Saturday, March 05, 2016

Monte Minions Commercial

I was preparing some work samples and found a few storyboards for a quick commercial I did last year. My son was very excited, that it featured the Minions characters and then very disappointed, that I did not have to draw the minions at all (clips from the original movie trailer were used).

Monday, February 01, 2016

My Lego Friends in Incredible India

Two years ago I spent a couple of month drawing and supervising the storyboards for an original LEGO friends movie (which is coming out on DVD in the US today). During that summer the project brought me to London in the UK and Mumbai, India. London actually seemed to me much more crowded and busier than Mumbai.

We had a small Preproduction Crew over in Mumbai, where we did the first draft of the movie. Looking at the trailer I can see that a few of the early shots have made it, although lots of the story changed (you can see the trailer here )

I also got to see a tiny bit of the surroundings and culture while I was there despite being in Mumbai during the monsoon season.  I will never forget all the happy faces walking through the rain.

On my last day the in-house story-board crew gave me a this framed picture. It shows my indian Lego friends. Very cool!!!  We had a great little crew over there. And there were many more artists and story-boarders helping out also during the tight preproduction schedule. Thanks again for all your hard work and hope to see you again soon!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cowboys and Aliens

Matthew Luhn mentioned in one of his workshops that you should not mix to genres like a western and scifi to create a good story.  He used Cowboys & Aliens as an example. Still I really liked the film for many reasons.

For study purposes I recently thumbnailed out the opening sequence of the film. It is a great little piece of filmmaking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Year, New Plans, New Posts...

Hope you all arrived well and healthy into the New Year of 2016. Long overdue and with the fabulous help of my wife, we cleaned and updated my storyboard website.

Still a few quirks to iron out (please give me a shout in case you notice any or have any suggestions).
Also, we finally put a selection of the crockidz comic strips into print. Originally we had planned to surprise our kids with them for christmas, but the printing got delayed a bit and we just got them yesterday. Some of you might remember them from my posts a couple of years ago. I used to do daily comicstrips about our family life while we were still living in Vancouver, Canada. Then inked and colored a number of them, especially the ones with our kids (you can read the english version online here) (ihr könnt die deutsche Version hier online lesen).

About 4 years ago we organized an exhibition at the local artists community and had started to prepare a small volume for print, but never got around to actually follow through with it.  My wish has always been to have a printed version for my family to own, since the stories were about them and captured for them. Also for my parents, both artists in their own right.

Yesterday evening my wife and me gave the books to my kids (now a bit older, then in the stories). It was a great evening. I had to promise to start doing comic strips again. This week, a book will go into the mail to my parents and I hope they will like it. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Is Bobo dead?

This is a short Sequence from the CGI animated motion picture "The 7th Dwarf" directed by Harald Siepermann (RIP) and produced by Zipfelmützenfilm . The dwarf Bobo, main character of the film voiced by german comedian Otto Waalkes, has just faced the evil Dellamorta to save his friends. In the last second he was hit by an evil power and lost his dwarf beani. Having defeated the evil Dellamorta the other 6 dwarfs are freed from their icy prison, but find their friend lying on the ground lifeless. In the world of the dwarfs, not wearing their beani means bad luck...or in this case certain death....

The 7th Dwarf The 7th Dwarf
You might notice a vertical line in the animatic on the screen right side. All throughout  the concept and storyboard phase of the production we used this marker. It represents the golden rule and where the main composition in the framing should be placed. Harald insisted on sticking to this marker rather than traditional screen direction wherever possible.

This is the entire section thumbnailed straight from the script. (You can see the section from the untimed animatic at the very end) Working through a script thumbnailing is the most crucial step of translating the idea visually. Trying to find out what works and how the narrative flows. It is much faster than jumping right into the storyboarding process, working through a storyboard "straight ahead". It also is a great way to discuss the story with other members of the team.
In this case we had an extremely limited timeframe to come up with a fial storyboard animatic. For the most part european animation productions planabout  3 to 5 months for the storyboarding to complete a final animatic with a team of between 3 to 6 storyboard artists. The scripts are rarely production scrips, but leave much room for creative input and interpretations by the preproduction team.

In this production we started with a "classic" storypitch. Roughing out a sequence based on the story outline, then pitching the idea to the producer and director. Then mostly starting back from scratch incorporating the changes and many new ideas...
Some time ago my friend Kris sketched out this process here in from of a storyboard.

We used this particular thumbnailed section in a different way. We at down with the story team to discuss the section first and try to find solutions for areas in the outline, that could cause problems or were unclear. To meet the deadline we needed to split the whole section up . These were  then storyboarded simultaniously  (with the neccesary adjustments and improvements) and send straight on to editorial for later review. In this way we could insure that the main story flow was somewhat working and we would not get into too much trouble with hook ups and continuity.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

The 7th Dwarf (2014)

This is an early version of my story board pitch for the opening of the motion picture "the 7th dwarf", directed by Harald Siepermann (RIP)


 We started storyboarding with a detailed story outline and fleshed out the storypoints from there. Working as fast as possible to get an idea of how the outline would play out visually. Then pitching them in this form digitally to the producer and director.  Harald really wanted a dog in this opening. We tried to make it work in many different ways, but nothing seemed to stick. Finally we went with an alternative idea from one of the (many great) story boarders on the team, which represents the final version that you can watch in the film.

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