Aug 28, 2011

RETAILiation: Rough Storyboard

I have given it some thought, and I truly feel that the Midpoint Review is a lot like making the trailer for your movie before you've even written the script for it.  By that, I mean that you present your story to the  panel/audience in a very vague but hopefully appealing way in an attempt to whet their appetite so that they'll "green light" your thesis project (and to keep the metaphor going, some trailers definitely reveal more of the movie's plot than others do).  Then, they tell you what they expect to see from you based on what you've just shown them.  Presenting your thesis at the final review is, therefore, really showing them the final movie, and you'd better give them all they wanted and more.  For myself--with a Storyboarding focus--I actually had to present three different "trailers".  And they all went over very well.  Which is good.  Great, really.  But now I have to write the script for three movies, so to speak, and it's pretty daunting.  Luckily, I only have to storyboard a single sequence from each story.  I find myself trimming a lot of "fat" from the overall story lines and focusing instead on the specific sequences that I actually have to board and turn in.  The trick is finding that balance of developing the overall story enough so that the sequence actually has some weight to it on it's own while avoiding bogging down the sequence with unnecessary details that are not essential for the sequence to play out.

With that in mind, I decided to first work on my most self-contained sequence.  Primarily this summer, I focused my thesis work attention to RETAILiation, my 2D television animated series.  This show would theoretically be on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, etc.  I first developed the idea over a year ago, and a lot has changed since I originally conceived the story.  I have given up a lot of story elements that I loved in an attempt to find that aforementioned balance and keep the sequence lean.  Minimizing characters, using one location, cutting comical running gags I conceived for the show that wouldn't have the time to recur.  The woes of being a creator, I suppose.

All that having been said, I think I was able to put together a fun and funny little sequence, and I'm pleased to be able to share it here (in rough form, of course).  Below is a PDF file of my first draft for "RETAILiation: The Day We Got Fired".  A few changes to be made and the boards need to be cleaned up, but the story's all there.  Check it out and let me know what you think!
RETAILiation - Rough Storyboard
The drawings were all done digitally on my Cintiq using Toon Boom StoryBoard Pro, which is a fantastic program for storyboarding.  I also intend to make this into an animatic, as I am required to turn in one animatic, and this story is the one I feel most suited to take that leap.  For those that are interested in my thought process while I created these boards (you poor souls), below are my thumbnail sketches for the sequence.  The first pass, followed by a revised one, with plenty of staging changes along the way...

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