Monday, November 7, 2011

American Storyboarding Workshop

As I mentioned in previous posts, last Saturday Daan Jippes and me gave a workshop on storyboarding at the special edition of the Klik animation festival, here in Amsterdam. Daan of course was the main attraction, my role was mostly a supporting one.

During my internship with Daan I heard him tell many great stories about his experiences as a storyboard artist over at Disney, Warners, Dreamworks etc. At the beginnnig of our workshop we sat down and I asked Daan about some of those things. We hoped that these experiences would shine some light on the differences between storyboarding as it is done at the major (American) animation studios and the way storyboards are used in Dutch productions.

After this little chat we got down to business. I had prepared a storyboard based on a scene from a book by Elmore Leonard. I had worked it out digitally in Photoshop and pitched it from a computer. It is quite cool to see your boards up on the big screen. Of course I was a bit nervous, (I think there were 40 to 50 people at our presentation, including some very talented artists) but it was a lot of fun!

Here I am pitching my board, below are four panels from this version. I will post more soon!

Daan of course had many suggestions on how to improve this scene so when my pitch was done it was his turn to step into the spotlight. The great people at Klik had arranged this amazing projector for him to use. Using print-outs from my boards Daan could use this projector to draw on top of my panels to show exactly how he thought they could be improved. Everything he did was projected on the screen, so everybody could immediately see what his improvements would do. 

He invited the people in the audience to join in the critique wich worked very nicely. A lot of people had questions and suggestions about this board and storyboarding in general. It was a real fun atmosphere where everybody felt free to say what he or she thought about our presentation. 

Daan's advice on my board was, of course, rock solid. This is the main reason why I post so little of my board now, I have all his notes and will use them to do a final version that I will post here as soon as it is done.

A big thing in Daan's critique was a note on screen direction. I had made some errors on this, Daan showed how these errors were based on me thinking logically. He illustrated his point with a story he heard from Simon Wells during the production of Balto. It was a story about an argument between Spielberg and a cameraman on the set of Hook. The cameraman argued that a character had to enter the frame from the right because of the set-up within the previous frame. Spielberg acknowledged this thought but argued that logic was not the concern here. Since the character had moved from left to right in the previous frame, for the audience it would be confusing if he would suddenly be moving in the opposite direction: senses over logic.

The whole workshop was a lot of fun and before we knew it our time was up. I need to thank my friend Dennis Kleyn who took all these awesome pictures. And of course I want to thank everybody who was there for the amazing experience. We sure enjoyed it and I hope you did too!


Coen said...

Great! Thanks for the recap, Joscha!

joscha said...

Thnx, Coen!

Dennis said...

Excellent workshop, Joscha. Think everyone in the audience enjoyed it a lot. Interesting stories by Daan Jippes. Keep it up!

joscha said...

Thnx D! Great to hear you enjoyed it, we sure had fun too. And who knows, we just might get a chance to do something like this again...

Joyce said...


gr. Joyce

joscha said...

Dank je, Joyce, ik vond het leuk dat jij er was!