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shooting papers koldo almandoz   I  “belarra” by mk films / “ahari talka” by asier altuna. “There are three types of film director: those who know how to draw, those who don’t and those who aren’t film directors”.
(Tim Burton).
A written script is the basis of a film, the backbone of a story. However, there are no films that are based on a written storyline alone. The reason why is that the filming process is a live and breathing thing. It’s an open experience. Spontaneity is always clearly reflected in the finished article.
Camera movements, solutions to problems of continuity, explanations given to the filming crew, ideas that spring up on location, adjustments to dialogues, improvisation, gut decisions taken at the last moment... all of these things are only to be found hastily scrawled down in the margins of the script being worked on. In his day, Joseba Sarrionaindia made a plea on behalf of the small drawings that were excluded after a shoot.
We too would also like to reclaim all those cuts condemned to bins or life hidden away in a folder somewhere.
Even if the notes and explanations jotted down on shooting papers are important, the rough outline is still the backbone of the work to be done. It shows the scenes sketched down in vignettes, the continuity between different takes and what type of narrative is used. Even though they use different fundaments and techniques, there are a lot of similarities between films and comics. Their perception of image and pace are almost identical. That’s why the second and third type of directors in Burton’s definition hire a professional drawer to draw up a story-board. When a director wants to explain a scene during the shooting of a film, they inevitably use drawings because it’s easier for a crew to understand what’s in a picture than it is to understand a spoken or written explanation.
Shooting papers are very much like the maps that Cook used to draw. They are pieces of paper that, as the journey progresses, trace a subjectively chosen route in unknown waters.