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Storyboards, Part 2

Words in the blog n’ storyboard art by Rich Terdoslavich (C) 2024

Picking up where I left off with my newsletter on storyboards and working as a storyboard artist, thought I would riff a bit more about working in film, drawing storyboards, comic books and maybe about film itself. Here goes.

Probably repeating myself, but I have to, once again, thank Michelle Hoffman for giving me a shout out online, for my storyboard work on her film, CLASSICS. Worked on this film, recently and I am looking forward to seeing the film when it comes out. The photo above is one of my storyboards with handwritten notes below the board, combined with Michelle’s script. When she posted this on Instagram, had to share this and maybe write a few more words about storyboards and working as a storyboard artist, for this month’s blog.

When I get a script from a film director, I read it and start breaking down the scenes, to get an idea of how many storyboards I am going to have to draw. I have a few scripts right now. A client just sent me a link and I downloaded the script, and just received another one by email. I start scrawling numbers with my Apple pen/pencil next to each scene or lines of dialogue that is on my iPad. And that’s where I will get the full total of scenes that will be drawn as storyboards.

As I am reading a script, I get ideas for what angle shots would be best for each scene. Write down a few notes next to certain lines in a script, maybe referencing certain scenes from certain films, to get any visual ideas. Close ups, medium shots, long shots, low angles or high angles, there are a variety of angle shots you can choose from. The first time I ever read about angle shots was in the book, HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY by Stan Lee and John Buscema. Was always watching movies back then as a kid, but probably had no idea what a medium shot or a long shot was until I read the book. Still a great book if you want to learn to know how to draw comic books, and the John Buscema artwork in the book is the best. For almost each chapter, there are tons of drawings of superheroes in action poses, all rendered in pencil by him. Definitely one of the top legends in the comic book industry, next to Jack Kirby and John Romita, to name a few. Regarding comic books and films, watched/read/looked more and more of film/comic book content, to see how scenes transition from one to the next. Studied visual styles, techniques and how certain artists and filmmakers approached their crafts with their own sense of composition and design. In comic books, you have a series of images in panels on one page. In a film, one scene per a few seconds or a few minutes, on a screen. Both two different visual mediums, but at the heart of it, trying to tell a story through visuals and words/dialogues and captions/text. Both visual mediums influencing not only my ability to draw or to compose a scene, but to understand the context of how to tell a story, visually from storyboard to storyboard.

Always keeping my drawing chops up, but also learning and studying by opening the books and reading more about the nuts and bolts of drawing, composition etc. I am in the middle of reading STORYBOARDING ESSENTIALS by David Harland Rousseau and Benjamin Reid Phillips, and learning more about the history/origin of storyboards and more about the techincal aspects of storyboards. The breakdown of scripts, more terminology, just learning and learning, no matter how much experience I have. If you decide you want to get into storyboards, it’s a good book to read. Have a few other books about boards and filmmaking and maybe in a few other blogs/newsletters, will mention about them too.

Anything else? Still looking at Alex Toth’s work. Still knocked out by his layouts and designs. Just studying his work, to try to get better at my sequential chops. Working on some pages on a project on my own. To me, all those artists I mention in the blog, are very inspiring and influential to me, having read and looked at so many of their books as a kid, and to this day, I still go back and read/look at them. I hope to do just as good work as those guys did. To me, they were, and still are, best of the best, not only in comics, but in art, just as great as illustrators like Bob Peak or fine artists such as Degas or the Old Masters.

Well, that’s about it. Will keep you posted on what’s going down with future storyboard jobs and keep watching the movies and reading comic books. Talk to you soon!


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