Everybody sees things differently.
We imagine, we visualise in different ways. Maybe because our brains are wired differently, maybe because we all rely on different experiences or the things we've read. A wide shot to one person might be a close to another; or someone might prefer a high-angled birds eye view, whilst another a fish-eye lens effect. There are endless ways to visualise a story and we are all unique when it comes to this.
So being tasked with aiding in the visualisation of someone else's film is by no means an easy feat. One must be able to see inside the director's mind, understand their vision and translate that into something that will reach and interact with their audience. From my little experience there will be times when the director may have difficulty in conveying their thoughts and will seek suggestions and alternatives to the shots they have planned. Or they may know exactly what he/she wants and will be able to describe it to you shot for shot.
Working on 'The Chess Player' I was given the privilege of working with a director who knew exactly what she wanted, and was able to communicate her ideas for the film. It was on an extremely wet and windy day that we decided to meet up to go over the script and visualise the storyboards together. Packing my pens and pencils in my bag I set out on the train into the bustling city of Birmingham, amidst the stalls and lights being put up for the forthcoming infamous German Christmas Market, and headed straight for the library.
Nicoleta (the director) then presented me with a sketchbook with all her storyboard sketches in, explaining how she wanted each shot and what she was trying to portray in each scene. This was like a breath of fresh for me, and I was soon able to set to work on drawing up her ideas.
I very much enjoyed working in this way - being able to draw up a frame from a rough sketch and converse with the Director. With an understanding of what she could see I was able to draw out her idea, not my own, and it was interesting to gain insight into her visualisation process.
You can view the finished film here: The Chess Player