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

Ryan Elder September 21st, 2019 06:32 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Okay thanks. Well so far I've been two shots of coverage for everything, if that's enough, to try to get through shoots faster. Like I will do a master shot, and then a close up of the characters, thus two shots of them each.

Josh Bass September 21st, 2019 06:50 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Based in what we’ve seen and what we’ve been telling you, I think you need all the coverage you can get. Your idea of not shooting unnecessary stuff is commendable and in a ideal situation, even something to be aimed for, but you have tried it that way and it apparently has not been working out. I think you need enough stuff to be able to edit around unforeseen problems like the ones you’ve described.

Ryan Elder September 21st, 2019 07:19 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Okay thanks. Well lately I've been trying to knock out two pages an hour if possible, but is that too unreasonable to shoot for?

There is a scene for example I am storyboarding now for example, where it's a conference room meeting with probably around 15 actors in it at least. But do I have to get a close up of everyone of them, even if they are not all major characters?

Brian Drysdale September 21st, 2019 10:53 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
I wouldn't push for more than 30 camera set ups in a day on a drama unless you got two cameras. Two pages an hour sounds more like TV soap, rather than a film

You only need to cover the actors who are key to the scene, let the scene run a reasonable time on each of of them, don't just cover their lines, you need a performance and their reactions. You can shoot some of others who you see in other scenes in the film who are reacting to events. but shooting 15 is a waste of time, especially if you never see them again.

Ryan Elder September 22nd, 2019 12:40 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Yeah, I mean the scene is police officers getting a briefing and then see them again during the SWAT/arrest scene later, but they are still not major characters at all.

As for how many camera set ups a day, it depends... How many takes should I do? I've been doing 4-5, usually, but I was told by one director that for me to get better acting I should be doing at least 20 takes. But that would take a lot longer, so is that too many? I assume she means 20 takes per camera set up?

Paul R Johnson September 22nd, 2019 12:58 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
These people are total idiots - stop taken advice from them! If you do 20 takes, the turns will get bored, not better! If you shoot one shot, and it's perfect when you actually review it there and then, it will almost certainly be the one that makes the edit, so one more for safety and you are done if that one works. Only fools would keep the actors hanging around this long - the technical folk get used to repeated processes, and don't even notice the actors wandering around, but actors have micro attention spans if they are extras, and only slightly more if they have a line!

In fact, from my acting management experience, even when it goes badly, more than 6 or so is too much and performance drops. In the UK, we also have very rigid rules on actors time if any are union members, so we're looking at tea breaks and food time which will eat your days up. 20 takes will have a union rep running around.

Stop looking at numbers. The problem is the complexity of the shot, and with all these extras managing them - while you review each shot. With so many people, it takes time and patience to review each wide shot watching for that one person who is not with it, spoiling the shot.

Ryan Elder September 22nd, 2019 01:07 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Okay but if I review each take, I definitely will not be able to knock out two pages an hour like I've doing lately I don't think. But shouldn't there be a max number of takes still, so the shoot doesn't go on for two long though? Even if you feel you don't have the perfect one maybe after say the 10th, it's time to move on?

For example, one short I did, the DP wasn't satisfied with the camera movement and kept wanting to do it again and again, but I just finally said we had to move on, and pick whichever take was the best from that shot. So should therer be a limit therefore?

Paul R Johnson September 22nd, 2019 01:16 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Surely you have this wrong? You shoot each one, and DON'T review it? This is very dangerous. 5, 10 or 100 shots and no guarantee of any of them being good? If the shot lasts five minutes, then 5 minutes is well worth watching, and most are much shorter. You get a gut reaction if the shot was good/bad, so you only watch the good ones. If you get a good one - what is the point of wearing everyone out and decreasing the quality by repeating to reach some magic number???
I would rather have quality than quantity. Your way means your edit decisions are made solely because of covering mistakes. If you get two great shots, then move on and save time. If the shots go bad, bad, good, good, then the next one is a bit pointless isn't it? Whatever spoils the shot becomes the focus, not the whole - so your quality becomes getting it right, not a great performance.

How does the director know the camera movement wasn't right without reviewing it?

I thought your aim was to be as professional as possible, within a limited budget? You seem to be doing the quantitative vs qualitative shuffle. All this extra shooting means extra edit time, just to watch out and log it.

Moving on is a skill - how can you produce a decision if you don't watch the footage and review it? Madness!

Ryan Elder September 22nd, 2019 01:19 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
For the last two I didn't review all of them, to save time, but I figure in the old days of filming, they could not watch over every take, and had to rely on watching the take as it played out, so I thought I would just do it old school to try to get more shooting done in a day. But I can review each one if that's better, it's just before, shoots went a lot longer and people were starting to get anxious as a result, where as not reviewing each take made shoots go by faster for people.

But I can review the footage then after each take. If I should aim for no more than 30 camera set ups a day though, how do I time it out if I don't have a set number of takes though? I don't have to have a set number of takes and call it when I feel we have gotten two good ones, if that's better. However, how do I time a shoot out though, without a set number?

Paul R Johnson September 22nd, 2019 04:19 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
You guess! But a guess, based on experience. Your variables are limited - people and camera. Camera moves need to be practiced, but then they're sorted. Your people are the unreliable elements.

Your problem is trust. If you are directing, then you need to trust the camera operator to frame and focus properly - it's their job. I assume you have a monitor? The director needs to be able to split attention to the real scene and the monitor. If you can't do this, you have an assistant who can be alert for issues. As director, you will be intent on the leads - their facial, vocal and overall perspectives - you cannot also look at the rest of the people acting. Maybe the assistant can do that?

One of my roles in the past as production manager is to keep an eye on the time, and whisper in the directors ear - "if we don't get the next one, we'll be into a break, and then we'll lose the musicians for an hour. If we try one more, but then we HAVE to break" They get it, and don't like it, but know. So I'm looking at time, at progress and budget implications. I also know when scenes are too long so we start to get lighting changes that the edit won't like.

You need to be able to look at a scene on paper and your participants, and make a pretty good guesstimate. You know that camera track will go wrong. You know that speech is so long they'll mess up multiple times, and you know the boom people are going to dip into shot because you hassled them to get clear audio so ADR would not be needed.

You cannot have a rigid timing rule, because everything in the pot works against that. Shooting multiples is a waste of everyone's time if not needed. Remember the old days when they'd shout cut, and everyone waited for the "print it" because everyone had the thumbs up? If you alone cannot decide, trust others, then move on. If you save 20 minutes you can then have this for the shot later on where it will be terrible.

Brian Drysdale September 22nd, 2019 05:02 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1953507)
As for how many camera set ups a day, it depends... How many takes should I do? I've been doing 4-5, usually, but I was told by one director that for me to get better acting I should be doing at least 20 takes. But that would take a lot longer, so is that too many? I assume she means 20 takes per camera set up?

Who does 20 takes other than a few directors who have the time? The number of takes you need varies and some actors give better performances on the 1st take, while others do it take 7, there are no rules. If you've a tight schedule, 20 takes is a luxury you don't have.

To get better acting get better actors, spend time in the auditions.

In your briefing scene, if the SWAT team are just extras, don't feature them with a CU, a group shot is fine as a cutaway, I meant characters who are featured in the story for CU, not background action. They must be of some significance to be worth a CU. otherwise why are you doing the CU?

Ryan Elder September 22nd, 2019 11:20 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Oh well it's just I miss details that people ask questions about later, so I thought maybe I should get a CU of everyone for safety, to avoid any kind of questions or confusion. I don't think I need a CU of all of them but, I don't want to be wrong later.

As for number of takes, I can keep going till I feel the actors got it right then, just don't know how long a shoot will take a result.

John Nantz September 22nd, 2019 11:50 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
A bad shot in a critical part can ruin the entire film. Case in point, last weekend it happened to me!

Our granddaughter had her 18th birthday and she had just started a new job at the university as a TA (Teachers Assistant), but instead of being just an assistant she is actually teaching and was assigned two courses, so very important birthday. In one of the courses there is a good chance she’ll have some students she went to high school with when she was a freshman so this day was a big deal.

This is an unscripted event (unfortunately, as you will see). The day started out well and as it went on I was taking shots here and there to fill in the story. The luncheon went well, rolled into afternoon, and a really nice dinner with extended family. Time to relax around the dining table with family while some others went elsewhere. While we were having interesting discussions some of the family started joining the discussions and the next thing I knew a few who were in the kitchen started walking through the doorway carrying the cake (Surprise!) with the candles lit and singing Happy Birthday. Oh my God, and me without my cam set up.

In a panic I grabbed my iPhone (better than nothing), hit camera icon, selected video, then hit the red button. Saved! Sometimes there is no alternative. As the saying goes, “If you want it bad, you’ll get it bad”.

Well, not only did I get it bad, I got it really, Really bad. When I went to press the record button again to Stop I discovered it hadn’t been recording!!!

Can we do this again? Nope. There is NO take two.

After all this work all day long I’ll have to rely on others camera pictures (seemed everybody was taking pictures but I think some were rolling). It might be so bad I’ll have to scratch it but maybe some kind of a montage? There might not be any audio. The only way this movie will be saved is in the cutting room and with good luck from others smart phones. *Stuff* happens.

We just might have to all fall back on our good memories for this one. If things can be salvaged this will be one bad shot (or lack there of) that will degrade the whole film and be remembered. Certainly by me. This is my confession and now y’all know it.

Some bad shots can be fixed in post, some one can get by with, some stick out like a sore thumb and degrade the movie, some are so bad … there is no way they to describe them.

Ryan Elder September 22nd, 2019 12:11 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
Yeah that's why I don't like shooting unscripted events as much :).

Well I helped out another filmmaker with his feature film and he managed to shoot his in only six days. That's really impressive for a feature so I would like to get mine shot as quick as possible still, but still have it be good of course.

Paul R Johnson September 22nd, 2019 12:41 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
What exactly would you determine a 'feature' to be? I've never shot a proper movie in my life myself, but I have worked on all kinds of productions. Is it the destination of the end product - so in an actual cinema style theatre, with seats and popcorn, or direct to TV on a high numbered channel, or old fashioned DVD, or distributed on a special interest platform? Is it based on time? If it's 1:20 long does that make it a 'feature'?

My local video club make 'movies' or 'video feature films', but they're just video. They bear no resemblance to the products the big studios put out. Is it TV or a Movie? With Netflix now, the 'features' seem to be a style, and that style costs money. Are the documentaries or special interest material on Netflix, that have much lower budgets, features too?

I find it difficult to imagine a real movie, of movie length, made in a movie style to have been made in six days. I can shoot a factory industrial job in three or four days and probably have a running time of twenty minutes maximum. So that's maybe 240 minutes of video shot for a 20 minute edit. This is with minimal reshoots, and just the downside of industrial videos where you have tons of very boring footage from processes that just aren't exciting - so the ratio for the shoot is bad.

I also n' get my head around the notion of recording a bit of each extra? Why? You have the establishing shot for cutaways, and every other shot surely you must have planned? You seem to do some very strange and detailed planning for some things and none for others.

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