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



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













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.

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!”

Martini QuickShot plugin now for Mac Premiere Pro CC

MartiniMacPPMartini QuickShot Creator for Post-Production is now available as a plug-in for the Premiere Pro CC Macintosh editing system. Previously available for Premiere Pro Windows, we’ve added the Mac due to overwhelming demand!

Martini is the revolutionary post-production application that brings the creativity of visualization into editing.  Rather than breaking the flow of your work in progress with white-text-on-a-black-background slugs describing the missing shots, we developed Martini QuickShot, using the QuickShot Technology and the power of our previs software, StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist to simply and easily create shots that look like what you plan to shoot. Martini comes with built-in artwork of characters & locations and even use the characters over your video. Now your slugs will better represent your plan for your missing shots. And editors can create sequences that better illustrate ideas for pickups.

By bringing visualization into post, editors and post creatives can now develop missing shots using Martini QuickShot artwork from within their editing software. Martini lightens the load of editors and directors, and allows clients and crew to better visualize a work in progress project.

Martini QuickShot is also available for Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro CC Mac/Win.  See all versions and system requirements – Link for purchasing

Free StoryBoard Quick & Artist Update

Attention all Quick 6.1 and Artist 5.1 users
Yosemite Ready!

SBQBox1StoryBoard Artist - the pro previs choice

Fully tested on the latest Macintosh 10.10 Yosemite and Windows 8.1, the new versions are ready to go. The #1 easy-to-use digital storyboarding lines of software, StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist.

The free update is easily accessible right from within your application, launch your applications and select the HELP Menu. In the menu, scroll down and select the Check For Updates option.

The application will then automatically detect if you are on the latest version and, if not, will assist you with the easy download and install process.

If you are not on the current version of StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist and need to upgrade, you can purchase and download your upgrade online.


Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies

As storytelling continues to thrive in today’s media, colleges are keeping up with the trends. One of the top colleges for African Americans, Morehouse College has now added StoryBoard Quick to their CTEMS (Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies) major studies. Using Quick their first assignment was to storyboard a story utilizing the stages of the Hero’s Journey. Their professor, writer-producer AVERY O. WILLIAMS sent this pic and says “Thank you for your assistance and fine program. I’m sure more queries will arise especially as we move down the road toward the completion of their film projects next semester.”CTEMS-Pre-Viz-Class











Technology in Film

Tech innovations in filmmaking and gaming technology advances have been widespread both in the world of movies and gaming. From black and white to 3D, these two giant industries have come a long way. In 2013, the total domestic box office gross is approximately $12.9 Billion:Statistics Brain from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The growing revenues of the movie industry can be attributed not only to the moviegoers but also to the technological advances throughout the years. As a medium for art, filmmaking has always been about innovation. In 1895, Louis Lumiere gave us the very first motion picture camera. Louis, together with his brother Auguste, became known as the Lumiere brothers, the earliest filmmakers in history. From the bulky camera systems to the camera that could move around, here are the top five innovations in filmmaking:

To make a hand-held shot appear smooth and fluid, camera innovator Garrett Brown invented the Steadicam in 1976. The system utilized weight distribution and a rotating gimbal to perfect hand-held shots. Because of the steady shot, a cameraman was able to shoot Rocky Balboa up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Before 1907, filmmaking means the camera was stuck in one place until Segundo de Chomon invented the camera on wheels also known as dolly.

Unlike the first two innovations CGI or computer generated imaging was not born on a film set but was conceptualized in university research labs with an objective to make pictures from computer data. The first movie to make extensive use of CGI was Tron in 1982. After that, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and the Pixar Studio followed suit and revolutionized CGI in movies such as The Terminator, Jurassic Park, and Toy Story.
Continue reading “Technology in Film”

New Version of StoryBoard Quick for Mac OS 10.9

Free update for all SBQ and SBQ Studio 6.1 users! 


We have a brand new version of the #1 easy-to-use digital storyboarding solution, StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Quick STUDIO, for all current registered users of SBQ for Mac.

The free update is easily accessible right from within your application, launch your applications and select  the HELP Menu.  In the menu, scroll down and select the Check For Updates option.

The application will then automatically detect if you are on the latest version and, if not, will assist you with the easy download and install process.

The latest update is a maintenance update that has been fully tested and optimized for the latest Mac OS 10.9 – Mavericks.  If you are not on the current version of StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Quick Studio and need to upgrade, please contact one of our sales representatives or you can purchase and download your upgrade online.


Storyboards: Key to The Master Plan

Storyboards Effect Every Stage of Production

The best films are made from the ground up. You lay down a comprehensive base of ideas, script and storyboards to set yourself up for a successful shoot. Sometimes though we don’t even realize that while we’re working in preproduction, that work and those storyboards are going to help us throughout the entire production, right into postproduction.

When you are working on a shot or a sequence, it’s not only going to show you the images you need to capture on the day of production, but how those shots will lay out when you get to the editing phase. This is really the concept of postvisualization. Envisioning what the final edited product will look like in the middle of production. The visual groundwork you built in StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist is used in principal photography and can also be used as a blueprint for a director or editor on how the final product will look.

Using the storyboards in a dual capacity also allows for a non-linear production. Use the same cinematic visuals to cut scenes together while you are shooting. This allows for more time to be used to make sure the shots look just the way you want and cut together to tell the story as you envision it.

So when you storyboard, make sure to think of the big picture. Don’t ditch those storyboards once shooting is done – you’ll need them!

Original Content Is On The Rise II: Start Storyboarding

storyboard your projects for amazon and netflix

Storyboard your original content

Recently, we wrote a post about why, as a writer, director or producer, now is an amazing time to be an original content creator and developer. If you weren’t convince before that storyboarding is important, check out these latest news items. The articles indicate that millions of production dollars are pouring into the development of new, fresh, compelling, original content.

Content is King – more than ever

As media becomes easier to view, download, stream a/k/a consume, the demand grows.  New, original streaming content is needed by companies other than the major networks and even their cable competitors. And storyboarding is a great way to get them interested in your project.

Storyboard gets projects into development

Netflix, who recently successfully unveiled the 4th season of the once dead series Arrested Development, wants to spend up to 15% of it’s licensing budget on new original content. While some of it’s content licensing deals are going south, they are replacing those recycled titles with new series.

Even companies -and sites- which you wouldn’t expect are looking to expand their cache of content. Reddit is trying to partner with marketers to integrate popular Reddit threads with mainstream marketing.

If you are the creative type, your opportunities are expanding. So keep on developing, planning, storyboarding with StoryBoard Quick and pitch those new ideas. You never know who is going to pick them up!