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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 October 5th, 2019 12:25 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh no there is still the need for storyboards though, I thought, cause the degree of the angle is on the storyobards, like whether you want a profile shot, a dead on shot, a cowbow shot, etc.

And if you want the camera to move, that is on there too. So I still thought the storyboards had a purpose.

John Nantz October 5th, 2019 01:24 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
What? No reply from the gurus yet???
The thought abut only having two shots concerns me but (disclaimer) I don’t know how the movie people typically do it. This issn’t the Olympics so here’s my take. (Lots of puns here).

There’s a saying, “If they want it bad they get it bad.” Substitute boss/ leader/ Director for “they”.

Not every shot is equal, as in the same amount of difficulty. And there are other “actors” (f.e., camera operator, lighting, boom mic, etc.). They aren’t all on stage but they’re part of the scene as much as if they were. Any one of them can have a problem that would benefit from another take. Stuff happens.

In the beginning one can make it known that “two takes” is the goal, the gold standard, and try to hold to it but have some flexibility to break the rule. It’s in everybody’s interest to ultimately have a good take but they need to understand there is a budget that can’t be busted and it is what it is. The question is “how to strike that balance?”

Thinking out of the box: If this was run by an Industrial Engineer / Lawyer-Judge team, a stopwatch could be put on the additional takes and apportion the cost to those who forced a re-take and subtract it from their salary.

Speaking of Industrial Engineer: It wouldn’t be a too difficult task to price out the film production by taking scene by scene, pricing out the “staff”, equipment, and space/studio, and come up with a total budget. By tracking actual cost vs budget can determine if one is ahead of, or behind, the cost curve. This would help determine how much flexibility there is in the number of takes. Maybe this has been done already? How do the studios do this?

One of my favorite movies is Dirty Dancing (not to be watched by young teens). When one finds out how it was made, rejected by the major studios, put together in a minimal amount of time, then made mega bucks, it is impressive. Also, another back story: The two major actors, Swayze and Grey, turned out they didn’t like each other!!! (At least for a large portion of the filming)

Waiting to read what the gurus take is.
Ooops … Just saw that Paul jumped in.

Brian Drysdale October 5th, 2019 02:11 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1953799)
Oh no there is still the need for storyboards though, I thought, cause the degree of the angle is on the storyobards, like whether you want a profile shot, a dead on shot, a cowbow shot, etc.

And if you want the camera to move, that is on there too. So I still thought the storyboards had a purpose.

No one is saying you don't need to plan.

All this seems to be going around in circles, as if you're looking for set pattern, some simple way that everything can be covered, regardless of content or importance. Planning no more than 2 shots each, as if each character has equal weight in the scene, is nonsense, You give the characters the shots required to tell their part of the story within the scene, some may have 3 or 4 shots, while others may only have one shot..

You need to work within the time limits that you have, so give more to the key characters who progress the scene with dramatic points within it and less to the other characters. The camera has to be in the right position to capture those points in the most effective way.

Since we of no knowledge of the scene, the coverage needs to be planned by you, so that the scene has a sense of dramatic progression when it's cut together. There's a wide range of options open, from doing it all in a single moving shot or a series of shots that reveal what's going on between the characters. The choice being dictated by your resources and how well your actors can hold together a performance.

Ryan Elder October 6th, 2019 02:03 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, I can do that then and plan each scene on a case by case bases, but try to keep the shots down low still.

One thing I do in my shot planning is I will do what I learned other filmmakers do, and draw along the script when you want the shot to begin and end in a scene. Like let's say you only want a certain shot to last a few lines, then I will plan for that. But when I get to the shoot, I change my mind, and have that shot run for the whole scene, just in case, for extra coverage. But should I learn to just be comfortable with only letting certain shots just from for a couple of lines, if that's how I see it in the planning?

Brian Drysdale October 6th, 2019 02:24 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Don't cover just one or two lines, there's no need (you're not shooting film on a very tight budget), let the actors get a feel for their performance (especially with inexperienced actors), plus you get reactions, which can be more important in the final film than the actor saying the line. You may not realise this at the time of filming.

You don't have a producer or studio who will want a recut of your scene, which is the reason why some directors only shot what they needed, so the studio couldn't interfere during the editing. These are highly experienced directors with some power in the system, who could get away with this. most can't because of the pressure from the producers.

On one film I drew lines showing the shot coverage along the script. It worked, especially in this case because much of it was inside a car, so the film was shot not scene by scene, but camera position by camera position, since it took so long to rig each camera set up. BTW This was at night, so lights had to be rigged and the camera was an Arri 16BL film camera with a zoom lens, which isn't a small camera (although a Betacam with a clip on battery on the back is worse).

Ryan Elder October 6th, 2019 10:29 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, I thought maybe I should decide which shots should be on which lines specifically for time.

There was one director, I worked under who I felt got too carried away with this though. He would put the camera in a certain place, have the actor say a couple of sentences, then put the camera in another spot, have the actor say the next couple of sentences, then keep on doing that. He had different shots for several spots of dialogue.

I felt that the actor really had to break up his performance a lot to do that. So I wouldn't want to get too carried away with that for sure. It didn't show the final edit though, and the actors still did a good job it seems.

However, if it's best to have every shot run for the entire scene shoot, then I can do that, if that's better, performance wise. But I would have less shots because of that, cause it would take more time though, if that's okay?

Brian Drysdale October 6th, 2019 10:47 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Unless you're got an extremely tight budget shooting on film, there no reason to reposition for each couple of lines, the actors never really get up to speed, when you're trying to improve their performance on the tighter shots. From experience, you can spend time getting those single lines just right, especially if the other actors aren't there.

In TV dramas they usually don't have time to get great performances in the wide shots, so they're tuning this as they move for the tighter shots.

You don't need to shoot the entire scene if the character is only seen in the first half, once they're finished in the scene you can stop.

You're not editing in camera, you're providing material for the edit.

Ryan Elder October 6th, 2019 11:49 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Yeah it's just it was said before that four shots might not be keep a scene interesting if that scene is 3-5 minutes long for example, so if more shots are in order, should I really have them all run for the entire scene shoot?

Brian Drysdale October 6th, 2019 12:04 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It really depends on the scene and the action, you do need use your judgment

If it's just someone standing talking in front of sitting people, that may not be enough. If they're moving around the room interacting with the listening cops in a dynamic fashion, with fast one liners coming back at the inspector in carefully choreographed action, you could do it in one shot with a moving camera. We're assuming it's the former, rather than the latter

You seem to be set on rules, when it's more a case of how long is a piece of string.

You're the director.

Paul R Johnson October 6th, 2019 12:23 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I don't think I have ever sat at the editor and even counted shots. Do you not just edit to tell the story? If it worked, why would I even want to count them, let alone plan to have X number? 4 could be good, so could 8, or maybe just one really good one?

I'm trying to chill a bit after a horrendous day of rehearsals where the weather was wild and the water was pouring in through every possible entrance. Stopping the cast to mop the floor, and keep the water out of the electrics became my role today. Supposed to be in charge, but at one point was bucket person while everyone else tried to work.

Josh Bass October 6th, 2019 01:26 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Based on some of Paul’s posts in these threads I think some thing like a small zen garden while listening to Enya would be a better way to chill than coming here after a stressful day.

Paul R Johnson October 6th, 2019 02:01 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I don't know - I rather look forward to Ryans constant run of problems, which kind of makes me feel my life is actually better than I think.

Ryan Elder October 6th, 2019 02:24 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale (Post 1953832)
It really depends on the scene and the action, you do need use your judgment

If it's just someone standing talking in front of sitting people, that may not be enough. If they're moving around the room interacting with the listening cops in a dynamic fashion, with fast one liners coming back at the inspector in carefully choreographed action, you could do it in one shot with a moving camera. We're assuming it's the former, rather than the latter

You seem to be set on rules, when it's more a case of how long is a piece of string.

You're the director.

Some shots will have the actors move, some will not, it depends.

Brian Drysdale October 6th, 2019 03:48 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It's your decision how you cover it.

Ryan Elder October 7th, 2019 06:05 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Well I thought I should also have two master shots, for coverage, in case it turns out something is wrong with one of them. But you want to make one master different from the other one, by either shooting on more of an angle, or backing up the camera more, than the other master. Is this normal for coverage to shoot two masters?

Brian Drysdale October 8th, 2019 01:12 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
There are no rules, it depends on the scene and the action.

Think wide shot(s) rather than master shot and if that's what you need to tell the story.

Ryan Elder October 8th, 2019 08:59 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, I thought a wide shot, was not necessarily a master, cause a wide might not include everything in it, where as a master does, or so I thought :).

Paul R Johnson October 9th, 2019 12:57 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Eh? Isn't the point of the master mainly as a cover all events, fallback shot? The one that contains everything when the other shits will be more detailed and usually closer, but more prone to failure when shooting. A wide shot is the norm for being used as a safety, but there are plenty of circumstances when it's not wide, just safer. If the shot in question is not suitable for use when shot very wide - maybe it reveals things we don't want to see - then it's shot narrower. There's no rule for the lens angle of a master shot, there is a rule that says it's the most useful shot that has so many uses.

Josh Bass October 9th, 2019 01:04 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Best typo ever.

Brian Drysdale October 9th, 2019 02:35 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Of course, there are also directors who don't shoot master shots. I've shot scenes in dramas where there is no master shot.

Often the master is just there so that everyone can see where everything goes, it can act as a safety, but many times it never sees the light of day in the final cut because the performances aren't yet up to speed..

Ryan Elder October 27th, 2019 11:37 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
That's true, but since I want to shoot with a style like the movie High and Low, which relies a lot on masters, should I perhaps shoot the master last then in a lot of scenes that rely on it, so the performances will be better in the master shots therefore?

Josh Bass October 27th, 2019 11:44 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Usually you do master first so you know where everything is happening. If you start with CUs etc. you can end up with a weird master where no one is where you want them (if trying to match CUs) and the lighting is weird etc. cause you were only shooting one person at time and not seeing the big picture.

Ryan Elder October 27th, 2019 11:54 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, but shouldn't I have the same lighting for every shot though, without changing the lighting? The other short films I made, the DP wanted to move the lights, when going from master to close up, and you can see inconsistency in the lighting as a result.

So therefore, I thought it would be safer to just have the DP light the scene once, and keep it for all the shots, for consistency sake, or at least as many shots as you can, unless you really have to move them.

Josh Bass October 28th, 2019 12:06 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It's supposed to LOOK the same from shot to shot, but depending on individual circumstances that can necessitate "cheating".

When the camera is at X position, talent at Y position and a certain light at Z position, it might look good. But now if the camera swings around 30 degrees or whatever, all of a sudden that light looks nasty 'cause it leaves too much of the face in shadow, or is too hot, etc. Lighting sometimes only works for a certain camera setup position, and if that position is moved that lighting looks funky, so you have to tweak the lights to make it APPEAR consistent.

You can light so the camera has more freedom, but the more positions you light for simultaneously, the more you compromise each one, since lights, flags etc. can't be visible from any those angles. Typically, the more positions you light for, the flatter/less interesting it has to be. And you may spend even more time doing it 'cause you have to make position 1, 2, 3, etc. look good, not just position 1.

You'll probably be lighting "from the floor" (lights on stands), not with them hanging from a grid, shooting at real locations and not a studio/set. The multiple position lighting is much easier if you can hang them since then they don't have stands etc. that can be seen.

Paul R Johnson October 28th, 2019 01:20 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Ryan, if you MUST have a rule book, it needs to have context. This lighting one is typical. Josh's answer is really something you should have been able to answer yourself. You answered it really. Inconsistency is bad and even casual viewers notice, so the lighting changes restore consistency. You already do this. If lighting was perfect and even, you could set the lens to f5.6 or whatever, and put the camera anywhere and not adjust it. However in a real interestingly lit scene the light and shade, highlights and shadows dictate changes when you alter things. The DP would have his hands tied if somebody told him to light it so it would be possible to shoot any angle. Who would this person be, telling him how to do his job? Most people I know would preen, and tell this person to keep to their job, and don't be silly.

I'm left with the conclusion that none of the people you work with have earned their titles, yet think they know it all! Who are these idiots you work with who seem to constantly do everything in very non-professional ways? I'm getting the distinct impression everyone you work with has been trained very poorly, has no real movie/video experience, yet all carry name badges. It's like my old college situation. You give everyone a title for the next project irrespective of their ability.

Josh Bass October 28th, 2019 01:27 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
That's why I keep saying I think he needs to PA or intern on a legit budgeted feature, which I think he has not been on yet.

Paul R Johnson October 28th, 2019 01:49 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I'm old now, but I still take some jobs that are perhaps lower than my level to keep my overall knowledge up. Considering I'm approaching retirement in a few years, I've taken some rather dull offers at Pinewood and Elstree in the past couple of years just to keep up to date, and am not ashamed to say I still learned things by observing other people working. The one thing Ryan has missed is that people work in bubbles. The guy running a boom cares little for the problems the lighting people have. 100% of their attention is on what they do. It's fun to watch HODs in disagreement about problems, sorting it out in a way that works, then reporting back to their teams with bad news. I loved this one. "sorry guys, they can't light it, so we need to strike the set we spent all day building, and re-build it three feet that way so they can get the window background lit."

Ryan's jobs all seem to be done by some sort of unorganised, unskilled committee.

Ryan Elder October 28th, 2019 07:07 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I try to get on as many feature shoots as I can, and have been on a few so far, where I volunteered for experience. I've found them hard to get on but been on a few, as well as other people's short films as well. One of the features I helped on had a multicamera set up, so they didn't change the lighting, since all the camera angles were shot simultaneously of course.

So I thought lighting for multiple angles, without changing them was a possibility therefore, and thought it would be less risky, than moving them, if I were to do such a set up where all the shots are lit, like that.

Paul R Johnson October 28th, 2019 07:18 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It's fine, but remember the budget implications. Lighting for multiple angles creates the need for light from far more locations. Think back to the old three point lighting scenario always taught to students as the basic requirements. Key, fill and a backlight. If you have three cameras, or three camera positions, then at worst, you have 9 point lighting, although with scrims and cleverness, the back light for one might do dual purpose as key for another but if you are not able to block your actors and fix set in precise locations, you could find the kit list getting very hot and prescriptive. In tungsten old speak - your 1Kw might need to be further away to get more cover, so needs upping to a 2Kw or a discharge, which requires more power, and people to look after them. How many needed to provide fill, or set lights. Extra angles also means revealing things like stands, so you need to rig alternative suspension. Nowhere near as simple as it appears.

Ryan Elder October 28th, 2019 06:14 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson (Post 1954384)
It's fine, but remember the budget implications. Lighting for multiple angles creates the need for light from far more locations. Think back to the old three point lighting scenario always taught to students as the basic requirements. Key, fill and a backlight. If you have three cameras, or three camera positions, then at worst, you have 9 point lighting, although with scrims and cleverness, the back light for one might do dual purpose as key for another but if you are not able to block your actors and fix set in precise locations, you could find the kit list getting very hot and prescriptive. In tungsten old speak - your 1Kw might need to be further away to get more cover, so needs upping to a 2Kw or a discharge, which requires more power, and people to look after them. How many needed to provide fill, or set lights. Extra angles also means revealing things like stands, so you need to rig alternative suspension. Nowhere near as simple as it appears.

Oh okay, I thought there would be more lights of course. But I could just try to find a DP that can keep it consistent with 3 point lighting and one camera.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Josh Bass (Post 1954372)
Usually you do master first so you know where everything is happening. If you start with CUs etc. you can end up with a weird master where no one is where you want them (if trying to match CUs) and the lighting is weird etc. cause you were only shooting one person at time and not seeing the big picture.

I was thinking about this, and I'm wondering, how is it that no one where be where you want them if you start with CUs first as long as the blocking was planned out?

Paul R Johnson October 29th, 2019 01:21 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
If you find a DP happy with 3 point lighting and one camera then this means two things. Reset time and compromise. Three point is the minimum approach, something that sets the lowest common denominator for adequate, not good, lighting. The minute you have not just one person, then it falls apart. Increasing the space, filling it full of things that need illuminating, and turning adequate into interesting the design component increases drastically. This is why you need good talent on the team. If a DP is really somebody who knows how to attach the camera to a wedge plate and level it, and be able to locate a power point for the three lights in their car, initially asked to be the makeup person, but then retailer to DP, you're in trouble.

Your second point is proven perfectly by the clip you posted of the people in that room where we pointed out we had no clue about the space and people seemed to jump about between shots. If you start with a master shot it gives the actors their place in space the very first time. Blocking is always learned best when everyone does it at the same time. If somebody is an extra, but is on your left, you feel them. Remove them as they're not in shot and you stand differently, you direct general comment differently and your entire stance is subtly different if it's only you. Plus of course, that's the best way to do it, the normal way, proven in thousands of shoots. Your new way is unlikely to be novel, or successful, so don't do it.

Ryan Elder October 29th, 2019 06:23 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, but won't the people be in the exact spots in close ups and masters, even if they are extras though? Also which clip, that I posted are you talking about?

Paul R Johnson October 29th, 2019 06:58 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
If you shoot the closeups first, the emphasis is on the frame contents, and you will frame to get the best composition - which means adjustments in angles, the orientation of each actor, their reference points - the other actors, the set etc, but the camera itself will be close in normally which can often place people in locations that in wide shot look very odd, and are not how people in a room place themselves naturally. the example is your time machine video where we had that section in a small space (or possibly big space - we didn't know) where what appeared in the edit lacked orientation and spacial awareness, so we were guessing what the room looked like, where the exits are - remember? it was explained to me once like how most people do jigsaws by completing the edges first, then they move to the centre - while very few people start with the centre and work outwards, if you do, you suddenly find things don't fit without moving everything else.

Ryan Elder October 29th, 2019 07:12 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, but in that scene you are talking about, I shot the mastershot, first then the close ups after, so what did I do wrong when if I shot the master first?

Brian Drysdale October 29th, 2019 07:53 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
It's usual to shoot the master shot first so that you and the actors know where everything goes.

You can cheat the closer shots a bit, if required, just so long as it makes geographical sense in the end

3 point lighting is very basic stuff, usually found in TV studios, the starting point. In practice, on dramas,good lighting is usually motivated by lighting sources in the location. I've had directors ask "where is that light coming from?"

Light the master shot so that it looks right for the location and mood, then use the motivation from the sources to light the closer shots to the actors so that their emotions, sub text etc are revealed to the best visual standards.

Please don't start learning lighting in a forum it takes years to be good and there are numerous books on the subject and you currently seem to be at a pretty basic level. Spend some money on the books and learn from top DPs. not the "I've been told" people

Josh Bass October 29th, 2019 11:13 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Let’s try another approach on for size, even though this is now me talking out of my butt since I really dont do this kind of work.

Blocking doesnt happen in a vacuum. It happens according to what looks good ON CAMERA. You wouldnt just start arbitrarily placing people without seeing how it looks in the shot. So if you start with CUs, youre only going to know what that one guy looks like in his position. And then the next guy. And the next. And maybe they all look great in their respective CUs, positioned just so. But now when you go to the master, to keep them matching their positions for CU, they may now have end up in ridiculous spots and it looks terrible as a wide or makes no sense (why are they 12 feet if theyre supposed to be standing close?).

Paul R Johnson October 29th, 2019 11:17 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1954406)
Oh okay, but in that scene you are talking about, I shot the mastershot, first then the close ups after, so what did I do wrong when if I shot the master first?

Oh - I was hoping the reason we commented on the editing of that scene was explained by the error of shooting the others shots first. It would have explained the confusion. Personally, I suspect I'd have not owned up to that one Ryan.

What everyone is saying is that the established practice of doing master shots first is done simply because it works best. Most of the time!

Ryan Elder October 29th, 2019 12:25 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh ok, thanks. Well I can shoot the master first if that's best. Its just if I have certain scenes where I wanted to have it play out with the master for a long portion of the scene, how does a director make sure the performances are just as good as the close ups ideally?

Josh Bass October 29th, 2019 01:19 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Im not sure I understand what he confusion is.

If youre planning a “kurosawa approach” where your scene mostly plays in long wide/master shots, only occasionally using singles, then you plan your shot list accordingly and focus equal attention to performances in both.

People here are saying that in many films today, the master is hardly or never used, so they can get away with not needing the performances to be amazing, counting on coverage to make the scene/performances strong. If youre not taking that approach, then you ensure your master performances ARE strong.

Paul R Johnson October 29th, 2019 01:40 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I think Josh has hit something here - we're all giving opinions on this based on the experiences we have and we're not considering that your production will have amateur actors. They may be being paid Screen Guild bottom rates but they don't seem to have experience. The Director also seems lacking so all this talk about the actors needs to be based on their lack of formal training, their lack of professionalism and their lack of plain simple experience. Ryan seems to want to mimic the directorial processes of the greats but without their skills?

I wonder if we've got into the habit of treating master shots as the final rehearsal, but with results that can be used if needed?

What is clear is that Ryan's problems are made worse by the planning bearing little resemblance to the finished products. Too many part-trained people in every role, but horrifically high intentions.


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