A surprising end

I have a very sad thing to tell you. This blog has come to an end now, me and Mark has decided to split up and work separate from now on. It all came very suddenly, but apparently he had felt like this for a while now, that he really wanted to make his own career. At first I felt a bit empty inside, but with time it feels okey. I have always wanted to be a part of a huge company and not only freelance so now I have the chance to get a foot into one of the major names that I always have dreamed about. It is a bit of a cliché but I have always thought that you shouldn’t see the problem but the possibility the problem gives you. And we are still friends of course, you can’t be angry for something like this. Not when he have kept working with me for so long and thought that he would feel like it was fun again. But we have decided to split up and do other things know. Hopefully it will be a big step for both of us and that we can make our dreams come true.

We aren’t sure if we are going to keep living together either. But I think it has to do with Mark and his girlfriend. We have been living together since college and they have been seeing each other for awhile now and feels that it is the next step. It will be sad of course to loose both my job partner and roomie but it might the thing that’s right for the moment.

The company I work at right now is not the one that I really want to work with so I do feel like I have the time to change that now. When we worked together me and Mark both had jobs that we didn’t quite like and therefore we started to freelance on our spare time. So I understand that Mark were tired of his job and wanted to change carrier. It’s just so sad that we have to split up, I would rather that we changed our jobs and kept working together if we had time for it. But I guess this is the end of our journey.

Well, so I guess I have to tell you the main thing. I don’t think that this blog will be updated longer since we’re not going to keep on working. But I might have it as a project if my new job gives me time. I can’t promise anything since I want to work on a huge company and really climb in my carrier. So I am going to make the best out of 2017 and probably it will become the best year in my life! Fingers crossed!

So if I have time I will continue to write about my life here on the blog, but I can’r promise you anything. If we don’t talk again, I hope you get the best out of 2017.

With Love / Sebastian

Our new dream

We have a complete new dream that we want to make happen. To produce a game for smartphones. We came across this idea when we saw a new game called Episode, which reminded us of sort of a storyboard. In the game episode you choose how the game will end by different choices that you make. So when we played through the game we figured out that it needed several storyboards to fit the different stories. Since we have made so many different things for different kind of medias we thought that a game would be fun to make also. We liked the idea in the Episode game, that it is several stories depending on your choice, and the the player choose how the outcome will be.

We are not sure really what the game is going to be about, and we most certainly need to learn how to even create a game. But we feel like it is right in time and that it is something that you really can make money from. Either a game or an app, but an app seems harder to get people to download thena game. Right now we are in the process where we need to get all the ideas down on paper and start to choose from them, what is even possible to do and how to do it. As you can see we always have alot going on and that is how we like it.

We are finally back on schedule after our miss with the commercial contest. So now we don’t have to make more web designs to all casino sites. It was fun we have to admit but we rather want to make things that we like more. So currently we are making a new stop motion movie (finally). We have longed for this since the last one had to be thrown away.

We have also gotten a few messages from you guys! This is an extract from a comment that we got from one of you called Martin. Thank you so much for you thoughts and that you took your time to contact us, we appreciate it very much. This is what Martin wrote to us (again only an extract)“Hello and thank you for a very informative blog. I do have some comments for you. Every time yougo through a new subject it feels like you do it very fast and only the basics. I wish a bit more details on all the subjects that you have gone through in this blog. It was very interesting to read about your own projects, and I would also want to see something that you have been producing andnot only read about it. About your casino sites, I feel like you have made a great page for beginners. It is very simple, but as long as it works for the customers I don’t have any negative to say about it”.

Again thank you Martin for your comments. And we will make some longer posts about the subjects so that you guys learn some more and not only the basics. We also will go through what wehave done ourselves so that you can get an example. A lot of stuff that we have done has been sold to other companies, so we can’t promise that it is so easy to just post anything. But we will try to find something that is available.

Feel free to do the same thing as Martin has done, and leave a comment with your thoughts. It givesus so much to hear what you think of us and this blog.
/ Sebbe & Mark

Update + new subject

Hi everyone. A while ago we told you about our upcoming jobs and what we where working with atthe time. And we thought that we should update you on how it went. Unfortunately we didn’t get thebig commercial job that we told you about. We where really hoping for it but we didn’t make the cut. I think we forgot to tell you guys that it was a contest we where a part of. A major company announced on their website that they wanted to cooperate with a smaller company in their upcoming commercial. In that way they got a much cheaper commercial made and a smaller company got the chance to break through in the industry. But we didn’t make it. But we did go really far in the contest and got some more contacts so we are happy.

Perhaps you guys remember the web design we made for a casino site also? Well we have gotten a lot of jobs after doing that so we can almost say that we are experts in that way. No only joking, but we have made several designs for different casino and poker sites now and we are actually getting pretty good at it. We still miss doing more stop motion movies of course and storyboards and everything that is needed to be done while you are creating. But we do need the money so jobs like these have been great to do to recover from the commercial we put so many hours on doing.

So we thought that next subject we will go through is a little basics about web design. Web design is more then only the look of the web site. It is many different skills and disciplines that are needed to produce and maintain a website. There are a few areas that are included: graphic design, interfacedesign, user experience design, search engine optimization and standardized code and proprietary software. There are often different individuals who works in teams and cover all the areas together. And we have gotten the part where we do the web graphics design. So we handle all the looks of the different sites, and then they apply it so that it works with all their code and stuff that needs to be done so that the website looks alright and works as it should.

As you can see and probably thought before the term web design is often used to describe just the design process of the design of a website. But web design is in fact partially overlapping the web engineering and web development. The most important thing when you do web design is that you have some sort of awareness of usability. It is so important the websites are made with thoughts of user experience and usability so that it actually works.

Well now you know a bit more about web design. Have you ever made any design yourselves? Please write to us so that we will get to know more about you also! We are looking forward to hear form you!

/ Mark & Sebastian

Deisgn we use

This is a very common element in our casino design! Dice and other casino stuff is something that every site want on their pages!

Presenting yourself

Today we will talk about why it is so good to be able to present yourself in a good way. So we will tell you why it is good and also give you a few great tips on how you can become great at it. The first thing is of course to be able to talk in front of people. It is a huge advantage in this business, if you are going to pitch something for a job. In this business you always have to be able to sell yourself as a product if you want a job, or if you want to sell an idea for a company. So to feel confident while talking in front of people is very important to survive in this kind of industry.

If you can present yourself it is a larger chance for you to get more jobs and also to be able to raise your salary when you have gotten a job. Let’s go into the important things now.

When you are presenting yourself today, it demands more than just your name and your title. To succeed everybody should have a powerful, fats and easy presentation of themselves. To present your idea in only a few minutes could be crucial in your way to success. No matter if it is a client meeting, a business contact or an interview, it is great to have something that tells them that you are something special and have something more to offer.

There is a four-step method that we are going to go through now. Create awareness, show your interest by asking open questions, present yourself and dare to finish. It is all a mix of how you present yourself and your idea, service or product. You always can use the ability to convince other people neither if you are on a date, interview or want people to hear your idea. In todays society you must be able to present yourself in an appealing way if you are striving for something. To work but not to be seen can seem hopeless out there. Whether you have an idea, service or product you have to be able to sell it. We have mentioned it a few times now but it is only so that you understand how important it is. If you don’t win over the people in a few minutes they will stop listening.

So the key to success is to could be that you can present yourself. We give you the tip that you follow the four steps and practice. Many of you may have heard the quote “practice make perfect” and we also believe that. We practice a lot before we pitch anything for an upcoming job and it has gotten os way more work than we ever thought. It can be hard in the beginning but don’t give up. Just keep practicing and you will be getting there we promise!

Next subject – Our new job

Yes, we have gotten a new job offer and we can tell you all about it. Since we are working a lot with all different kinds of media we also have the ability to produce content for all different types. And our latest project that we have got is actually quite different than what we are used to. So we got a offer from a gaming company. At first we where a bit confused since we never have done anything with gambling before so we didn’t know of we should accept it or not. But we decided to take it.

The job was to create a new web design for the website freespins365.co.uk and here is our result. The site is about freespins with no deposit, we don’t really what it is but we think that the design got pretty good anyway. So we might do more of these jobs cause we always want to make more money. Web design is something that we haven’t talked so much about because we don’t usually work with it. It is more movies and storyboards that are our thing, but know we think that it might be web design also. So if there is any website with casino or poker you are welcome to contact us.

When we started our journey to make this new design we first had to check out all the competition before we made a first suggestion. And boy where they many! So it was a huge challenge to complete this site. But we made it and we hope that you will go to freespins365.co.uk and tell us what you think. Please contact us and give us some feedback so that we can fix it if you find any problems.

When we did this job we got a reawakening when it comes to web design. So now we are currently making two other web designs, we believe that we need to make a lot of designs to feel confident while your doing it. It is so fun to make designs since you have the freedom to be creative. The three jobs that we have done so far, we have been given total freedom to do whatever we wanted with the design. As long as we checked out the competition and knew what was working for that kind of business.

Otherwise we haven’t been working so much actually. Next week we will find out if our commercial is accepted by the company or if we will have to work a whole lot more to make money for the weeks that we have spent doing this stop motion. But even if they don’t like it we have learned so much by doing this, so we will be happy no matter what happens. Of course we hope that we will get the job since it will give us a lot of money. But money isn’t all, but one huge commercial will open a lot of doors that we definitely want to go into.

Background

Here is a picture of how the design looks like right now!

A different kind of post from us

Yes today we thought that we would do a different kind of post than we usually do. When we started this bog we only intended to write about different stuff that is good to know about when it comes to writing manuscript, making storyboards and creating movies. But today we wanted to tell you guys a bit about us and our work. We who are writing this blog are as we have mentioned before, Mark and Sebastian. You can read our first post here and find out more about us.

We are now working with a stop motion movie and hopefully we will be able to sell it and see it as a commercial on the television. We can’t tell you for which company it is, but we can tell you that it is for a major company that many of you definitely have heard about. In our commercial we are making a stop motion short film where we are creating different animals out of clay, and making them move. It has been a real hard job so far but know we are finally seeing the light in the tunnel. We are soon there so to speak.

We have been working day and night for a couple of weeks and it’s been though but also really fun. At first we started to make the clay animals, of course the script was made first, but the first part of the movie was creating the animals. It took us a few days since we needed the clay to dry into the shapes before we painted them and so on. After that there where a couple of hours where we had to make all the backgrounds where the animals where supposed to be standing and since we wanted several scenes we needed several backgrounds. When all the material where made we know could start making the movie. So it has been much work to do before you even can take the first shot.

Then the real hard work began, now you really have to make sure that there is a picture for every frame that you need to make it a movie. If you miss one it can be quite difficult to take it afterwards. It can actually ruing a whole production if you don’t take it very slowly and make every frame from the beginning. So that’s why we say that taking the pictures are the hardest work.

We can tell you that this commercial is for a well known children’s company, and there will be for a very popular tv-show. That’s about it. We can tell you more as soon as we have gotten a thumbs up from the company.

That was all for today!

/Mark & Sebastian

Coffee

It demands a lot of coffee when we are producing!

Some tips how to create a great story!

Hello everyone, today we will give you a few tips straight from the Pixar studios. It is an artist from the company called Emma Coats, who has tweeted out some basics for story making. And we thought that this is a great guideline for you and us to use, since this was how Emma herself was taught and learned from her senior colleagues. So this is Emma Coates tips on how to create appealing stories straight from twitter:

1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
4: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
19: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
20: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

What are you opinions about this? We certainly got a few tips to think about!

Pixar Studios

Storyboards

Next one up – Storyboard

To follow up our last post where we answered the question “What is Stop Motion” we thought we would answer the next question, What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a thing you use to help organize all your illustrations or images. It is a graphic organizer so that you can organize the pictures so that they are displayed in the correct sequence so that it will become a motion picture, motion graphic, animation or interactive media sequence. The storyboarding process was actually developed at Walt Disney Productions in the early 1930s. It was after several years of similar processes being used at Walt Disney and other studios that the process was adapted in the form that it is known today.

Diane Disney Miller has explained in the biography of her father (The story of Walt Disney) that the first complete storyboard was made for the short film Three Little Pigs. But according to John Canemaker the first storyboards at Disney where created in the early 1920s. They where evolved from comic-books and then created similar for animated cartoons. And after a few years the idea spread to other studios. The thought behind the storyboards at Disney was to draw different scenes on separate sheets of paper and pining them up on a bulletin board to tell a story in sequence. And with that the first storyboard was created. It was also Disney who started to have a separate “story department” where it was specialized storyboard artists. So we can thank the Walt Disney Productions for their work who has made the storyboard what it is today.

By 1937 and 1938 all studios in America used storyboards. One of the first live films to be made with a complete storyboard was the all time classic Gone with the Wind. Storyboarding then became real popular during the early 40s for live action film productions. The 40s to the 90s was a period where the production design was characterized by adaption of the storyboard. And today the storyboards are an essential part of the creative process.

You can use storyboard to many thing. Except for movies people around the world also use storyboards for: theater, animatics, photomatics, comic books, business, novels, interactive media and software. So as you can see there are a lot of different areas where you can use storyboard for your advantage.

Then what are the benefits with using storyboards?
One of the benefits with storyboards is that when you use it, it allows the user to experiment with changes in the storyline to evoke stronger reactions or interest. The second advantage with storyboard is that it allows the production to play the movie in advance. And they can also decide what type of camera shot, angle and blocking characters. Storyboards also allow a group of people
to brainstorm together and foster more ideas. As you might know now the benefits with using storyboards are great. 488

We are hoping that you are enjoying our series of answering questions and that you learn something each time! Please contact us if you have a question yourself.

Stop Motion

To start off easy we thought we should go through a simple thing – what is Stop Motion?

Stop motion is a kind of animation technique that makes it feel like an object is moving on its own. How you make it move is by photographing the object. The object is moved in small increments between the different shots. When you take pictures like that and then put the series of shots in a continuous sequence it creates an illusion of movement. People who produce stop motion movies often use dolls or clay figures with movable parts. Why you do that is because it is easier to make them “move” in the movies. But not all stop motion needs figures or models, you can use humans, household appliances or other things to make it a bit more comic. When you use objects some people might call it object animation instead of stop motion.

Stop motion is not to be confused with the time lapse technique. When you use the time lapse technique you take photographs of a surrounding at regular intervals and later combined into a continuous movie. Time lapse is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

The first stop motion to made is actually from the year of 1989. So the technique is not that new but of course it has been updated and becomes better and better with each year of creative people using it. But back the first one. It was made of Albert E. Smith and J.Stuart Blackton. The movie is called The Humpty Dumpty Circus and in he movie you can see a toy circus and animals coming to life. The earliest clay animation was made in 1912 and was called Modelling Extraordinary.

There are also different kinds of stop motion, and we will tell you about two different ones. Stereoscopic stop motion and go motion.

Stereoscopic stop motion.
It is a sort of stereoscopic 3D and is not used very often but it has been used in a few films. The latest one that you might have heard of is the movie Coraline from 2009. it was the first all stop motion 3D feature. And anther new thing with stereoscopic stop motion is Nintendo 3DS video software which comes with a stop motion option.

Go Motion
Go motion is a more complicated variation of stop motion. It was developed by Phil Tippett and was used in the star wars film The Empire Strikes Back. Go motion involves programming a computer to move parts of a model during each frame of the film, but was also combined with hand manipulation of the model/figure. This was done to produce a more realistic effect.

We hope that you liked this and hopefully learned something. Please remember that you are welcome to contact us if you have any questions or anything!

Pingu is an example of stop motion!

Welcome to Shotbox

Hello and welcome to Shotbox – your online guide on how to make presentations!
This a completely new blog made of us Sebastian and Mark, two guys who loves to make movies. We both work with it, and do some freelancing on our spare time.

This blog is made for you who needs some help and tips on how to improve your skills when it comes to presentations. Perhaps you are having a hard time to speak in front of people and wants to feel more safe with that or you might be insecure about what you have done. No matter what your reasons are you are very welcome to our site and to take help from our tips that we will give you.

If you have any suggestions about topics or special things that you would like us to work with on the blog then you are very welcome to contact us. You can simply fill in the contact form on the contact page and we will deal with it as soon as we have time for it.

Why did we start this blog?

We started this blog since we who running it, ourselves had some trouble with presentations. We therefore thought it would be great if you could easily find tips online that could help you get started. Both with presentations, storyboards and other things. Everyone knows that as long as you get your idea on paper the rest will follow. So on this site you will get both tips on how to improve your skills when you are having any presentation of any kind, how to talk in front of people and also how to make your idea actual happening. We can only say it again but once you have gotten your idea on paper it is so much easier to make it come true. We here at Shotbox love to make movies and to make a good storyboard was something we had a lot of trouble with in college. So we started this blog mostly for people who run into the same problems as we did.

Who are we?

We are two guys who also are best friends. We met in college when we both started studying. We didn’t have the same major, but we had a couple of classes together and here we bonded. We mostly studied classes where we got to make stop motion movies. It is really fun, because it is not like a “normal” movie where you shoot for a long time. It is a movie that is made all by pictures. And to make that really good it is a great idea to make a storyboard. But we will talk more about that in another post. Now a few years after we graduated from college we are working on different companies but we are roomies and decided to have this blog after working hours. So we wont post updates daily but our goal is at least one blogpost per week. Hopefully you want to follow us on this journey!

/ Sebastian and Mark