Monday, 14 November 2011

Where will it all stop – Storyboarding

This summary post was originally written for a practical exercise undertaken in the Planning and Making a Film module I undertook in the penultimate year of my BA (Hons). The module's practice was undertaken between October 2011 to June 2012 and it provided me with a hugely enriching experience. For a more detailed overview of the module and the projects I undertook as a part of it, see Planning and Making a Film: The student filmmaking experience.


As I am the cinematographer for Where will it all stop I was very keen to meet up with Jenny, our director, and make a storyboard. Mainly, doing this would mean I had a visual guide and would stop me from completely stressing out during production; also so we could take a look at our location, The Royal Oak, and see how feasible it would be to do the shots we had in our shot list. Making a storyboard had also been something I had wanted to do for The Eager Student, but we ran out of time.

We were quite fortunate to have free rein over The Royal Oak, because we had arrived at opening time. The way we went about creating the storyboard was to go through the shot list one shot at a time. I used my Sony HD Cyber Shot camera to take a picture that would represent how we would frame the shot and from where we would be shooting (I also made sure I had changed my camera's aspect ratio to 16:9, as that is the ratio we will be shooting in).

Some of the changes and major points I picked up are detailed with example shots below:

Shot 1U - Me as Chuck 
From the above shot you get an idea of how well lit the pub is by natural daylight and this does mean we won’t have to worry about installing extra lighting. But I will have to be careful to make sure that the shots are not overexposed (note the window)!

Shot 2G.1
For the shot towards the end of scene 2 we had to come up with a plan B in case it wasn’t raining on the day of shooting. If it does rain then we’ll use above shot...
Shot 2G.2
... but if it doesn't then we'll use the above plan B. Then in post-production we will add the sound effect of raining to the soundtrack and colour grade it to appear as if outside is overcast and grey, if this is needed. 

Shot 1A, The opening TRACK and PAN
We were able to properly work out and walk through the opening shot which had initially somewhat vague. Here I have put five photographs together give an idea of how the shot will work and look. 

Shot 1X, Me as Chuck
Note the shadowing effect that has been created in my positioning in to the window. If we can create the same effect on the day of shooting it will work wonders for the 'mysterious' nature of Chuck's character.

Unused photo for Shot 2C
I need to be careful how the camera is positioned in regards to direct sunlight, otherwise the above may happen.  

Shot 6A 
We were also able to finalise how we would shoot our alternate ending. Here we do it in a time saving single one shot pan. 

Next: Where will it all stop - Pre-production Meeting #3

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