Creation Phases | Script to Storyboard

The creation phase following a final script draft, is the stage where all the ground work to turn the script into a viable production is done. This includes several tasks:

The Shooting Script
The shooting script essentially drafts exactly how the script will be photographed. We used to draw a table with columns for - shot and scene number, frame size (Extreme Long Shot, Medium Shot, Close Up etc.), general comments regarding camera movement and what happens in the frame, the part of the script relevant to this shot (dialogue and actions), and finally a small drawing to explain all the words (a picture is worth...). We liked to prepare the shooting script in contextual order ie. scene 1 shot 1 followed by scene 1 shot 2 etc. (you get the drift).
Obviously, the Shooting Script is the master tool for the photography crew, used as a reference while setup is done, and shots filmed. Most of a cinematographers creativity is encompassed and brought to light through shooting script.

The Storyboard
In most larger productions the drawing part is seperated from the shooting script and is produced by an artist. This body of work is refferd to as the story board and can help set designers, costumers, andother production crew as well as the photographer.
Excellent examples of this are David Fincher's Se7en, and David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Both films rely very heavily on graphic images to convey different feelings. In Se7en the library documenting all the murders is a perfect exapmle, just like the dicovery of the ear in Blue Velvet, these images sprouted in the crews head and were put to paper during the creation of the storyboard. This stage allows the creative team to adjust and enhance the film's visual power.
Also worth a look is Hal Hartley's amazing film - Trust, which uses rather dry, sometimes minimalistic, frames in order to convey very very strong emotions and issues (eg. the High-Angle shot of the toilet while it is being cleaned).

How to create a Breakdown(tell the producer you've just decided that all of yesterday's shooting is overexposed and useless).

Clock TimeSceneShotPrep. TimeShooting timeSpecial Equip.Req. Personnel
10:00 AM1120 min10 min. - Dan & lighting tech.
10:30 AM321 h 30 min.30 min.Dolly, Daylight lampslighting tech., grip crew
12:30 PMetc...

Basically the breakdown is the producers tool of terror. This little devil of a table consists of the following fields (as you can see above):

Accelerating production efforts and Generally becoming hysteria ridden
Obviously this is the stage where eveyone understands that the film is actually going through and that they will have to work on it. Producers go into a frenzy in attempt to catch up with their long unattended tasks and schedule, assitants run left than right just for the sake of creating confusion, the director lies weeping in the corner, and the best part of film production starts! (It only gets better - read on).

Creation Phases
These are the stages that bring a film from idea to existence
Artistic Elements
These are the words of the cinematic language
From the idea to the script Mise en Scene
From the script to the storyboard Acting and Directing
On the set Photography and Lighting
Mayhem (also known as post production) Sound and Music
- Editing

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This page last modified on - Friday, August 14, 1998.