Script to Film : Researching Roles —– Storyboard Artist

Halligan, J (2013) The Art of Movie Storyboard. Lewis : Ilex.

One of my roles in this production is as a storyboard artist. I have some experienced in drawing myself from my previous courses and has tried my hands in some simple storyboard for short films and animation.

I borrowed a book , titled < The Art of Movie Storyboard> -by Fionnuala Halligan , as a source to research more about my roles.

One of the first thing I realised is that starboard artist is different from concept artist. They are similar but ultimately deal with different aspect of productions. Sometimes, both of them will work together, but not necessarily. A concept artist mainly deals with how the world and vision of the film looks, so as to use it to communicate with the production crews and directors or producers to imagine how the final piece will look like. Storyboard artist, however, deals with each scene shot in film, they decide on how the film flow through angles, perspectives, space  and other more technical stuff. Storyboard is not usually drawn in such details as concept art, as it’s meant to be kept rough and only show the simplest image to be used as reference when captured with the camera.

Storyboard artist is really one of the earliest few who starts in the pre-production, without them, it’s pretty hard to start a film. They create the vision of the film, sometimes even using storyboards to convince investors/producer on a project. It is also one of the roles that work very closely with the director, with the latter normally giving out very minimal/rough sketch as reference. Though so much arts are produced in the process, sadly, I just found out that  the copyright mostly belong to the production. Most storyboard artist is also freelance and rarely work permanently in the studio.

This practice turns out to be from a Walt Disney production, which popularises this form of art. Using these as animation makes much more sense than from a film, but it can be applied to any moving media too. Skills needed is drawing, but technical skills with cameras will help a lot in breaking down the script from words to visual. Some directors emphasise storyboards as base of their filming, such as Alfred Hitchcock, who always 99% based his shots on the storyboards and obsess over these details in the pre-production, showing how important this process is in films. Others such as Saul Bass and Harold Michelson are famous storyboard artist who are talented illustrator in their own right but manage to get into the film industry and apply their skills to create masterpiece by working with good directors.


I shall study more of their arts, and also input more perspectives and space visual for myself and director to understand what needs to be shot.


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