Making Storyboards with Excel and Adobe Premiere

The first part of a storyboard software is an ability to make frames. You can sketch them really easy or painstakingly model every frame in 3 D, which is an overkill.

Once you have all frames collected, then comes the second part of a storyboarding program and it’s even more important than the first part: Arranging frames in a proper way to get the right rhythm.

Storyboard in Celtx

I want to print the storyboard in different ways. According to locations, or according to time – Day, night shots, or by an appearance of actors or even by the framing of shots. And this is impossible to do in Celtx. I like to write additional brainstorm notes about the shots and I can do it only in the mainframe. Celtx is very basic and a free program but useless for storyboarding.
I can play my storyboard at the end but it is totally basic, just a slideshow. You can not control the duration of each frame. You can not ad sound to it, so useless again.

Storyboard in Excel

For me the best program for arranging frames is Excel. I can have as many columns as I like and I can rearrange them easily.
The only problem is that Excel doesn’t work well with pictures. But there is an awesome little add-in program which is called Excel Image Assistant which makes Excel ideal for arranging storyboard frames.
First, you must arrange the cells in excel so they all have the same hight.
Before you import the frames make sure they are at the same resolution.
All pictures should have the same aspect ratio. 16:9 is the most common of course.
That way you get all pictures aligned in Excel.
After you imported all pictures you should not move or resize them.
if you do it than Excel could act strangely.
When you put together your storyboard you want to see how it looks. Instead of a slideshow, it’s best to use Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects for that.
I just edit all frames there, ad music, transitions and I can see what’s working and what’s not.
In order to finish the storyboard, you should go back and forth from Premiere to Excel until you are not satisfied with the final result.
For production purposes you can print the storyboard as you like:
  • According to location,
  • Actors appearing in the shot,
  • Exterior interior,
  • By framing,
  • By night or day shots,
  • By location
After you shoot the video the final editing will look different but you would know exactly what you are doing. Very practical.

Basic Rules of Screenwriting

SCRIPT basic rules

Above is a mind map picture with main rules which should be followed if you want to write a script. The list of rules can overwhelm a novice writer. If he decides to follow them it’s highly likely that his work will be average at best.

Two most important rules of an original script

After reading several books on screenwriting I came to the conclusion that all great script has only 2 things in common.

  • Emotional impact on the viewer (art)
  • Defined structure of the story (science)

Ironically it seems emotions shouldn’t be guided by an almost mathematical defined structure. But the fact is: the more the structure is embedded into the story the less it is obvious. The more emotions and structure are united the more we have the feeling that the film just flows. The viewer would have a hard time to analyze the structure apart from emotional impact that he just experienced. A good example is a film Lost in Translation. Majority enjoys the story (emotional impact) but has a hard time to tell the story in a paragraph.

How to disable Caps Lock key in Windows?

The best software for screenwriting to start with is definitely CapsUnlock.

Caps lock is the dumbest key on the keyboard. It is located next to the letter A so it is highly likely that you press it by accident like every hour.
I hit it even more frequently. How to get rid of the annoying Caps Lock key in Windows XP?  I type fast, and with Caps Lock enabled I type terribly and not so fast anymore. I tried to get rid of it once and for all so I browsed for a fast solution. I came across numerous methods.  Some were really radical like removing the Caps Lock key in a mechanical manner – like with a screwdriver. I remember at that time it was the only simple solution I found. With other methods, you had to enter registry key manually and do all sort of things to it. Today after accidentally pressing the Caps Lock key for the 5th time in like half an hour I freaked out and I finally decided to find the solution.

Here is a trick to disable Caps Lock key:

If you don’t want to hack the registry, you can download CapsUnlock, which is a utility that can be started when you log in and have some interesting settings. You can enable the Caps Lock button back if you want by simply pressing the Caps Lock icon which sits in the system tray area of the taskbar.  But why on earth would you want to do that?

And it works! Everybody should run this little software. At least those who type on the computer.

Gixen

If you bid on eBay this is a program you must have.

Let’s say you want to buy a lens. You bid for it, then you wait and wait, and after 3 days you get outbid. Now you must find another seller of that lens and repeat the procedure.

With Gixen you can bid for several similar products at once and when the lens gets bought the other bids are immediately canceled. That way you end up with just one lens and you spare a lot of time.

Also, your bid is automatically sent in the last seconds of an auction so there is not enough time for everyone to outbid you.

eBay Sniper

I’ve been using Gixen for a year now and it saved me a lot of time and money. I will buy the premium version to get rid of the main screen. It’s totally user-friendly. You can have up to 10 groups at any one time plus the unlimited snipes. There are no cons about this software.

Short Film – Dark is the Night

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Screenplay for a Horror Short Film Parody Main Idea to make a short horror movie with as many terrible horror cliches possible. To make them so obvious that they become bizarre. To start with a genre of a horror movie and slowly progress toward comedy. Premise Fear the fear itself. Tag-Line They came to the […]