American BeautyWe've talked about previsualization and storyboarding quite a bit recently, noting that although it's not a mandatory step in making a film, it's definitely incredibly helpful. We've offered the basics of storyboarding, as well as some more advanced concepts to keep in mind while you draft your boards. Now, director Sam Mendes and DP Conrad L. Hall go over the storyboards of their film American Beauty side by side with film stills, offering their ideas behind the film's composition and what the aesthetics mean. Check out the video after the jump.

This video is an incredibly valuable resource for anyone wanting a more grounded perspective of the before and after of film conception. Seeing what a composition looks like on the page versus how it looks up on-screen is invaluable, especially for those who are maybe just getting started on their filmmaking career, as well as those who want to know a little bit about the motivations behind the choices Mendes and Hall made in American Beauty.

The two filmmakers explain their stylistic choices and how they translate into the film language. For instance, they divulge that in the storyboard, they drew Lester's reflection in his computer with horizontal lines, but in the film, they switched it to vertical lines to give the sense that he was behind prison bars.

American Beauty storyboard

Check out this video of Mendes and Hall discussing American Beauty's storyboards as well as the final product.

What do you think of Sam Mendes and Conrad L. Hall's commentary? How do your storyboards differ from your final product?

[via The Film Collaborative]