No Film School has an old article featuring old yet interesting series of interviews with animator and director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Baron Munchausen, The Brothers Grimm, Time Bandits) about storyboarding.
From the article:
Gilliam says something interesting immediately, and that is his use of drawing sometimes duringthe writing phase. Storyboards in a strict sense are traditionally done once a script has reached a certain plateau of finality — meaning it may not be locked outright, but only relatively minor alterations will be made in subsequent drafts. Gilliam here describes his storyboarding process sometimes affecting the script as new visual ideas come out, which is an interesting inversion of convention as I see it. He highlights the benefit of using storyboards as the skeletal basis of a scene’s structure, allowing out-of-sequence shooting to work just as well as shooting in-sequence — with some creative variability for how to achieve each frame still retained by the shooting process itself. On the other hand, Gilliam says that storyboarding improves the worst-case creative-scenario, which is running dry on ideas — because even without the in-the-moment idea on set, adhering to pre-conceived storyboards while shooting will still result in a cohesive, coherent sequence.
Previs reel from a very talented fella named Chris Olsen, who did some amazing shot in Avengers Age of Ultron.
For those that don’t know the term Previs signifies someone who lays out animation rigs along with setting up camera moves and linking them to the data mined from live action plates. From there the director can change angles and shots before they spend the money to render it to full resolution and quality. From The Third Floor’s website (who worked on shots in the film) it is:
…an abbreviated term for “previsualization”, the process of visualizing and improving a project before the final endeavor is attempted. Historically, filmmakers relied on storyboards, concept artwork, and physical models to help them plan their visions.
FlavorWire has a cool post up showing storyboard examples of 15 classic movies such as Spartacus (above), Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Jaws and many others.
From the Site:
Hitchcock was one of the first studio directors to rely heavily on storyboards in production of his films. He would map out his distinctive set pieces using storyboards — those cool drawings that show exactly what will be in the frame, and any movements the camera might make — and would then create them on set, often shot for shot. Hitchock wasn’t the first to do it, but he was an enthusiastic and consistent early adopter, and the filmmakers who followed with an eye for sharp camerawork (from Scorsese and Spielberg to the Coens and Nolan) frequently do the same. With storyboards on our mind lately thanks to their use in both the opening sequence and the climax of Argo, we decided to put together a gallery of some of our favorite storyboards from iconic movies. (Special thanks to the folks behind the “Drawing Board” column of the DGA Quarterly, where we found several of the storyboards to follow.)
You can read the entire post and see the storyboards here.