Stick to the story—how visual collaboration makes movie magic

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Who doesn’t love a good movie? There’s nothing like going to the theatre—the buttery popcorn, the big screen, and best of all, the story.

All the great animation you can do will never save a bad story…It’s the story that entertains audiences. It’s not the technology. It’s not the way something looks. It’s the story.

John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Pixar

Did you know 90% of information is transmitted to our brain visually?* It’s how we’re wired. In visual storytelling, every detail is important and every image packs a punch. Each frame contributes to the “big picture,” from subtle human movements to sweeping scenic views. Imagery impacts us on an emotional level and stays with us. Think of the Wicked Witch’s feet sticking out from under Dorothy’s house, the mysterious obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey, or E.T. and Elliott silhouetted against the moon.


If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a movie is worth millions.

When it comes to making films, everyone involved must work together to tell the story. It starts with the screenwriter who crafts with words but also needs to think visually. Next comes the storyboard, which lets everyone see how each scene will look as well as the finished product. Then the designers get to work drawing ups sets and costumes. And once you start filming, “dailies” (raw footage shot each day) are shared between all the key players—directors, producers, actors, set designers, makeup artists, etc.—so they can see how the story is taking shape, and make sure it’s in line with the bigger vision.

Each member of a filmmaking team is responsible for their own part, from creating natural-looking lighting, to finding the perfect shade of blue for that character’s prom dress, to placing curated art in a scene to tell you something about the creepy guy whose apartment it hangs in. Everyone on the team has to share their little details to piece together the big picture. That’s a lot of back and forth—and room for details to get lost.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Filmmaking has come a long way, and so have visual collaboration tools. Visual collaboration is the way to keep everyone focused on the big picture—the story. Filmmakers can house all the details of a project together in one place and give every team member access. That way everyone can keep checking back, making notes and changes, while holding fast to the big picture and ensuring that all the pieces fit together.

Some of the most talented, demanding artists in the world are using visual collaboration software to keep all of their assets together in a virtual workspace. Check out this short video to see for yourself how visual collaboration helped one independent filmmaker succeed—and then imagine what it could do for you.

Go on, picture it. (Sorry. We couldn’t help ourselves.)


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