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....

This sequence, done at the very end of the production, is the storypitch with some continuity for basic animatic editing.
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.

The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf
The 7th Dwarf

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)



(IF THE VIDEO MIGHT  DOES NOT PLAY ...CHECK IT OUT HERE: WWW.STORYARTIST.DE

 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.

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf

The 7th Dwarf


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Die Biene Maja (2014) ı Maya the Bee (2014)



I would have loved to do some storyboards for this feature film adaption of Maya the Bee directed by Alexander Stadermann and ended up doing a tiny bit of concept work early on in the production. This australian trailer just came online. The finished film looks like fun. Congratulations to all my friends in Australia who have worked on it!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Der Kleine Medicus (2014) ı The little Medic (2014)


Sorry, my upcoming sketchbook post has to wait one post longer. Here come two trailers for an animated  film I had the pleasure to work on. "Der kleine Medicus" based on a popular book by Dietrich Groenemeyer and directed by Peter Claridge. The trailer is in german language only, although the film was written and produced in english. The production approached me for storyboards, but I was already committed to another project at the time. Little did I know that I would get the chance to help out in a different way at a later stage. I worked as an animation director on the project for a year and had my hands full working with a fantastic team of artists at Virgin Lands. Produced at a shoestring budget with challenging deadlines and footage requirements it has become one of those little gems that should hold together as a whole. No small part for the wonderful direction from Peter. Looking forward to seeing the final piece with the full crew at  the premiere! Thank you all for the hard work!




Sunday, August 10, 2014

sketchbook ı teaser


In my next post I will let you know how I came about this little sketchbook, why it too so long to get started on it and why I do use sketchbooks at all. Too busy right now working towards some tight deadlines, storyboarding and sketching away. see you then, I hope.   mycurrentsketchbook waltdisneysketchbook

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Analyzing Film

I love watching films. All kind of films. Lucky me that I also work in the film business. So I get to see many films as part of my profession. There is not a single film, that does not inspire some creative part in me. I like to sketch scenes from films. They do give me a glimpse in how the director and DOP has been working. As a story artist we have a tendency of repeating certain ideas. Be it camera angles, shot progression, acting choices. Analyzing of scenes helps me to broaden my horizon of how to visually tell a story. 
On top of it, it makes me realize time and time again of the cinematographic elements, that we are rarely allowed to use when storyboarding, like lighting and color. 



These sketches are from a very short scene of  "Edge of Darkness" with Mel Gibson in the leading role. I felt that it is a crucial scene in the film and is set up quite nicely. It works without dialog and is visually very appealing. Additionally it uses a very simple staging set up and I have used this scenes a couple of times to show simple screen direction to students of film.