Sound and Silence Spice up Storyboards

Storyboards are usually static images until you take them to the next level: animatics. This means putting them into motion, using transition between the still images and adding sound: V/O, dialog, music, sound effects and, yes, even silence. But this could take a lot of time and work.
storyboards with sound

Sound Timeline

When using StoryBoard Artist storyboard software, each frame is created and placed onto the Timeline. As a result, your project is immediately ready for sound to be added. Stretch the length of time (duration) the image plays on screen and accompany the frame with music, SFX or V/O dialog. Doing this in a digital storyboard software app, you get an immediate feel for your vision of the project. Studios use digital storyboards to time out their projects and look for lulls in tension and emotion.

Silence at Work

But when all is said and done, an often overlooked element of sound is “silence.”  Silence isn’t usually identified as an element of sound but it is. And silence can be used as a dramatic punctuation. Consequently, when a sound track is filled with non-stop sound FX, music or dialog, a sudden lack of sound shocks the audience. It grabs their attention. Most of all it can heighten tension and anticipation in the viewer.

Our brain is able to ignore wall to wall sound when the sound is consistent in both volume and pitch. However, when either changes, our brain kicks into paying attention. Therefore, the next time you add sound to your storyboards, add silence at just the right moment. Then watch the reaction.

The Art of Silence

Finally, we’ve attached an interview with Martin Scorses. He talks about the Art of Silence in film and supports the idea with some example to demonstrate its power.  Since silence works well in film, it will work in storyboard animatics too using PowerProduction’s digital storyboard software.

 

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Spec Scripts to Storyboards

We love movies.  We love making them as well as watching them. Some of us even write them. As ‘one of the ones’ who writes scripts, I’m interested in what goes on in the spec script market. The Scoggins Report is one source I watch.

If you’re not familiar with Scoggins Report – by their own definition – it is “…a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources.”

Spec Script Sale in 2016

Scoggins reports on spec scripts sales in 2016:
“This year’s sales numbers (through September 30) remain at an 8-year low, and we’re on track to end the year in the 60 to 70 range, which is in line with 2009’s and 2010’s weak totals.
Thankfully, buying activity outside the major studios and their labels has been on par with last year (34 sales, led by Amazon Studios, FilmNation, Netflix, and STX, compared to 35 to this point in 2015). The real problem is the major studios’ reticence to buy original material.”

The report goes on to say that only 8 studios have picked up 13 scripts through Jan-Sept 2016 compared to 30 year to date in 2015. But the report reminds us that this is a cyclical business.

Major Studios Focus

Major studios seem to be focusing their time and money on tentpole pictures: blockbusters, franchises, remakes, reboots and major movie star vehicles. For instance, here’s Disney’s 2016. Quite a year!

Disney's 2016 successes

Take heart, the interesting and good news is that the Studios shift some of the development of original content to independent production companies or partner prod-cos. Consequently, they opt to let the specialty companies make the project and then jump in to distribute the finished product. (Sundance Film Festival* and Toronto International Film Festival are two places where completed projects attempt to secure distribution).

What’s this mean if you’re trying to sell a spec script?

It means Hollywood is still open and making movies -and so is Canada. Probably more than ever. But unless you have a personal “in” at Disney, Paramount, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros or Netflix, you have work to do before your project gets on the screen.

To sell your compelling “high concept” spec script- or even use it as your calling card -make sure your project is ready for a pitch session.
-Use digital storyboards to show your idea visually to increase your chances of getting your project into production.
-Show storyboards to friends and family and test their reactions to your idea.
-Use story boards to work out and/or identify story problems or timing.
-Create storyboards to shoot a portion (trailer) of the project to further prove your creative vision.
-Especially relevant, use storyboards when in production to  communicate with the crew to save shot set-up time on the set.

*Speaking of Film Festivals…

Danny Strong Rebel in the RyeOur friend, Danny Strong, will be premiering his film “Rebel in the Rye” (screenplay written and directed by Strong) January at Sundance 2017 Film Festival. Good luck Danny and we look forward to seeing “Rebel” at Sundance and in the theaters.

Most of all, we wish you all Happy Holidays and a productive and healthy New Year!

 

Resources:
Scoggins Report
Box Office Mojo
Imdb

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Storyboard to get production funding

Funding your film/video production

Have you written a screenplay based on “true events” or started a documentary project and looking for a way to fund it? We know that storyboards help persuade investors to fund projects.

“A picture is worth 1000 words. Storyboards can be worth a million.”

So if you’ve already caught the eye of a producer, congratulations! If not, here’s some more info we thought might be helpful to your quest.

First of all, get creative. You might want to broaden the target audience of your project, so you can broaden your target for fundraising.

Funding projects with Digital Storyboards

Use crowdfunding

After a little research, seems like it is clear that film and art projects account for a good percentage of donations/investments.

How about GO FUND ME to start a project?  Or Cinecrowd?
Or research other crowdfunding options.

In addition, notice that each of the crowdfunding sites have their own rules, fees and cater to different audiences. So after you expand your target market, you will have expanded your opportunity to meet your funding goal. Hence, make sure they accept international contributions.

crowdfunding film project: use storyboards too

Build a following with your passion

But it will be up to you to get the word out about your crowdfunding campaign  …and your need for funding. After you start a campaign, post it to your social media contacts from either LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram followers. Sharing your passion will create a sense of community as you build a campaign and get people involved. And your community of supporters will also act as cheerleaders for your message on social media and in future campaigns and projects.

But how much funding to go for?

The only way to know is to estimate your budget.

More about indie budgets

You can use PowerProduction’s AutoActual program to estimate production costs. AutoActuals is a commercial bidding/budgeting software (Excel PlugIn) that is used on shorter media projects like commercials, music videos or short films.

Storyboards will help you get to the next phase

If your idea is a high concept ‘barn burner’ and you secure funding without presenting a ‘creative package’*, our digital storyboard software apps (StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist) will help you save time and money in pre-production phase as well as during camera and talent set up time when you’re on the set.

Let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you.

Here’s an example of a crowdfunding campaign

*Creative package a/k/a Business Plan: One sheet with logline, synopsis, short treatment, info on target audience, key personnel, advisers, budget and ideas on distribution.

“Saving time in preproduction and on the set means big savings to the budget. Digital storyboards save time in preproduction.”

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PowerFinder – New Video – See how our director’s viewfinder works!

It’s the cool and most complete Director’s Viewfinder available for your iPhone & iPad. So much more than a device with lightweight optics that allows a director to frame a shot.  More than a device that uses the correct focal length and aspect ratio. More than a device that saves the director or DP the hassle of moving the whole camera rig into place. Rather, the PowerFinder mobile app does all that and more. The PowerFinder enables picking any camera sensor, any lens, any aspect, and any format to find the perfect shot anytime, anywhere and save the data.

See the slick operation and features in new video here

Director's Viewfinder
See video of the ultimate director’s viewfinder – PowerFinder

Get the new PowerFinder mobile app today!
now for iOs 10

PowerFinder for iPhone
PowerFinder mobile app for iPhone
PowerFinder for iPad
PowerFinder for iPad

Use the slick heads-up display to check out all the stats for your shot. From focal length, ISO, speed, dutch angle, compass heading, GPS, horizon, aspect ratio, sensor, third lines, color & lightness histograms and more. Finally, save the shot with the data embedded or visible in the frame into a custom album for your show.

Director's Viewfinder by PowerProduction

First, choose any sensor size, no matter what camera you’re using. Choose your favorite prime lens and preview it instantly. Therefore, you’ll know precisely where to put your camera for every setup.

Ultimate Director’s Viewfinder

In addition to finding your shots, you’ll know exactly which lens to use. As a result, you can choose the exact specifications rather than carrying extra equipment. Same as from your favorite primes including Arri, Canon, Cooke, Fuji, Panavision, Red, Rokinon, Schneider, Vantage, Zeiss and more. Also, modern and legacy prime lenses are included. Including Anamorphic and custom multipliers. As a result, it’s truly the pro’s choice for a director’s viewfinder in your pocket.

See more info about PowerFinder – Ultimate Director’s Viewfinder

See more about our other mobile apps

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23 Years of Storyboard Software Excellence


23 years ago digital storyboarding was born. We knew there was a better way, so we created the best storyboard software. Way back before the turn-of-the-century, StoryBoard Quick burst on the scene when floppy disks ruled and faxing boards was hi-tech. For those old enough to remember, ShowBiz Expo in Los Angeles was where we first released StoryBoard Quick in all of its black & white glory. It even included graphics on a single floppy due to the use of vector graphics. We still use vector graphics, including now all other formats since hard drives are now measured in gigabytes and disk space is approaching an unlimited amount. We’ve all come a long way since then!

See how far we’ve come!

See how far and check out our latest previs release, StoryBoard Artist 7, simply the best in storyboarding! With unlimited posing, there are no limits to the level of detail you want to create. Start with any pose and change it down to the last fingertip and any angle of view. That’s right, real 3D with the speed of 2D. The best of both worlds.

Independent motion of all elements makes shot movement a snap. Really show the movement in your shots. Everyone will understand even the most complex shots as they play out over time. Just frame the beginning and the end and Artist 7 does the rest.

Thank you to all of our users current, past and future!

 

StoryBoard Artist Studio 7: Powerful Perfection

What good is power if you can’t wield it?

Introducing the new StoryBoard Artist Studio 7, the ultimate hybrid digital storyboarding solution. It perfectly pairs industry-standard professional power that you can wield. All in an easy-to-use, quick-to-create environment. With StoryBoard Artist Studio 7 you can seamlessly go from script to storyboard. Produce stunning storyreels and animatics for both pitch and production.

Whether you’re an artist, looking to draw by hand or a director looking for artistic assistance (pre-drawn, pre-rendered artwork) or a 3D buff wanting to control every angle – StoryBoard Artist Studio 7 has the power you need.

Top tier storyBoard software features

StoryBoard Artist Studio 7’s Paint Canvas gives artists the tools for easy animation and illustration. So use a pressure-sensitive Wacom tablet to draw directly into the frame and onion-skin the next and previous frames to produce your animation.

artist-studio-montage-print-2
The All New Montage Print Page

PowerProduction’s Montage Print Page is the most powerful storyboard software layout tool on the market. More than just a continuous linear storyboard template, the Studio Version of StoryBoard Artist gives you complete control. As a result, any frame can be places anywhere on the page.  Insert any image, overlap frames, show directional arrows to indicate camera movement. The possibilities are endless! It’s next level in storyboard layouts at a fraction of the cost of using multiple software products.

artist-studio-montage-print-1

Feature length fine tuning

New Custom F/X puts the power of the camera into your storyboards. Show Depth of Field, create Shadows and Auto Reverse Shot all with a single mouse click. Add Screens and Filters including Black and White and Sepia tones. Edit image brightness, contrast, color, opacity and even perspective. Fine tune storyboards until you’re satisfied.

Rough draft the entire project with StoryBoard Artist Studio’s precision animatic controls. As each frame is created, it is inserted into an a timeline. This allows for timing the project – in motion before production! Lock and adjust segments of sequences, sync audio such as dialog, SFX and music, mix and level a full 16 tracks of audio. Best of all, save various versions of the animatic to preview an unlimited amounts of edits. While this feature is especially helpful to workgroups, the project is in addition quickly viewable and easy to edit!

Incredibly accessible

Finally, export your project to just about any format. Export directly to an editor (Final Cut Pro Interchange, Avid NLE, Adobe Premiere CC); take it to advanced video formats or also go online/mobile with exports to HTML 5, m4v, Flash and more!

StoryBoard Artist Studio 7 is easy and accessible when you want it and incredibly powerful when you need it!

Questions about StoryBoard Artist Studio 7? Ask us in Live Chat – we’re happy to help!

Martini Boosts Your Productivity At A New Lower Price!

Martini’s New Lower Price!

There’s never been a better time to download PowerProduction Software‘s #1 shot creator – Martini QuickShot!  Since it was designed for editors to help create shots and storyboards from right inside their digital non-linear editors, Martini boosts and boasts maximum productivity. Now at a lower price!

Martini QuickShot editorial plug-in

Check out Martini’s streamlined website where you can download a risk-free, 30-day trial and begin visualizing your shots and bridging the gap between un-shot footage and your final edit. Martini comes complete with actors, backgrounds and in-frame text capabilities. Choose from hundreds of pre-designed, pre-laid out shots. Use the shots as-is or edit them in the Composite Frame so you can get just the right look for your scene. Consequently, your project comes into focus like never before.

Works With Any Editor!

Finally, when you purchase Martini for your Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid or Vegas Pro you receive a 21-day access pass to Studio Backlot – the ultimate, one-stop production resource.

So, not only is Martini the easiest, most powerful way to create storyboards in your editor, but now it’s ONLY $99.  Save 50% and get hundreds of unique shots and sequences to place into your timeline. And no more black slugs, no more holes in your edit. Therefore, boosts productivity. Martini QuickShot completes your vision and gives you an optimal idea of your final project in real time. Finally, a way out of the black hole.

“Martini is an extremely easy-to-use storyboarding plug-in for NLE’s. It is set up for the editor who needs to fill holes. Or the director playing with new sequence ideas for a work-in-progress. Give it a try; it just may save your edit!” – doddleNEWS

So, check out the new Martini website and download it today!

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StoryBoard Quick Direct for iPad 4.0

StoryBoard Quick Direct for iPad now more like the desktop versionNow More Like the Desktop Version

From the creators of the #1 desktop storyboarding software, comes our latest mobile app designed for filmmakers of every level compose shot ideas – on the go! StoryBoard Quick Direct turns your iPad into a mobile pre-visualization tool that will allow you to create and show off your storyboards and cinematic ideas, wherever you are! And, as a bonus, import them into your laptop application and keep boarding.

Be your own location scout

Take any photo to use as a location or when something inspires you, take a photo right where you are and use it instantly!

Casting call

Quick Direct comes with great-looking looking actors in multiple positions and rotations so blocking the shot is a snap. Even add your favorite characters from our desktop versions.

Direct the shot action

Zoom-in, Zoom-out and add directional arrows to define the action or camera movement.

Caption This

Every frame has its own caption for director’s note or dialog. Type or dictate your dialog or comments using the built-in microphone and speech-to-text technology. Set the font, size, color and your captions can be visible during playback as well!

Previs the Action!

Want to see your storyboards in motion? Just press play and watch your storyboard sequence playback on your mobile device. Set and save the frame duration, sit back and watch the show.

Get an overview

View your entire project as thumbnails in the overview window. Rearrange frames with the swipe of your finger and jump to any frame in the sequence for additional editing.

Upload to your desktop StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist!

Now, you can even take your mobile previs and work on them in your copy of StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist. Upload your storyboards to your own cloud and open them right onto your desktop where you can substitute characters, add more elements, import your script and more. Quick DIRECT is a great tool for when the inspiration hits you when you’re on the go.

Now upload and download through our SBQ Cloud

Your cloud subscription will open the door to unlimited upload storage of your projects for easy access to your projects on both your desktop and your iPhone.

Print directly from your app!

Choose from preset storyboard formats just like your desktop version of Quick. For unlimited options see our more advanced desktop application StoryBoard Artist 7.

And More Artwork Available

Choose from special character bundles and get all of our cool storyboard characters and extra Quick artwork, including props & locations now too. Layer them all into all your frames, export to pdf and send it to your cast and crew right from the app!

StoryBoard Artist 7 is Coming!

StoryBoard Artist 7 is an essential tool for a filmmaker

StoryBoard Artist storyboard software makes it possible for fast creation of digital and animatic storyboards. Unlimited posable characters, motion graphics, and also integrated mobile apps headline new features in the new storyboard software version.
This is a game changer for previzualization software,” says Paul Clatworthy, Creative Director at PowerProduction.

StoryBoard Software Flexibility

“It combines 2D simplicity with 3D flexibility, so it’s the best of both worlds. Directors therefore can create the shot they want without building a whole 3D world. Plus they can simply tweak characters in 3D just like directing actors. Finally, StoryBoard Artist 7  builds on our rich history of innovation in media production software while keeping ease of use.”

StoryBoard Artist 7
StoryBoard Artist 7 – Key New Features

Unlimited Posing, start with quick poses then tweak it

Motion Graphics, show movement of characters within shots

Supports standard 3D formats,  Autodesk .FBX, Google SketchUp

Integrated with our mobile apps, making storyboarding on the go

Expanded Timeline editing & sound sweetening

Imports native screenplay formats, Final Draft, Screenwriter, and more

Floating licensing, rather than hardware key

In addition, Streamlined interface

Pricing and Availability

StoryBoard Artist 7 is available through our worldwide reseller channel and direct from our website at www.powerproduction.com for 499.99 USD. Upgrade pricing is available for users of StoryBoard Quick or previous versions of StoryBoard Artist.

Characters Make a Difference in Storyboards

Storyboard CharactersYou can create a great storyboard using generic storyboard characters as placeholders in the frame. It’s quick and easy and sometimes that’s all you need for you and the crew. But when you’re trying to present a concept or persuade a client or producer to see things your way, you may need a little extra umph. So that’s why we have optional storyboard characters for all of our storyboard software apps. They come in a variety of styles, both included and additional to add to your projects.

Extra Character Umph

Looking for more kids? Check out our popular Kids Suite. It includes characters, props and locations. That’s why we call it a suite. It’s many libraries in a whole new toolbar.

Need more corporate people? The Business Suite is perfect for your corporate videos for both Quick and Artist.

More variety of characters are also available. From hipsters to sitcom characters to families.

Need more Props, we have those too for you commercial directors that specialize in table top and other closeup work.

Don’t see what you’re looking for ? Click to chat with us and see if we can help. Our previs experts love helping you with your projects.

Happy Boarding!

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See StoryBoard Quick Direct in Action: Mobile App!

Create Anywhere, Share Everywhere using StoryBoard Quick Direct mobile app (Available for iPhone, iPad and Android!)StoryBoard Quick Direct for your mobile device

Filmmakers know that inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere. Now, whether you are on the subway or in the suburbs when you see that perfect setting appear before you – capture it and storyboard that idea with the help of your iOS or Android device and PowerProduction’s mobile app, StoryBoard Quick Direct! View our video demonstration of StoryBoard Quick Direct mobile app.

Storyboard on location with “StoryBoard Quick Direct!” Mobile App

Enjoy the power of digital storyboards with the freedom of mobility. Take photos while on location and immediately storyboard your shot ideas using the Stand-In Character Library, write (or dictate) notes into the caption, and play your project as an animatic! StoryBoard Quick Direct, the storyboard creation app for iPhoneiPad HD and Android that will extend your desktop application’s productivity. .. for both Macintosh and Windows.

Continue reading “See StoryBoard Quick Direct in Action: Mobile App!”

Ken Burns On Transcendent Stories

Master Documentarian Ken Burns shares his love of story with up and coming filmmakers.

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts…”

Ken_Burns

In a recent short video, Burns explains that while logically we know that 1+1=2, when it comes to telling a truly great story filmmakers should be looking for a 1+1=3 equation. A story where that extra, potentially unseen, element “love”, “god” or “reason” is what truly matters most to the audience. A story where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is what is required for a more engaging tale.

 Flawed heroes, compelling villains.

Burns finds that sometimes a complicated tale is the tale that’s most worth telling.  Provide rich characters who are good but flawed and villains who have identifiable motivations. This will connect with the audience.

Emotional truth must be earned.

Burns understands that film and the stories they tell are, as a byproduct, manipulation. But while that word has negative connotations, it’s not necessarily bad. As a filmmaker Burns looks to move his audience through sincerity and truth. By utilizing his truth he looks to connect emotionally with his audience and build a story that is transcendent and one that reminds us all that it’s ok to be human.

Watch the full video of Burns passionately talking about his love of story in the full video below.

To help tell your stories cinematically, check out PowerProduction’s line of storyboard software and begin to make better movies today.

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