Sunday, 14 February 2010

Rough Storyboards

I've finally finished my rough storyboards. (It took an hour just to get them all scanned, cropped and resized) They are only rough, so I don't expect anyone to understand them, for those that can, feel free to comment on your thoughts. I haven't yet designed what my characters will look like. Once I've done that I can work on the final storyboards. These boards are really just for me, so that I have a plan of exactly how to lay out the shots. In fact, if I put these into Final Cut or Premiere, I can see much easier if it is going to fit in one minute. If anything needs to be taken out, it would save me doing a final storyboard if it wont be used.

Click to enlarge

I've also done a rough storyboard on a shot sequence in the film Casino Royale. Again, it is only rough and don't expect you to be able to read it easily. If necessary, I will re draw the boards to make them clearer. These storyboards were really for working out how to draw the various shots. As you can see, there are quite a few moving shots which were tricky to draw as a still image.


  1. Interim Online Review 16/02/2010

    Hey Ethan,

    The good news is that your story idea is nicely resolved now - but I suggest you're missing a short scene in Act 1... I assume his weight gain is the reason for his trapeze artists career coming to an end? If so, I think we need to see the moment when his career ends - it might be that his partner can lift him, that the ring master of the circus looks at him and his belly and shakes his head? Something anyway - if you use the ring master character, you can return to him in Act 3, and use him to communicate that your character is back in business etc. Anyway, yes, I think you need an insert that shows his 'fall from grace' (maybe literally!). It's great that you've done your essay - which means you've plenty of time to refine it further; please see the following posts for general info and guidance too on upping the formality of your written work.

    Now - some bad news. There's something about your blog that irks me; it's a tone/attitude thing and I want to pick you up on it because you're being unprofessional - and professionalism is a key skill this course is trying to impart. It's no secret that you think blogging is a waste of your time - when you could be doing what else, I wonder? Your irritation that it took you an hour to scan in your storyboards is very clear - but not only is this utterly irrelevant to me (and everyone else) it also demonstrates to me that you still don't 'get' what this course is trying to do for you. Likewise, the comment about you refining your Casino Royale storyboards 'if it's necessary'. This unit is an opportunity for you to improve your drawing skills and character design skills - there are multiple books on the brief all about that subject and many of your classmates are passionately engaged in enriching their skill levels. They are working at home after they finish at Uni - they are pushing, pushing, pushing - they are scanning, photoshoping and uploading their work to their blogs - not because I've asked them too - but rather because they're operating at a professional level; they have a work ethic and they want their lives to change.

    My expectation of you is this, Ethan - and let me be very clear; your storyboards will as refined, elegant, and well-drafted as is possible in the time; they will be beautifully presented and entirely finished. If you need to work more on your drawing (and you do) then that is what you will do - outside of University hours. Your character designs will be lovingly crafted and presented according to the industry convention:


    In short, Ethan, you will make the most of your time - indeed, you will make more of it - and you will stop treating everything outside of Maya and your comfort zone as an intrusion or general nuisance. At some point your blog will be a shop window, into which potential employers will be looking; the blogs of my second years are already being looked at my companies as they decide who - and who not - to take on for work placements. Your blog is a professional, promotional and dynamic space, and if it takes you a hour to make it that way, then that is what you will do - and no one wants to hear about how long/difficult/boring it was for you personally!

    Sorry to be an ogre - but it's time to grow up and realise the true extent of the challenge that lies ahead of you. This isn't a hobby, Ethan - and it isn't a part-time job - and you are wasting time and you will fall behind in terms of technical skill and sophisitication if you don't gear-shift asap.

    On a much less stern note - I genuinely look forward to you resolving your story via storyboards etc. as I think it's pretty much there in terms of structure etc.

  2. “1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and the order of scenes”

    While the essay questions asks you to analyse one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure, you are nonetheless expected to contextualise your analysis – and that means you have to widen your frame of reference to include discussion of other, related films and associated ideas – and also the ‘time-line’ within which your case-study sits.

    So, for example, if you are focusing on a scene in a contemporary film which makes dramatic use of montage editing and quick-fire juxtaposition of imagery (the fight scenes in Gladiator, the beach landings in Saving Private Ryan, the bird attacks in The Birds…) no discussion of this scene would be complete without you first demonstrating your knowledge of the wider context for your analysis – i.e., the ‘invisible editing’ approach as championed by W.D. Griffith, and the alternate ‘Eisensteinian’ collisions adopted by Russian filmmakers (and now absorbed into the grammar of mainstream movies). In order to further demonstrate your appreciation for the ‘time-line’ of editing and its conventions, you should make reference to key sequences in key films – ‘The Odessa Steps sequence’ from Sergei Eistenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (as in scene in the Cutting Edge documentary, but also viewable here in full

    Also – if further proof were needed of the influence of this scene, watch

    The Cutting Edge documentary, as shown on Monday 15th Feb, is viewable on YouTube at

    If you choose to quote from any of the ‘talking head’ sections (Ridley Scott, Walter Murch etc.), in support of your discussion, ensure you put the documentary’s original details in your bibliography (as opposed to the You Tube url). For official title and release date etc. visit

    Put simply, whatever film you choose to discuss, you will need to link it to its ‘ancestors’ and also, where appropriate, to its ‘children’ – i.e., what influenced it/what it influenced.

    Regarding the ‘language of editing etc.’ the following site is useful – if ugly!

    I suggest you use it only as a starting point for focusing your research parameters – not as the fount of all knowledge (it isn’t!).

    Something that keeps coming up is how to cite websites using the Harvard Method:


  3. Stylistically, many students’ essays still lack the required formality and tone for a University level written assignment. Many of you write as if you’re ‘chatting’ to your reader or writing a blog entry. This is inappropriate and you need to cultivate a more appropriate style if your discussions are to be authoritative and properly presented. Below are some suggestions re. use of language; take note and use!

    Use good, formal English and grammar,

    Use objective language: e.g. rather than 'I find it difficult to identify ...'

    'It is often difficult to identify...'
    'It can be seen that...
    'There are a number of...'

    Adopt a cautious academic style; avoid conclusive statements: e.g. use may, might, it seems that, appears to, possibly, probably, seemingly, the evidence suggests that, it could be argued that, research indicates...

    Avoid assumptions and generalisations: e.g. everyone can see, everybody knows, public opinion is...

    If you make a statement, always present evidence to support it.

    Within your essay you will be hoping to demonstrate or prove something. You will have a point of view that you wish to convey to your reader. In other words, your essay should 'say' something.

    You should support what you wish to say with a reasoned argument and evidence.

    A reasoned argument consists of a series of logical steps you make in order to lead to a point where you can form some sort of judgement on the issue you have been examining, or come to some sort of conclusion.

    Paragraphs are organised in order to build your argument in a series of logical steps

    A typical paragraph is concerned with a single step in your argument

    The first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence. It clearly states which step in your argument you intend to deal with in this paragraph

    Subsequent sentences explain, define and expand upon the topic sentence

    Evidence is offered

    Evidence is commented on

    A conclusion may be reached

    Try to make each paragraph arise out of the previous paragraph and lead into the subsequent one

    Below are some useful ‘linking’ words and phrases that suit the formal tone of an academic assignment – get used to using them to structure clear, articulate and confident sounding sentences.

    To indicate timescales:
    when, while, after, before, then

    To draw conclusions:
    because, if, although, so that, therefore

    To offer an alternative view:
    however, alternatively, although, nevertheless, while
    To support a point:
    or, similarly, incidentally

    To add more to a point:
    also, moreover, furthermore, again, further, what is more, in addition, then
    besides, as well
    either, not only, but also, similarly, correspondingly, in the same way, indeed
    with respect to, regarding

    To put an idea in a different way:
    in other words, rather, or, in that case
    in view of this, with this in mind
    to look at this another way

    To introduce and use examples:
    for instance, for example, namely, an example of this is
    such as, as follows, including
    especially, particularly, notably

    To introduce an alternative viewpoint:
    by contrast, another way of viewing this is, alternatively, again,
rather, another possibility is..
    conversely, in comparison, on the contrary, although, though

    To return to emphasise an earlier point:
    however, nonetheless, despite, in spite of
    while.. may be true
    although, though, at the same time, although.. may have a good point

    To show the results of the argument:
    therefore, accordingly, as a result
    so, it can be seen that
    resulting from this, consequently, now
    because of this, hence, for this reason, owing to, this suggests
 that, it follows that
    in other words, in that case, that implies

    To sum up or conclude:
    therefore, in conclusion, to conclude, on the whole
    to summarise, to sum up, in brief, overall, thus