My first project is…COMPLETE! It included storyboarding an already existing advert, and creating our own storyboards for a segment of script from TMNT. It’s been really helpful, because storyboarding is something which I’ve always enjoyed, but not necessarily been that great at. I could never quite imagine which shot would look the best for a particular scene, and I really have got no excuse, given all the films I watch (or ‘research,’ just so I don’t feel as guilty). So this summer holiday I decided I would need to improve my storyboarding skills, so whenever I was ‘researching’ a film, I would draw little sketches of shots that caught my eye, so I could start to get the hang of it.
Here are some sketches from ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Jaws,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,’ and ‘Star Wars; Return of the Jedi.’
This definitely helped me a lot to get a bit more of an eye for certain angles that make the action more dynamic or make it clear what is happening on screen.
I also learned a lot from reading some advice about thumbnailing by Glen Keane, who is the person who inspired me so much that I decided to specialise in 2D…so I will listen to every piece of advice he gives; even if it was advice on how to make the perfect beef stew, I would most probably follow it. He was writing about how, when storyboarding, you should think of poses to tell the story, and how each pose will lead onto the next pose. This helped a lot, especially for my TMNT storyboards, because I tried to make them more dramatic by using poses instead of just having them standing there, and it really helped me to understand what I was drawing, and it was much clearer what was supposed to be happening on-screen. Here are some of his thumbnails for ‘The Rescuers…’
As well as looking at storyboards themselves, I also looked at the works of one of my favourite author/illustrators, Brian Selznick. His books are a mixture of graphic novel and written word, because he wants you to fully experience the story, and he also wants to create the feeling that you’re watching a film. So this means that his illustrations are often set out like scenes in a film; they are very dynamic and tell the story instead of just showing you what a character looks like. His work helped me in making my final storyboards, as I was inspired by the compositions of his images, as well as the contrasting tones that can be achieved with just a pencil to create depth and make a subject stand out. Here is an illustration from his latest book, ‘The Marvels;’
AND FINALLY, I was incredibly inspired by the ‘Gorillaz’ music video, ‘Dare,’ which was shown to us in class, along with the whole animatic that came before it. It was great to see the process in which it was made, and how important it is to make sure the storyboards are clear and informative in order to make the finished product work properly. (Also, the artwork was amazing, and I’m dying to try out that style when I have some free time. I don’t even know how I haven’t seen their music videos before…)
And so hopefully, now that I have all this new knowledge floating around in my brain box, my quest to become better at storyboards will end well! I’ve really enjoyed this project, so I’m going to try and keep up the sketches while I’m ‘researching’ films.