Sunday, 3 March 2013

From the Pen to the Screen

We have been working like crazy these last few weeks and will continue to for the next while as we near the finish line. Mike and Devin are working hard on preparing the film for a pre-mix and I'll be sitting down with Paul Barton in the coming weekend to go over the score in what will possibly be our final spotting session.

Meanwhile, on my end we've been colour balancing the film and preparing it for grading. Amazing progress has been made in regards to licensed music and we have a few surprises for everyone that we will reveal in due time. Biggest lesson here is -- never give up and exhaust all resources. Never assume the answer is 'no.' You will be surprised at what happens when you simply ask.

Gary Carr also began work on the end credits of the film. He is responsible for the ghostly "William's Lullaby" that appears in our teaser, using Leslie Martin's design. So to make a long story short, the end is in sight and the pieces are falling into place. But we are all aware of the fact that it is going to take a great deal of work in the coming months to get there. Game on.

A few posts back, I talked about how I storyboarded the entire film prior to casting as a way of preparing myself mentally for the task of bringing the visual style of the film to life. I thought I'd do a little less talking in this post and show you some examples of how those storyboards influenced the final product. If you take anything away from this post, it's that you don't need to be a great artist to storyboard -- stick figures will do! It's the idea that counts.

In most cases I was able to use stills from my location scout to visually lay out my shots. I would read the script line by line and picture the film, cut together in my head. What did I visually see? I would then do a few rough outlines, then pen the final drawing. Spending a great deal of time on each frame allowed me to really contemplate my reasoning for that shot and as you can see, for the most part, I stuck with that blueprint once I got to set.

As you can see in this scene, Richard and Toby bring a great deal of life to the image that I, unfortunately, can't quite express with my pen. Often, their motivation for blocking and action dictated slightly different camera positions and movements as seen by the slight difference between what is going on in my storyboard vs. the final scene.

Again, we were quite flexible with straying from the drawn image once we got to set but you can see that the essence of it is still there. Toby is a ball of energy and his jumping up onto the bed (as seen in the final scene) is far more dynamic than what's on the page and offers more excited camera movements to match his energy.

I said I wouldn't talk much in this post. I lied. There you have it. An example of just how much storyboarding helped me, and continued to help me in the editing room.

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