While all the amazing work of building the 3D world goes on, it’s easy to get swept away in the craft of this work and forget that there are still many of facets of the film that need work – none as important as the story itself. Although we have been constantly working on the storyboard (revising it, adding new sections, removing sections), there has to come a time when you have to decide and lock the animatic. Co-directors Jon & Katie, myself and our editor Simon recently met for an intense day of locking as much of the animatic as we could…
Following on from last week’s post, we wanted to show another example of how the storyboard has changed. If you are familiar with the book, you know that Paul just runs off to his Gran’s house – there is no additional action or explanation. We don’t know why or how Beastie didn’t spot Pete; apart from being scared, we don’t know what Pete’s journey is like. Does he get lost? Is he being pursued? You can see from the initial storyboard below that his journey was pretty quick – almost like he lived over the road. He gets to Gran’s house very quick, where we then decided to build the tension a little by having his Gran asleep and taking her time to answer the door.
The storyboard and animatic stages of pre-production are when the story is really decided on – the shots, the camera angles, how to tell the story visually… But it isn’t just the story that is locked at this stage – it is also very important in animation to know what each shot requires in terms of 3D models. There is no point in building, texturing and lighting an entire room if we only use one corner of it. We wanted to show how a storyboard can change – below you will see our very first ideas for laying out the scene, followed by our most recent (and locked) storyboard.
In this post we want to show you how not every idea that is pitched at the storyboard stage makes it into the final film – in this case it is the deleted snowball fight opening shot. Below are some shots and thumbnail sketches from this sequence:
The idea was to have a long sequence where we would introduce the children and show them having fun, before they got scared. Apart from the introductory nature, we also wanted to emphsise the big brother/young brother relationship between Clyde and Pete. By showing Clyde as the stronger, older brother, when Pete saves the day later on it would re-inforce the ‘young-brother-comes-good’ moment.
We have done a lot of talking about the artwork and modeling, but it’s important not to forget that at the heart of a film is story. We already have a fantastic story in The Fearsome Beastie. However, there is a difference between telling a story through a book, and laying that same story down on a timeline.
A rare photo opportunity! You can probably tell from the short sleeves and t-shirts that these photos were taken last summer – when we sat down for one of our first storyboard sessions.