Okay, it’s only one book. ‘From Word To Image’ by Marcie Begleiter.
Only one birthday. Mine. Today. I’m old.
And only one contest. But it’s my first, so that’s cool.
But first a quick note to say I’m still alive.
Again. And it looks like I can only manage one post a month or so until I finish this contract that may or may not kill me.
You know you’re working too hard when you have to write “Don’t die” in your day planner. (You think I’m kidding…I actually did that. Twice.)
But enough about ‘Kid vs Kat vs Karen’. We have a guest author today! From a real author!
I’ve recommended this book before and I am doing it again. Because the new edition just came out last month. And word has it, my blog is mentioned in the resources. How cool is that? Plus it is one great book on the subject of storyboarding for live-action film.
If that’s what you want to do, get this book.
So in celebration of this second edition of ‘From Word To Image‘ by the awesome Marcie Begleiter, I bring you a guest post by her. About a little twist to storyboarding and pitching a film.
Then there will be some details on the little contest we’re having. I’ll give you a hint…FREE BOOK. Signed by the author. (Okay, that was more than a hint.)
Take it away, Marcie!
Visual Pitching: Storyboards on Steroids
By Marcie Begleiter
Author of From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process
Since the mid 1980’s my film activities have covered storyboarding, set decoration, art direction, prop design, graphics and even gassing up cars…basically, when a producer or director called, my attitude was ‘You need it, I’ll do it’ (within reason, of course ;-))
The pre-viz work in particular was developed once the financing has been secured, the heads of the production team chosen and then we raced against a production schedule to complete the prep work before the cameras rolled.
But lately a particular request has arrived on my desktop that’s a bit different in character.
Visual Pitching’s time has come.
With production financing a challenge in the best of times, many a director and producer are looking to walk into meetings with more than a practiced verbal pitch. Bringing in visual research that focuses on characters and settings, presenting key frames and flipping though storyboards or even showing animatics in pitch meetings have often been a key to selling Action and SciFi films.
But these materials can also bring inspiration and an expanded avenue of communication to pitches for all manner of projects including character driven stories, romantic comedies or indie dramas.
Key frame for visual pitch ”Super Chicas” A feature film by Juliette Carillo, writer/director
What comprises a visual pitch?
At the simplest level, it helps to convey the look and feel of the story and how it will be told in images. There can be references to lighting, to other classic films, to character appearance and even how the film will be shot. Key frames, what I sometimes think of as ‘storyboards on steroids’, are sometimes used to give a snapshot of particular moments of high action or emotion.
These boards are often rendered in color with plenty of detail – quite a bit more developed than the typical editorial board, but not as tricked out as a full-blown production illustration.
Pitching board for Ay! Chilito, Written and Directed by Judy Chaikin
Balance is crucial.
Some directors wish to avoid creating a presentation which conveys a sense that all the critical decisions have been made. Some producers want the opportunity to give creative input (did I say “some”?) and being presented with an over-blown visual presentation can backfire.
Including a short scene with traditional storyboards is also an option. Especially with writers who want to direct their own material, an editorial storyboard functions as a ‘dry run’ for showing mastery of visual storytelling as well as, more specifically, editing, shot selection and pacing (if you present it as an animatic).
Pitching board for Ay! Chilito, Written and Directed by Judy Chaikin
Spreading the word about visual pitches can be a service that designers and artists provide to ‘above the line’ filmmakers who might not be as familiar with the practice.
It can also provide additional opportunities for you to work on films before the films are fully financed. And if your key frames and storyboards help to ‘seal the deal’ it’s a good bet that the filmmakers will be back for more once the production clock has begun to tick!
Marcie Begleiter is a designer and writer working in the film and motion media industries. She is the owner/founder of Filmboards, a company which creates visual pre-production material for pitches as well as production and has worked as art director, illustrator and set decorator on dozens of projects for production companies such as HBO, ABC, Tristar, and New Line Cinema. In academia she was Founding Director of the interdisciplinary program at Otis College of Art and Design and is on the Graduate faculty of the Department of Broadcast Cinema at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She also has served on the faculties of AFI and the International Filmschule in Cologne. The second edition of her bestselling book, From Word to Image; Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process, has just been released.
To Contact Marcie and see upcoming events visit www.marciebegleiter.com
You can also order a signed copy of her book, From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also buy the book from Amazon and many fine book stores.
Now about that little contest…
[UPDATE: The contest is officially CLOSED. I’ll be posting the winner soon. Thanks to all who entered!]
Marcie has graciously decided to GIVE AWAY a signed copy of her book to one of my fantastic readers!
How do you enter? Just leave a comment on this post. You can leave more than one, but your name is only counted ONCE.
How do you win? I will literally print out all the comments, cut them up and pull one out of a hat. Probably on video to show it’s legit.
When is the deadline? Let’s say one month from today. March 13, 2010.
How do you get the book? Marcie will contact you by email and then mail it to you. So make sure the email address you use in the comments is one you use and check!
What do you have to say in your comment? It really doesn’t matter. But “Happy Birthday Karen” is a good choice [UPDATE: OK, that’s kinda old now…as am I. “I wanna book!” is good] and “Marcie Rocks the Casbah” isn’t bad either. Or even a knock-knock joke. Whatever. You won’t be judged on the comment itself (but gee whiz, have fun.)
Easiest contest ever, right? And let’s face it, I don’t exactly get hundreds of comments around here so your chances are pretty darn good. So comment! Enter! Get a signed book that’s awesome!
And if you don’t win, buy it anyway.
That is all.
You may now go about your Valentine’s Day bitterness and Olympic Games watching. (Not that I care all that much about the Olympics but…Woo Hoo Vancouver!) 🙂
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(And uh, just ignore that “related post” below. This is a different kind of contest. Oh, the irony…)