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Thread: How long should a storyboard be?

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    How long should a storyboard be?

    If you were to make a storyboard equivalent of a 100 page screenplay, how many storyboard pages would that be, assuming each page has 3 to 4 panels?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW zeprosnepsid's Avatar
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    Well, honestly it depends on how many shots (& camera moves) you have. Also how in depth your storyboards are. And how much action versus talking there is your script. So this is kind of hard to answer. But my boyfriend used to be a storyboard artist and a he'd do like 8-12 panels per script page (that's a very vague range). Sometimes with animation it'd be even more than that. But he's pretty detailed and the scripts were pretty action oriented.
    I am the terror that flaps in the night.

  3. #3
    What happened?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pryce View Post
    If you were to make a storyboard equivalent of a 100 page screenplay, how many storyboard pages would that be, assuming each page has 3 to 4 panels?

    Thanks
    That's a very difficult question to answer. Almost nobody, as a rule, storyboards every single shot of a screenplay. Plus, depending on the shot, you sometimes take several panels to indicate something like a pan or a zoom in or a dolly shot, so a single shot might "track" across several panels, just for the sake of clarity.

    Depending what's on the page -- a simple dialogue sequence, or ten people around a table talking, or a major action sequence, you might have twenty panels, or fifty, or a hundred.

    In the same way, you might have a movie consisting largely of dialogue, or a big action picture, and so you might have a movie averaging twenty panels a page or fifty.

    But generally, people tend to only storyboard things that where camera placement is going to be problematic -- not just action sequences, but things like parties with lots of people moving around a room and people at tables with lots of eye line changes. That's the stuff where story-boarding can help to clarify camera placement.

    But do you really need dozens of panels of two shots and reverses?

    NMS

  4. #4
    On location Hillgate's Avatar
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    Why are you storyboarding your movie?

    If you can't get it from the script there's something wrong UNLESS you're doing a hi-tech thing where people need to see what the robtos look like (eg Transformers) or an animation where they like to see how cuddly your lead mongoose is.

    Despite Hollywood's aversion to the written word, they do actually read!!!
    Beer and skittles

  5. #5
    figuring it all out
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    Thanks for the feedback. For a 3 page section of script, I've drawn 48 panels. I was hoping that the storyboard version would be longer than three minutes because there's no dialogue.

    A friend of mine joked about Blake Edward's "Party": "How long was the script? Three pages?" I've wondered how the standard length of a screenplay and the one page one minute rule works with movies with sparse dialogue.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW zeprosnepsid's Avatar
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    My boyfriend once did 20 panels for one page. It happens =)

    But yeah, there are no rules about these things.
    I am the terror that flaps in the night.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    Seems like a story board is a necessity with fantasy/sci-fi scripts. I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I'm working on a Sci-fi Thriller with a friend and wonder if anyone knows any storyboard artists willing to work for free?
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  8. #8
    Screenwriting Moderator Joe Calabrese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pryce View Post
    If you were to make a storyboard equivalent of a 100 page screenplay, how many storyboard pages would that be, assuming each page has 3 to 4 panels?

    Thanks
    Just to give you an idea.

    A very good story board artist from Lucas Arts did the first 4 pages on my screenplay, the Eyes of Mara. Granted it is an action, supernatural adventure, so the story board count may be a little on the high side.

    Anyway, 4 pages written word, 24 pages of story boards with 3 panels each page.

    So 240 pages for 40, 480 pages for 80, 720 pages for a 120 page script, give or take a few.

    If you want to see what my 4 pages of script looks like, check it out
    here.

  9. #9
    figuring it all out
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    I think it's OK if I hijack my own thread. How did you manage the whole comic business, Joe? What kind of production and distribution deals did you work out? Are you selling exclusively over the Internet? I was looking into the comic business about a year ago, and the odds didn't seem much better than screenwriting, if you were in it for profit. I'd love to hear the inside scoop.
    Last edited by Pryce; 08-24-2007 at 09:02 PM.

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