Nicholson Ren | Cinematographer & Colourist

What's Left Production Diary

A Visual Comparison - From storyboard to screen

Most filmmakers may be more interested in finding out the script to screen comparison but I will detail that in a later post. This will mainly show the visual comparison of what I initially imagined to what was eventually captured in camera. Most times what you will hear is that what you imagine won't necessarily be what you'll end up with and this is somewhat true but I don't feel that storyboards are meant to be strict - they are just guidelines. As I mentioned in an earlier post it's always different on set, when you are in the middle of a scene you will feel the shot which you couldn't have imagined in pre-production. On larger sets you'll be more likely to follow a pre-approved shot list but on smaller indie sets like this a storyboard/ shot list is helpful for time management but there is room for flexibility.

Wide Shot

From the screenshots above you can see how crude the storyboards are and how they don't represent the actual screen perfectly. The WS did not accomplish what we imagined so we had to move in, still keeping a wide angle but made it more focused. Similarly, the group shots had to be tightened to keep the focus on the main action of the scene. 

When preparing the storyboard I see it as a rough visual representation of the shot-list. It is not the final look nor is it the final framing but it allows me to communicate with the director what I feel should be included and what should be the focus. Writing a shot-list is very general but the storyboard can show more detail e.g How dirty is the shot, or where should the marks for the actors be, the framing and composition of the set and other things. It is a tool for communication and it is always nice to see how close to your original idea the final look comes out to be.