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Storyboarding, despite being a fundamentally visual process, requires more of the artist than a good eye for design. It requires conviction. The storyboard artist must be able to navigate many possible branching paths. Finding a clear route through is no easy task when every line in the script can be interpreted in any number of ways. To the story artist, this tends to result in multiple...

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Cinematography is about using time and motion to explain and record change. And while there are only a handful of fundamental camera movements, choosing which ones to combine and in what way can be daunting. As a story artist whose job it is to render the first look of a film, TV series or commercial, it helps to know a bit about the world of cinematography. But first, some background information.

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Taking the time to correctly plan out your proposed film or TV project before production gets underway is vital to its success. But before you even begin thinking about the latter stages of pre-production, you should evaluate the merits of your story kernels and ideas. Ideation is one of the most crucial aspects of filmmaking because if you get it wrong and things start to unravel at any point...

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Filmmakers starting out all seem to have the same limitations. But for us, these limitations aren’t problems. In fact, if you accept them, the answers become pretty clear, pretty quickly. What camera do we use? The one that we’ve got I guess. How do we gather crew? How many favours can you call in? What’s a worthy script look like? Well, do we like it…? We (Lexy Anderson and Ben Murray) are a...

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If any style of narrative structure should feel completely at home within the sphere of independent film, it would be the experimental sort. In fact, you could venture so far as to say one could not exist without the other. The reason I believe this to be the case is because the independent film industry is where so many auteurs turn towards and return to in order to make the stories they want to...

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As a storyboard artist you are responsible for creating the ‘first look’ of a film, and by way of simply drawing out the scenes you become a kind of film director in your own right. This transformation is most readily apparent if you leave nothing open to interpretation. Your work should be rock solid and include every bit of necessary detail before it is handed off to other departments. Signs...

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Screenwriters have a tendency be overprotective of their work, whether it’s their earliest draft or thirtieth rewrite, and understandably so. As part of the first phase of filmmaking, writing the script can be considered a creative endeavour. Only after the script is realised does it enter the production pipeline where it will be looked at by others with a more commercial—and therefor more...

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While there is an established way of formatting a screenplay or shooting script, there is no one way of visually interpreting them. If there were, the role of a storyboard artist would have been given over to automation long ago. In practice, much of the action described in a script is intentionally left open to interpretation. This presents a challenge to the director in the form of greater...

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People often mix up the terms ‘pre-production’ and ‘pre-viz’ thinking they mean the same thing. The words themselves are related in the sense they both refer to preparatory stages prior to production, however, their use in the proper context is a question of semantics. This is why it is sometimes difficult for directors, department heads and cast and crew to remain on the same page. And for a film...

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Developing as a concept artist is a deeply involved pursuit. It requires countless hours of practice and study in such areas as product, industrial, environmental and architectural design. There is no way around it. How else are you going to be able to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of art directors and prove your understanding of what they and production designers look for in potential team...

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