Brainstorming is defined as a group creativity technique for trouble-shooting problems and finding effective solutions. For an indie filmmaker, first-time director, or a director or producer who “plays well with others,” brainstorming with other “creatives” is a great way to begin the process of storyboarding during the all- important pre-production phase.
Making your storyboard a depiction of your script and artistic vision can present some challenges…especially for a first-time director. If you’re planning a production that requires storyboards (for a movie, work presentation, class, or animated film), you might enjoy reading these helpful tips on brainstorming to get the most out of your efforts…
Find The Right Group – If you’re looking to brainstorm ideas for your movie storyboard, be sure to find people who understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes, taking a film class or hanging out where industry people congregate can lead to some useful connections. You may already have a group you are working with on your project – if so, make sure you can communicate your ideas to them in a way that they can easily understand.
If you’re having trouble finding like-minded people to brainstorm with – take action! Start a blog or find a message board about indie filmmaking…then, start a thread (discussion) about your project and the issues you want to resolve during the storyboarding process.
If you’re brainstorming on the Net, you need to be cautious. Don’t give away your story ideas, and don’t reveal personal information. Keep things as general as possible: this will help you to protect your work and your personal safety. Despite these concerns, Internet message boards can be wonderful places to brainstorm, any time of the day or night. Combine “in real life” discussions with Internet queries for maximum impact.
Use The Right Tools – You can use anything to make a conventional storyboard – but what tools will bring you the best results? In the past, aspiring directors started with a blank storyboard paper and pencil, post-it notes, or even outsourced artwork to create their finished story board. However, many directors felt stifled by the expense and drama of dealing with hired story artists. After all, every single frame of the action needs to be filled with sketches that illustrate the characters, backgrounds, and props…they way YOU see it as the director.
Today, savvy indie directors and animators choose digital storyboard (both 2d and 3d) software- because it takes the need for a hired storyboard artist out of the equation. By providing access to pre-loaded artwork, backgrounds, and props, storyboard programs make it possible to work independently after your brainstorming sessions are complete. In a nutshell, you can make your own animation or animatics – and this really simplifies your storyboards…it’s a tool that pays for itself over time…storyboard software is a great time and money saver.
Experiment – Brainstorming is all about experimenting with ideas; storyboards are all about experimenting with YOUR vision of your film. At the outset of pre-production, you should be open to input from others, and receptive to new technologies that help you create the perfect storyboard template of your work. By playing with all of the elements of your script through brainstorming and storyboarding software, you can ensure the best possible result.