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.




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!


Scoggins Report
Box Office Mojo



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.”





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













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!


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!”

Avid Plugin: Martini QuickShot for Avid Editors Released

avid plugin martini quickshot creator for avid media composer editors

Edit Much?

Avid plugin, Martini QuickShot Creator v2 is now available for Avid editors using Media Composer & Symphony.

If you’re an editor and looking to fill in the blanks (replace those slugs!) with meaningful images to help the project’s timing and visual story continuity, Martini QuickShot Creator is the solution.

Blank Slugs out – Avid Plugin

Gone are the days of using blank slugs as placeholders now that you can use a story panel to represent what will be inserted once second unit or pickups are completed.  Martini Quick Shot Creator is now available for Avid editors as well as FCP and Premiere users.

So popular for FCP and Premiere, we made one for Avid Media Composer for Hollywood Editors! Whether you edit movies, TV shows, commercials, or other video, Avid Media Composer’s industry-standard nonlinear editor provides 64-bit performance, easy-to-use video editing tools, and streamlined HD, file-based, and stereo 3D workflows.

You can purchase Martini QuickShot directly from PowerProduction and soon from Avid, as well.

Printing PDF files from StoryBoard Artist

There are many ways to share your storyboards and cinematic vision when you have the power of StoryBoard Artist. One of the most popular ways to exchange ideas is via email – it’s fast, easy and everyone has it. Printing PDF files of your StoryBoard Artist project is a great way to make it accessible for everyone to see, plus it makes it a small, easily attachable file to send and receive via email.

Printing PDF files – Tutorial

In this overview tutorial, you’ll see how easy it is on a Macintosh to turn your entire storyboard project into a PDF file (printing to PDF file) so you can show it off to everyone. With just a couple click of the mouse, your cinematic blueprint is ready to be shared.

So, get started sharing your ideas by printing to PDF with StoryBoard Artist today!

TIP: If you want to share your project or use it on the set, try StoryBoard Artist Shot Assistant available from the App store.

Looking for StoryBoard Artist Help?

We know you like StoryBoard Artist because it’s easy (and because you tell us)!  Easy-to-use and easy-to-learn – but that doesn’t mean we all can’t use a little extra help now and again. StoryBoard Artist help is here.

Check out this quick video on how to access a number of resources to help you find what you need in StoryBoard Artist. Whether you’d like to look up the function of a toolbar item or get step-by-step video instructions on some of StoryBoard Artist’s most useful tips and tricks, we’ll show you where to look.

“StoryBoard Artist Help” tutorial

StoryBoard Artist help comes with a whole host of free video tutorials which will get you working like a pro in no time!

manualWatch the video

StoryBoard Quick Custom Storyboard Frame Borders

Custom Frame borders in StoryBoard Quick SoftwareStoryBoard Quick’s custom storyboard frame borders gives your printed storyboards an added artistic touch. Using an easy and quick feature you can place the perfect frame on that perfect shot.  It’s fast and easy and there are many styles to choose from. You can find that perfect look so that every frame is perfect both inside and out.

Custom Storyboard Frame Borders – Tutorial

Check out this Storyboard Quick tutorial showing how you can select an extra special way to display your storyboard frames using custom storyboard frame borders with a simple click of the mouse. Sometimes the right finishing touch is all you need to take your storyboards from good to great!

StoryBoard Quick Tutorial by PowerProduction Software For more information on the fastest and easiest way to create amazing digital storyboards – check out StoryBoard Quick!

One-click Reverse Angle in Storyboard Artist Studio

Let’s face it, storyboarding a “conversation” can be tedious.  Especially if you’re doing the old-fashioned, out-of-style way of hand drawing your boards!  After finish the first angle you’ve got to start all over to create the reverse angle…doesn’t that seem like a waste of time?

Well, in the new StoryBoard Artist Studio we’ve made it easy for you to create reverse angle shots!  So, easy, in fact, it’s a  simple click of the mouse.  Check out this short and sweet demo on how you can quickly create the reverse angle shot of your conversational shots and get great looking boards in the process!

For more info on the future of storyboarding check out StoryBoard Artist Studio!


Storyboard Locations Continue to Grow More Ultimate

Winter is here right now in the Northern Hemisphere, so we’ve taken advantage of  “global warming” and captured some images to make sure you have that cold-looking storyboard location no matter what time of the year you start planning your next “winter” scene.

PowerProduction Software has added hundreds of winter scenes (and non-winter) to our Ultimate Locations Website Resource for our customers. If you haven’t already become familiar with this great storyboard locations resource, we invite you to take a look and remember where to come when you need storyboard images.

Watch the video of how to use the Locations Website.

Here’s how to buy bundles of images for your next big production. (Each image is available in 3 different sizes for your various production need: hi res, medium, low res)

And please let us know if you can’t find what you need.  We have resources!!!