.

Brian Drysdale September 20th, 2019 04:35 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
"Ballykissangel" was all shot on film.

They used Super 16 cameras, which aren't large and heavy,they are pretty much the ideal weight for shooting hand held and are well balanced, although in studio mode, with the accessories, they get bigger. 35mm film cameras are much heaver as were some of the 2/3" video cameras of the period. An Arri Alexa is heaver.

The camera operator wouldn't touch the film rolls, the camera assistant does that on a drama.

I've never seen a storyboard on a TV drama, the director usually just carries notes and describes the shot. In a multi camera studio you'd get a shot list, I've seen storyboards on shorts and commercials and I know "Game of Thrones" uses them, but that has very high production values and lots of effects shots. There is an element of license, the idea is to make it better than the director wanted, or as one camera made said to a director "you'd better be careful, otherwise I'll give you what you asked for". Directors vary and some like to line up the shot with the film camera, but once they trust you, they often leave you to it.

Large umbrellas are used on all larger productions, as are clear plastic bags with holes to keep off the rain..

You can listen to the sound, which is recorded separately and if the film camera has video assist, you can play that back from a video recorder. But usually, you don't have time for that on a TV dramas..

Ryan Elder September 20th, 2019 05:13 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, that's interesting.

So if I use storyboards on a project, and describe what happens in the shot below the picture, is there any reason to have a separate shot list? Cause some filmmakers seem to have both, but is there a reason for it?

Brian Drysdale September 21st, 2019 12:09 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Use whatever works for you.

Assistant directors want a shot list, so they can schedule the day's filming.

Ryan Elder September 21st, 2019 01:43 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Yeah that makes sense. But as far as flaws go in movies, you see it all the time, like in Straw Dogs (1971) for example, they break the 180 degree in some shots and I don't think they had a real reason for doing it. So I think you see these flaws show up once in a while and no movie is perfect. So maybe as long as I have a good script, and good actors, the occasional flaw like that is not so bad?

Paul R Johnson September 21st, 2019 02:27 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I think you need to revisit straw dogs, and then compare the stuff you shoot on a scene by scene basis. remember the time machine video? You forgot the whole thing hinged on the time machine, which we hardly glimpsed, and the angles you chose that revealed the traffic passing in the background, and the car sequence where we weren't certain who was following whom? None of these issues would have been solved by storyboard quality. I'm seeing your production style as a wander down the aisles of a supermarket, grabbing all kinds of ingredients and then hoping it would taste nice because the ingredients were all really good quality. We're talking about a shopping list scribbled in pencil, or beautifully printed with an expensive computer and promoter on wonderful paper.

You can't cite Straw Dogs as an example of where the 180 degree rule was broken successfully (and I've not re-watched it to check, why would I?) against your own flaws. They're on a very different scale. I just don't know why you don't get this? You seem immune from the differences between laws, regulations, codes of practice, recommended practice, suggestions and conventions. The shot that started all this in the cemetery was not a problem because of 30 or 40 degree rules, or changes in field angle, or zoom settings or background focus or composition - it was that the cut was inappropriate and simply doesn't work, based on television and film making conventions. It's a kind of pass/fail conclusion on what is seen. We're trying to break it down, and you are looking for rules you have broken to support why it didn't work, we're content to simply state it didn't work - do we need to break it down. The critical issue is why you didn't see it as not working, and until you can move forward to seeing the whole, and becoming critical, you won't progress, because you will never be sure something is good without seeking reassurance from others. This is your weakest area, and it impacts on everything you do - you're just never certain, and you need to really work on your self-confidence in your products.

Every duff shot I have to use because there is no alternative really gets me, and I try to not get into that position for the next one. I know it's bad, I don't need to ask.

All the regular respondents to your posts probably would disagree with each other if we got together and shared our work - we'd find picky little things we didn't like, but I suspect we would already know the problems. We won't always agree, which is great. What happens in your topics is that we give you answers you don't like, so you try to justify them by using your really good movie knowledge to support what you did. If your favourite Director gets away with it, it does not mean you can do the same.

Ryan Elder September 21st, 2019 02:33 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, well I guess I need to see the distinction more between my short film compared to other movies sometimes. It's not that I want to justify my mistakes, but I feel that I have to quote precedent, since it's been done before, and a distinction therefore must be made. I think that if you are to point a flaw in someone's work, that you should point out the distinction if it's a precedent has already been set by past movies, unless I am wrong?

Because that way I see the distinction. Otherwise, I am always second guessing myself, thinking well I've seen this shot before, but can I do it, if no one cares about past precedent?

For example, the scene where you say you didn't know who the woman was following in the car. There have been other movies where someone will follow someone and you don't see the person being followed in close up, and just from the followers POV. Also, the guy being followed is driving a convertible car, and you can see that it's him, even if it's from her POV. Unless audiences are watching on smaller screens more and cannot see this compared to older days, maybe? But since it's been done without close up before, I feel that precedence from other movies, must be cited therefore, in order to understand it all.

Brian Drysdale September 21st, 2019 02:52 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Flaws exist in all human projects, however, there are occasions when you can get away with crossing the line and when you can motivate the line to shift within a scene using the actor's actions.

Shots that are dropped during the editing can result in a crossing of the line because other demands in the sequence were thought to be more important. Sometimes it's not noticeable on first viewing because the action carries you though it.

If it's the cut I'm thinking of in your film, it's a poor cut that draws attention to itself without good reason and didn't emotionally connect with what you were trying to convey.

A film isn't a case in law which can carried up to the supreme court where precedence can be decided, it either works within the context of the scene in the film or it doesn't, What works on one film may not work in another.

Ryan Elder September 21st, 2019 03:28 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay. Do you think I should get several more shots then, in case it turns out something doesn't work in context later? It's just that I am trying to shoot in the least amount of shots possible, to save on time with my budgets.

So how do you know how many shots you need, in case, it turns out in editing, people want a close up of someone driving for example, during a following scene, when you may not have it, etc.

Josh Bass September 21st, 2019 05:05 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You dont. Thats why we shoot coverage.


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