Like about pretty much everything when it comes to making movies, all directors have a different opinion about whether storyboarding is a necessary or key step in prepping a shooting.
If you were curious to learn more about how directors and cinematographers work with storyboards though, you are in luck: director Sam Mendes and director of photography Conrad L.Hall talked about the art of storyboarding and how they used it as a tool to work on the award-winning film, American Beauty.
You can feel the two men get beautifully along, which makes the ‘podcast’ very entertaining to listen to as they share freely anecdotes on their first meeting, their past experience, their work at that time, and most importantly makes it a tremendous source of valuable information.
It’s fascinating to listen to Mendes, in control and very clear about what he tries to achieve (he is the one who drew the boars) analyzing the second image from the screen shot above:
The way the light hits the corner of the room, and the way it’s just striking across Lester, it pulls him away from the wall. And the way in which Conrad makes him float in the middle of the space… also he made something very crucial, he cut his feet off at the bottom of the frame. And that something you did instinctively because you knew what I was going for.
And then to listen to Hall answering:
I agree with everything you said, except that I don’t think of it. You intellectualize it, I don’t.
I believe this summed up the magic of film. It is definitely a must-see for all aspiring directors or cinematographers, enjoy:
Here are some more sequences of storyboard that are covered by Mendes and Hall: