Open Menu

Storyboarding #TopTip

Into animation? Here's a #toptip from the studio via our Episodic Director Damien O'Connor - this one is advice on storyboarding.

Damien: Learn everything you can about filmmaking – story, composition and especially editing.

It sounds pretentious but I look on films as a foreign language that we all basically understand. Jumping from a wide to a close up is not how we perceive the world, so technically films should make no sense, but through exposure to film language from an early age we all understand sequences and editing.

The problems start when we are asked to speak the language. How best to take the words on a page or ideas in our mind and visually translate them. You are looking at a blank white page with a vague awareness that ‘real’ films usually start with an establishing wide shot, but then what? You have unlimited choices and this is the problem. You can literally put the camera and characters anywhere, so how best to choose the right solution?

This to my mind is the biggest challenges that faces new board artists – they understand the language but they can’t yet speak it fluently. To mix metaphors a little, it is like assuming you can drive a car because you have seen loads of people driving, but the minute you actually get behind the wheel and turn the key you quickly realise there is a whole lot more to it.

So how do you go from understanding a language to speaking a language? The simple answer is by speaking it a lot, falter and stutter your way through sentences until you feel confident that others understand you. Do it to a point where it looks like it comes naturally – the best boards look like they were easy. Every choice is so perfect the viewer could not even begin to think of an alternative one.

If any brave souls out there fancy giving it a go, try this – try storyboarding out Humpty Dumpty. You all know the script, so all you have to do is visually tell the story (look on it like asking directions to the train station in French) – we would love to see the results and if we get enough of them we can post up some pointers and tips on how we would do it.

You can send your boards for Humpty Dumpty into Brown Bag Films via email, twitter, or facebook.

We Love Animation®

Brown Bag Labs is an exciting online space, brought to you by Brown Bag Films. We share great content for families as well as behind the scenes fun and tutorials from the Brown Bag Films team.