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.”





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!


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!

StoryBoard Artist Aspect Overlays

StoryBoard Artist Tutorial by PowerProduction Software

StoryBoard Artist

StoryBoard Artist makes it easy for you to create storyboards that can span every medium. No matter what you are working on, you can select your aspect ratio and get to work. That said, sometimes your work may be viewed on different devices. You might want to see what it will look like when it goes from the movie theater to the home theater.

Use aspect overlays

Use aspect overlays to preview a different frame size without changing your entire project. With a single click, StoryBoard Artist will show you what’s in the shot and what’s out. So, if you know that your next project might be viewed on different devices, this feature shows what your viewers will see. Then you can make changes to your frames.

Continue reading “StoryBoard Artist Aspect Overlays”

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.

New Version Update of StoryBoard Artist Available!

Storyboard New Version updateWe continue to improve our line of storyboard software applications with new versions and update to StoryBoard Quick, and StoryBoard Artist. Many of our updates are free and available right inside your application! Check for updates after you launch your application. It’s easy to find out if you are on the latest version, just follow these easy steps.

New Version of StoryBoard Artist for REGISTERED Users:

Launch your application.
Click the HELP Menu on the top right –
Choose ‘Check For Updates’

Our servers will let you know if you are on the latest build and if there’s a newer one available for download. It’s that easy!

For example, if you are a current registered user of StoryBoard Artist – there’s a new update available now! So, make sure you Check For Updates on your copy and get on the latest build with the latest feature today!

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!