I had the absolute pleasure of being involved in four film productions in 2002. I am no artist but I enjoy the storyboard process and watching the film fall into place on paper in the storyboards. Because of my lack of skills in this area i went in search of a storyboarding tool to lighten the task. What I found was StoryBoard QUICK from Power Productions and I'm going to try here to describe this amazing little time-saving tool.
Who Would Use It?
Writers, Producers, Directors, Videographers, Cinematographers - would use StoryBoard QUICK to quickly create storyboards for utilisation in pre production, on the set or even in pitch sessions. By the way when they say QUICK they really do mean quick. Take a look at the image to the left, using Storyboard QUICK I was able to put that together in a matter of minutes.
My ten year old daughter has taken a great interest in StoryBoard QUICK she uses it to create her own short stories for school and just to draw pictures for friends and family. I find myself using it to create cover pages for business proposals it's kind of nice not to have to search through multiple clip-art CDs for art work.
Ease of Use
Drag and Drop functionality allows the user to drop a location (background) into a frame, arrange props and cast easily and, dare I say it again, quickly.
Each frame of your production can be broken down into a storyboard. The Frame Window is where you compose each shot with StoryBoard QUICK's built-in pre-drawn elements. The frame's size is determined by the aspect ratio you choose for your project. All standard film aspect ratios are available including 2:35 Wide Screen.
Each object you place into the frame (import, draw or choose from StoryBoard Quick's built-in libraries) can be resized, repositioned, cropped and layered.
The layering architecture is easy to use and makes composing shots quick and easy since each element is on its own layer.
*Also import digital pictures or your own artwork. StoryBoard Quick's built-in artwork is vector art which scales (and prints) without dithering.
Show Camera Movement ....and director's tools: directional arrows and director movement tools (zoom in, dolly, tilt icons). Various movement arrows help communicate your shot ideas more clearly.
Add a Caption to describe your shot: dialog for the scene or camera movement. Choose Show Caption from the Captions Menu and a window will appear where you can add text. Each frame has its own caption area. I used this for screen directions for the frame and also to include pieces of the dialogue from the script so the assistant director and the cast could keep track of where they were. I found it a very useful tool and so did the cast and crew.
Change the order of the shots after you've created them. This functionality allowed me to change my mind, which is a director's perogative I guess. The order of the frames can be changed using the Shuffle function in the Overview window. Again the simple drag and drop functionality allowed me to click on the frame and drag it to the new location very easily and (ahem) quickly. Captions travel with the frame image.
Save For the Web allows you to save your storyboard frames as JPEG images and load them onto the web. As an added feature the html is all coded for you. This feature was especially useful in getting the Storyboards to the cast and crew (um) quickly. I simply sent everyone an email indicating the URL of the Storyboards and they were each able to print their own copy straight from the Internet.
Locations, Cast and Prop Libraries are constantly being updated by the Power Production people. StoryBoard QUICK comes with 3 standard libraries but add on libraries are easily incorporated into the programme. Importing your own images into StoryBoard QUICK is also an option. The file formats you can import include .gif, .jpg, .bmp, .wmf, .emf. All objects can be scaled, repositioned, cropped and layered.
I Love It! - So, having found the new love of my life in this software package I'll just reiterate that if you are a writer, director, producer, cinematographer or videographer then this is the software you've been waiting for. Do yourself a favour and buy a copy now! StoryBoard QUICK's ease of use is only surpassed by its speed of delivery. It is slick and professional and some of that is bound to rub off on you if you use it (wink!).