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Storyboarding on Bird Food #Behind-the-Scenes

Bird Food writer and director Richard Keane takes us behind-the-scenes on his short animation Bird Food to explain the art of storyboarding and animatics!

Once you are happy with your script, (for the time being at least), and you have some characters, prop and set designs for the storyboard artist to work from, then you are good to go into storyboarding!

Luckily, on our short film Bird Food we managed to get the brilliant storyboard artist Andy Kelly. He has worked on many Brown Bag shows and I've always loved his drawing style and sense of humour.

Here's a snippet of the script for the opening scene:

A BUSINESS MAN with his sleeves rolled up and his BRIEFCASE in hand, walks along a path under trees whistling with the birds. He is a tall, skinny man in his early thirties with 50's styled brown hair. His tie is slightly undone and he walks with a swagger, happy to be in the sun.

As he walks along the path he notices, through some trees, a beautiful looking secluded area with a BENCH to sit upon. A veritable garden paradise. He looks around wondering why nobody else is around but he doesn't really care as he has found it all for himself.


As he arrives at the bench he sees a HAT and an UMBRELLA on it. Again he looks around but sees no one.

First Andy sent through a rough pass of the storyboards:

I then gave notes on these roughs:


Opening is great but the man needs to walk into shot from o/s left.

So basically you just need to flip the panels up to S2_P2

S2_P3(new panel)

After he stops in P2 please add a panel of him tilting his head in a curious manner.

The camera then zip pans to where you have it but see the ref image for S3_P2

Cut back to the shot with his head tilted in a curious manner and he should walk forward

Cut back to the revised S3_P2 and the leaves should part to fully reveal the benchsee ref images.


Again these need to be flipped to match the previous changes,

This is basically the same it just means we are now in the bench area of the park so in the background we need to see the bushes where he has come through. He looks around as you have it and heads towards the bench.


Again these need to be flipped so the man walks into shot from o/s left.

The hat and umbrella should be in the middle of the bench -  see ref image for hat location.


Flip angle and match the hat and umbrella’s new position from S5.


Flip to match.

Andy then did a polish pass and I edited those panels together into an animatic until I was happy with it and decided to show it to the main directors at Brown Bag in a no holds barred viewing. Lots of constructive criticisms were made and annoyingly all of their comments were correct!

So I took them all on board and went cry!

I regained some composure and went back into the edit. I then chipped away at it, getting some new boards done by Andy to help the story and simply tweaked and tweaked it until I was happy to show them again!

This time though, it got the thumbs up from the other directors so I was obviously delighted!

Can you spot any differences?

Bird Food movie:

Check out some more behind-the-scenes for Bird Food in our Making Of blog posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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