Every film we watch has been filmed and strung together through the eyes of a filmmaker. A few weeks ago, in a workshop at University, we were given a task requiring us to visualise a script. We didn’t know which film it was for, so it forced us to read the script and visualise a concept that best conveyed the events happening.
It was just interesting to see how everyone’s perception of the script differed person to person. Everyone had his or her own portrayal of the film. Even though I secretly knew which film it was, it was still challenging to imagine the scene in a way that made it easy for audiences to follow and bond with personally.
For instance, things like should I use a long angle shot or a medium-close angle shot. A decision like this can have a major impact on how the scene is perceived. In the script that we were given, the main subject was trapped inside a capsule, which was quickly filling up with water, so the use of a medium close up shot would be valuable because it shows the characters facial expression and their body language, as she struggles to set herself free. Whereas, a long angle shot for example, would capture her whole body, but fail to illustrate her facial expressions, it would also convey the message that she has more space to manoeuvre and wouldn’t intensify the meaning of her being trapped.
Once these shots are carried out they are then delivered through the eyes of the audience, and it is important that these shots successfully emit the feelings and emotions of the scene, to maximise the influence it has on the viewer.
Below are pictures of the storyboard I sketched for the script
Can you figure out which film this is?
I have tried to compose a sequence of shots, which best conveys the narrative of this particular scene, using a series of wide angle shots to express the size of the environment, as well as using medium and close up angle shots to present the subjects movements and actions.
The film if you didn’t guess is Gravity
As you can see from the shot above, it is level with the subject Ryan as she slowly recovers to her feet. The composition is framed so the audience is level with the subject head, escalating the feeling that we are down on the ground with her. The cinematography is also positioned at a medium angle, allowing the audience to see where the subject has come from, and what her surroundings are. This is really important because it encourages us to put our selves in the shoes of the subject, by exploring how long their journey has been and where they are in the present.
Overall, it was an interesting task and an insightful reflection into the world of storyboarding.