Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Index Card Storyboard/Doodles

Monday I posted some of my index card storyboard doodles. They started as an exercise and turned into a productive tool. 

I'm embracing the idea that storytelling does not involve vomiting out whatever first comes up and showing that to the world. I'm understanding and appreciating that creativity is a SEARCH for the BEST SOLUTION. I should already know that since I work as a graphic designer; in that discipline, there's always an immediate, first idea. But that's often not the best one. What's best is the idea communicates most effectively. And that's exactly what I'm doing with this film, searching for the best way to communicate my story.

I had decided that I wanted my animatic to be as well-drawn as I could make it so I could show it to the world proudly. But that decision is also holding up my process. 

So last weekend I pulled out a stack of 3"x 5" index cards that I had bought to help with my screenwriting. I read that putting scenes on cards was a helpful way to organize the chronology of one's story; cards can be easily moved around and reshuffled.

I thought I'd try something similar with my storyboard/animatic. I turned the cards to the blank side and quickly doodled every scene idea I had for the opening of the film. I ended up with about 100 cards similar to the ones above. I spread them on my dining table and shuffled them around, searching for the sequence of events that was most concise and most communicative.

It worked! What had originally been a long, involved opening sequence was now short, funny and to the point. By not focusing on doing great drawings but instead on what I wanted to communicate, I came up with a variety of ideas from which I was able to choose the best. I can always improve the drawings; what's important NOW is getting the story action solidified.

These scenes could still change, but I'm confident that I've explored all of the options and have chosen the best.

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