Storyboard Artist

Storyboards have been used for years by top-name directors and are now becoming a standard within the industry. Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock both used them. Most of the top directors working today, such as Katherine Bigelow and Steven Spielberg, use them. But what are they?

Storyboards are a series of panel (or frame) drawings that accurately depict the action of the film. It's like a comic book for the director to follow. In fact, the artist has to know as much about the process of filmmaking as the director does to be good at the job. Most directors would rather work with someone who has a little artistic talent and a lot of filmmaking ability than the other way around. The art can always be learned and refined, but knowing the camera angles and continuity is the hard part.

You must have a passion for film, because as a storyboard artist, you are an integral part of the production. You take the script, read it, and after talking it over with the director, basically film it with your pencil. You can be on the film from before it starts (your panels can be used to budget the film) until principal photography ends. This can involve as much as eight months and take you to places as far away as Italy or Japan.

The panels themselves vary in size but are usually four by six inches. The artist can describe the entire action of the movie with these, including camera movements and optical tricks like dissolves and wipes. There are literally thousands of panels drawn for a single feature, with new panels being added on a weekly basis. Every time something changes in the film, the storyboard artist must create new boards to cover it. The artist is expected to draw between thirty and thirty-five panels a day, depending on the style of art the director requires.

Since most storyboards are done in black and white, the artist should be well versed in pencil techniques as well as pen-and-ink and marker. The best storyboard artists may be paid up to $2,000 a week in town and more if they are asked to leave home for any period of time. But don't expect to jump right in to these highly coveted assignments. It all takes work and perseverance and more work. Your best bet to begin is by contacting commercial or video production facilities, as well as film houses, since all three use storyboard artists. Any credit is a good credit, and credits are what people look for.

To get started, reading Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz and drawing a few storyboards are good openers. If you can get hold of a screenplay, that's great, but if you can't, pick up any action-adventure novel and board an action sequence from it. If it takes half a day to do fifteen panels, you're in the running.

Film Making

Film Making

If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.

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