Road Mapping (a.k.a. Development)
I think of the development phase as assembling all the road maps you need before you begin production—script, storyboards, shot lists, and so on. (The actual production process—shooting and editing, for the most part—will be covered in Chapter 4, "Shooting and Editing Tips for Great Video.")
Much of what I think of as the development process depends on the purpose of the disc you're making. A project for family and
If the project is for the soccer team I coach, it's a completely different road map. For them, I would do nothing fancy: No editing, no titles, not much time spent; just what the team needs, which is footage of plays worth watching.
If it's for a client or for a business pitch, it's another road map entirely. I know I need to end up with a product that is polished, professional, and offers good production values. This road map would be a full-blown production in itself—script, budget, daily breakdowns, screenings for the client, and so on.
Finally, discs I do just for me are another case entirely—their maps can cover almost anything, including all of the above.
So let's say, just for giggles, that you have a crystal-clear
Most projects require a script. Put another way, if anybody on-screen is supposed to say anything, somebody has to write those words for them. And if there's narration, someone has to write that, too.
In a looser sense of the word, just about anything you intend to capture on video ought to be "scripted." Which is why, in some cases, you won't bother with a script and will make do with just a shot list.
If you're planning to use video and not use a script, at least make a shot list. It's just what it sounds like: a list of all the shots you need to complete your video (and, by extension, your DVD).
I call shooting this way "
For example, my
Here's the shot list I wrote in the 2 minutes between deciding to make this video and picking up the camera:
I shot about 10 minutes of raw footage and ended up with a very cute 3-minute ersatz MTV video of the girls, which everyone said was "adorable."
The more complex (and longer) your project, the more important it is to think about what video coverage you're going to need and what scripting needs to be done before you shoot.
A storyboard is a sequence of drawings that represent what you're supposed to see on-screen. Think of the storyboard (and script and shot list) as the road map of what the viewer will see and hear.
For a television commercial or feature film, there might be dozens or hundreds of professional drawings showing
Storyboarding is a separate step from the script and the shot list for a reason. Regardless of what you choose to do with either the script or shot list, you need at least two storyboards for a DVD project—one for (each) video sequence and another for the DVD
Here's a quick and dirty interface storyboard I whipped up for one of my famous family DVDs:
And here's how it turned out:
If a video sequence is going to have more than a few scenes in it, you need to think about what will be on the screen at any given moment. The storyboard, shot list, and script can help you figure that out before it's too late. And if your interface is going to go beyond Apple's template (or even if it's not), you need a storyboard for your menus and interface.
A schedule is another road map worth developing, particularly if you have time or money
Finally, if you need to buy or rent equipment, rent locations, hire personnel, contract talent, clear music rights, or
Even if this DVD is only for yourself, little things can cost you during production—extra sets of batteries, the cable you had to have express delivered, the discs you had to throw away because you burned before you should have, and so on. If you're
Just make the darned road maps
You can do your road mapping the old-fashioned way with pen(cil) and paper, or use any of the myriad programs for Mac OS X such as FinalDraft for scripts (www.finaldraft.com); Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or GraphicConverter for graphics (www.adobe.com and www.graphicconverter.net); OmniGraffle for diagrams and storyboards (www.omnigroup.com); and Microsoft Office v.X for outlines, scripts, presentations, spreadsheets, storyboards, contact database, and calendar.
The whole point is: Every project needs a road map. If you start without one, you're likely to become lost.
If you have a good set of road maps before you set out, you know where you're going and why you're going there, as well as the result you