Hitchcock Mobile Storyboard App
Storyboards are a valuable production tool, but creating them is such a pain. Why is it so hard? Well, filmmaking is hard, and when you storyboard you are essentially “writing” the visuals of your film. Many creative decisions come into play. You’re acting as director, director of photography, and editor all at once. You’re deciding what shots, with what lens, and in what order tell your story best. No easy task. And when you can’t draw your way out of a paper bag (like me), spontaneity and creativity gets stifled. Wondering what that shot might look like from a bird’s eye view? Sure, just give me…20, 30 minutes or so. And I’m going to need a couple more erasers. Enter Hitchcock (frame left).
Hitchcock is a mobile storyboarding application for the iPhone. Instead of tediously drawing each panel, you use photos. This is a no-brainer for me. I’m already using my iPhone camera for location scouting. Now I can have a working storyboard before even leaving the location. The process is simple. Launch the app and import photos via your photo library or shoot photos straight from the camera. Each picture becomes a “panel” in your finished board. You can rearrange panels, set their duration, add characters (silhouettes), add markup arrows and text, record audio, keyframe pans and zooms. Wow. But by far the best feature of this app is that it gives you an animatic of your board. At any point you can hit play and see how your shots cut together, complete with recorded audio and camera moves. This is an invaluable feature for anyone storyboarding with time constraints (like a :30 commercial spot for example). When you’re finished, you can export the whole thing to a PDF and email it to the client or crew.
Reasons to buy Hitchcock:
1. It’s Mobile. You never know when and where inspiration will strike.
2. It’s intuitive. If you know how to work your iPhone, you can work this app. I love the tactile feel of positioning characters and rearranging panels.
3. It’s cheap. If $20 is too much to spend on a tool that will likely enhance your creative process, well then maybe filmmaking isn’t your thing. Twenty bucks is how much I used to spend at Starbucks scribbling with a pencil for three hours trying to finish the shading on that upper lip.
A few things I’d love to see in the next version. An export-to-video feature so I can email myself the animatic. I don’t know how the guts of the iPhone work but I’m guessing this might be an OS limitation. Also, the ability to add a music bed would be sweet.
Here’s an example of a Hitchcock storyboard being turned into an actual spot. Check it:
This app is a valuable tool that every filmmaker should have. Do yourself, your productions, and your clients a favor and check it out.
Visit Cinemek.com for more juicy info on Hitchcock.