Documentary Filmmaker: Film & TV Mimi Machado-Luces
How to Make It In Film consists of a series of behind the scenes interviews with regional, national and international filmmakers, editors, directors, writers, cinematographers, producers and many others who work in the film industry. Each program includes questions taken from a live studio audience consisting of students in the film and film studies division at George Mason University. Covering all aspects of the filmmaking process, each program is designed to enlighten students and take them through all the steps to Make It in Film. From the roles of sound editors to assistant directors, scriptwriters to location managers, cinematographers to producers, webisode producers to film critics and documentary filmmakers to actors, they’ll discover the role of each position and what it takes to Make It in the business. MIMI MACHADO-LUCES, Emmy, Telly and ProMax award winning; Producer, Writer, Director of documentary films, television programs, health education films, commercial advertisements and television promotion spots. She won critical acclaim with La Vida in Black, a character portrait of Afro-Latinos living in the Americas.
welcome to George Mason University studio a my name is Rick Davis and today our guest is Emmy award-winning director producer writer Mimi Machado lusus what got you interested in this business in the first place um Barbara Walters I just remember her anchoring the news and saying wow she gets to interview people like Menachem Begin and presidents and Michael Jackson and Bob Marley and it was kind of fun and I said you know I want to interview people like that when I grow up and I want to do it in television how did you get into documentary filmmaking Wow BTW jazz I went I went back to work at bay to jazz after my son turned three and I begged my way into creative services at Beauty jazz and my manager director there was had been my manager director years before when I had worked for BT regular and at bt jazz it there was only two people watching so at the time it was called bet on jazz and we had not a lot of programming and I came up with some fun ideas to go out to wolf trap and interview artists to try and get some commercials have somebody like seal or Al Jarreau or somebody of that caliber saying hi I'm al jarreau and you're watching BTW jazz they turned into interviews and they turned into a show and so I started doing I created a show at bt jazz called profiles at wolf trap huh your Emmy is for fossils Latinos yes which is was that your next project um no in between there to toe pointed juniors attorney called me after seeing Cuban music crossing borders and asked me to do a tribute to Tito Puente with his son because he had seen my other show profiles show on the channel and I did that and somewhere in there Tito Puentes music was all about dancing and i am a cell suphan mm-hmm so I i used to i will i still do i have a cheers downtown in DC called havana village that i inhabit and love to go in there and dance every month or so once a month i have to take my havana village break and so i was in there and I said you know I asked the owner if I could come in and shoot and pazzos Latinos kind of came alive and I started looking for the best Latin dancers it like kind of do a history and I found cute the original Cuban Pete and he agreed to have me come to Florida and interview him and I went to Florida interviewed him and passos became this like just a I don't know it kind of blossomed into what I thought it was going to be originally was I was going to do some segments on different dancers that were world-class that were Latin dancers and it turned into just a bunch of stuff about Latin dance bashas Latinos are stocked and natural heritage
What is storyboarding? Storyboarding is basically you drawing your movie, in comic form, before you actually film it. You take each different angle, each different frame, each shot, and draw it out. You draw out where people will be, where they will be moving to, where the camera will move to, etc. That way, you basically can watch your entire movie, right in front of you.
Now, it sounds really hard and really time consuming, but if you want to be a great director, and you want the shoot to go smoothly… storyboard your movie.
Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, they all use storyboards.
And many movies that come out, they will have a special feature called “storyboard comparison.” What it means is that you can watch a scene from the movie, with the storyboards right next to it and you can see they follow along perfectly.
If you want more video lesson’s like this one, please head over to our website.
Storyboard Template – On Our Website.
today we storyboard everybody welcome to another episode of tomorrow's snow makers my name is Justus mcrainey and today we're going to be talking about storyboarding now what is storyboarding exactly storyboarding is basically you writing out your entire film in comic strip form every single angle every single scene every single camera movement every single actor movement in your entire movie so you basically can watch your movie from beginning to end in a comic strip form now many many many directors do this before they actually even start filming Steve's do-over does this Peter Jackson Ridley Scott many famous directors do this and there's a few reasons why one they let you know exactly how your film is gonna play out I mean you can watch your film from beginning to end so you know hey that seam doesn't work hair don't like this angle you know what this is really gonna work so you can almost pretty much just watch your film for me getting to end – it helps the actors see you know how the scene is gonna play out what's gonna be required of them what angle this is gonna be and so they can almost kind of see the movie before they start acting and number three the biggest one is it makes your video shoot go a hundred times smoother and faster why because you already have every single angle written out because what I don't like doing is going to a video shoot that I have planned and just make up shots because I've done that before I've been to shoots where I've had storyboards been to shoots where I haven't had storyboards you go there you know what you want you want the shoot out and you just kind of make up angles and this angle looks good this angle looks good I like this and then sometimes you realize it just wasn't a good angle you wish you had thought about that more you would have had this angle but if you have the storyboards and you've already taken the time to get the angles you want figure out exactly how you want the scene to play out then all you have to do is go on set take your storyboards and just copy what you already have written down so you get on set you have your storyboards you look and this is the exact angle that you want to have happen this is what's gonna happen in the scene then you take your camera and you go and you set it up exactly like you've already planned it already thought this through already have the angle in mind you don't have to make something up you just go copy exactly what you already planned out and if you have someone else manning the camera and a different cameraman and you're doing something else then you hand the storyboards at him and say this is how I want the shot go set it up and then he'll take the storyboards and set it up exact like you already have written down so it's stress free so much easier and you're not thinking man is this angle gonna work is it not gonna work man I should have done something else I wish I would have thought this through you already have it written down exactly how you want your movie to play out now a lot of actual movies will in the special features a storyboard comparisons and stuff like that and if you click that you can actually watch the movie as the storyboards are right next to it so you can see the storyboards that they already had planned out all the angles and everything while the movie is playing so you basically can hold up a storyboard and watch the movie and follow along because it is exactly how they've already planned it in the storyboards so today we're actually going to be learning how to do storyboards and storyboards are a lot of fun because you can make up stuff you can figure out exactly what you want to do you can write it out it's a lot of fun and I would suggest all of you guys do storyboards before you actually go film now you've seen all the famous storyboards and they've got all the artistic stuff and it looks great and there's shadows and there's color and it looks wonderful and then you start storyboarding yours and it looks like this and you're like wow this is really disappointing it looks really bad but it doesn't really matter how amazing it looks as long as it gets the point across because what a director does like Steven Spielberg is known for doing this he'll actually make storyboards with stick people like we're doing now then he'll take that give it to an artist and then they'll draw these elaborate storyboards and make it look really really good but he could have actually used just the stick people storyboards just as well because that gave him exactly what he needed to go out and film so today we're gonna be learning about how to storyboard using color using direction and how you would go about doing that so you can go storyboard your film so a basic storyboard will look something like this now you're gonna get a bunch of these that you can continue to storyboard each frame but there's gonna be four or five six different black boxes there's going to be writing underneath so you have a better description of what you're actually shooting and there may be some information up top numbering scene whatever just different information about this certain scene now we actually have this template for you guys to download in the notes below so you can download print that and you can get this storyboard so you can start storyboarding immediately with what you have so now we are going to take our piece of paper and we are going to storyboard our see so in a recent short film clock we have the scene where two of our main actors are having a shootout in the woods it's kind of army there's people around them they're shooting there's explosion there's a bunch of different things so we wanted to storyboard this before we actually went and shot and I'm so glad it did it made it so much easier so we first have our character get forced push out of the lightsabres the clock turns then we have him land on the ground he sits back up looks by the tree sees our other character firing his gun at someone else then it comes back to our character he lifts up his gun shoots over the shoulder our the character ducks and so on and so forth what you didn't know is I had all of that story boarded and written out on these pieces of paper before we ever went and filmed now do I claim to be an artist when it comes to storyboarding no I mean it's simple little stick people it's just supposed to give you the idea whenever you're on set filming so yes some of these look really bad but they're not supposed to look amazing they're just supposed to give you the idea and the concept before you go actually film so in our first thing we have our character falling on the ground then we have him getting back up coming next to a tree to look past the camera at our other actor so what are we going to do we have that in mind how do we get that on paper well we're just gonna draw it so the first shot we have him lying on the ground just a person lying on the ground second we have the shot of the tree and getting up next to the tree so we draw the tree we draw him next to the tree gotcha pretty simple we understand that next we see the shot over his shoulder as he looks at the other character who's firing a gun so we draw that as well draw him on the Left draw the characters exactly where we want them to make sure we can see which direction that character is pointing then we want our character to bring his gun up and shoot so we draw that as well then we want a side angle of our character shooting the gun so we draw that as well and so on and so forth so this is great we know exactly what we want to film we know exactly the angles we want and exactly what we want to have happen now we can look at this frame and see how things are kind of set up but there's a few things missing with this one we have no indication of movement and we have no indication of whether the actors are moving whether something is happening the gun is firing bullets are ricocheting we have no indication of any action whatsoever and – we have no indication of camera movement does the camera pan up does the camera follow him does the camera zoom in does the camera move we don't know what happens all we know is we have these boxes of frames that's it so we have to do is we have to indicate whether the actors moving whether an action is taking place and where the camera is moving to and that is where color comes in and saves the day so if you're storyboarding you need your pin or pencil of course to draw the storyboards but then you're going to get two different colors you're gonna get red and you're going to get blue now a red color indicates action indicates a person moving indicates an object moving or indicates some sort of action inside our scene so in our first shot we just have this person looks like he's lying on the ground what happens well we're gonna draw a red arrow to make it look like he lays on the ground and then gets back up so you know that he lays on the ground and then gets back up second shot the character is kind of in a laying down position coming up towards the side of the tree but we have no indication of that so we're gonna take a red arrow and draw that so that we know that that character is moving from the ground all the way up to the top of the tree and it doesn't just signify movement and also indicates action so if our character is firing a gun we're gonna put red at the front of the gun at the muzzle so we know that he's firing a gun or if there's a bunch of bullet ricochets we're gonna put a bunch of red all over the place to show that those are bullet ricochets that's action happening in our scene not just movement now that we have shown action with a red pin or colored pencil now it's time to show camera movement which is going to be blue blue pin blue colored pencil whatever you want to use so if the camera is actually moving or panning we're gonna actually draw a blue arrow above the frame or kind of bleeding into the frame to show that this camera is actually following this person during this shot or if maybe the camera is panning down the camera is following someone the camera is moving up the camera is moving to the right we're gonna draw all the arrows of our camera movements that we know red is action blue is Kam room so we can automatically look at the shot see that this actor is moving because it's red this action is taking place but also because the camera is blue we know it arrow to follow we know where the cameras go if you want your camera to spin around you can draw a big blue arrow or if it's panning or anything like that you indicate where your camera is going to with the blue marker so now we have red with action and we have blue with camera movement now one thing to keep in mind is zooming with a camera whenever you're storyboarding is zoom what you would think is hey it starts out really far away from his face and then the cameras going to end up really close to his face so I'm going to draw two storyboards one really far away one really close sure if you really wanted to do that but that's just gonna waste storyboard space we understand yeah he's zooming so what you want to do which is actually really cool is you have the original frame where the camera is gonna start then you draw a blue box to where the camera is going to end up at so in this case Scott sees the grenade next to him and the camera kind of pushes in a little bit as Scott looks down at the grenade realizes it's about to explode so we want the camera to push in so we draw the original frame then we draw the blue box to where the camera is going to end up that then we draw arrows in which direction it's going if it's pulling away we'll draw arrows the other way but in this case we have the frame wide then we draw the blue box we want the frame to end whether that's a zoom or whether that's a push in it doesn't matter then we draw the lines on the sides to show that this camera is actually pushing in and there we go we have our zoom on paper and we're not wasting a bunch of storyboards and you know saying doing all the different types of zooms we have shown where the camera is starting and where the frame is going to end and after you've done all that you have the red for action the blue for camera movement you have the scene pretty much laid out but you also want to go ahead and give a little description of what's actually happening because is this a zoom is this a push in and my panning down is the actress doing something what's happening so you want to go ahead and give a short description you can make it long you can make it short whatever you want about the actual scene simple as that you just want to give a small description of what is actually happening in your scene and one of my favorite things to do is after you have the movie completed you can go ahead and take each individual frame and storyboard and watch it as your movie is now sometimes in the field you have spur the moment ideas that angle sounds good and you do it or sometimes in the moment you're like you know that's actually not going to work and sometimes that happens you don't have to get every single frame but this gives you a basic understanding of what you actually want to have happen in your scene that way you can take these go out on the field have them with you get the angle realize what's next realize maybe actually in this position we're gonna have a couple different shots so we're going to go ahead and just get all of those shots right here while we have the actors here it just makes it so much faster so much easier so now that we have everything storyboard and we can go ahead and film it and then after we get done we can do a storyboard comparison of this scene so go find some of your favorite movies look on the special features see if they have a storyboard comparison sometimes they do and it is so cool to watch because you can see the techniques that they used how they wrote it how it looks and get better understanding of how you're gonna storyboard your film so hope this video has really helped you guys out on storyboarding and how you're gonna storyboard so go download the template start storyboarding your short film even if it's just a minute long short go ahead and storyboard it see how it works see what doesn't work try to storyboard in your entire film before you even start filming it and you will see how much it helps so go ahead and post your storyboards on the tomorrow's filmmakers community page we'd love to see them if you have any advice or things that you've learned go ahead and share it with us we'd love to hear it so head on over to tomorrow's filmmakers comm we have videos just like this that are putting out constantly to help you as you further God's kingdom through film and I'll see you guys there