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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Rusty works in the animation industry doing Storyboards, Timing, Animation and Directing. Recently he has worked at Disney TV Animation and Universal Animation Studios. He's best known for his Directing and Producing for Warner Bros. on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain".

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Staging and Story

I'm going to spend a few posts here to talk about staging and story. Because I deal with a lot of storyboards I find that although there are a number of good artists out there, few of them stage their scenes in an interesting way or even clear enough to understand the story point. Here are a several rules that I always follow to ensure successful storytelling:

1. Can I clearly see what is going on?
2. Is the camera angle motivated by the story point?
3. Number of characters in the scene, do they all need to be here)?
4. Can I tell where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going?
5. Has the staging become too obvious?
Over the next 5 posts I will discuss each of these rules. There is not always one way to successfully board a scene or sequence but these rules should apply to any and all ways it is done. They are great to keep in your head or to post on the wall to constantly remind yourself. If you get stuck they also can help you get out of a bind. You should always fall back on the simplest way to fulfill the story point. You can always expand on that.

The story panels I have included here are from a test I did for Dreamworks. Each gives you a particular feeling even though you don't have the dialog. Besides the way they are dressed you can tell simply by the staging who the sarge is and who the private is. The downshot above is an interesting way of showing the sarge is addressing a platoon without cluttering the scene too much.
So get ready for some storyboarding 101!


Blogger mojo design said...

These are great tips! I've been thinking about giving storyboading a shot and so this is great stuff to keep in mind. THANKS! You have a fantastic blog, btw. You really know what you're talking about. i'll be visiting lots.

-Jose A.K.A. MOJO

5:36 PM  
Blogger Rusty Mills said...

Thank you and keep on visiting.

8:37 AM  

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