Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deadwood Storyboard Thubmnails

After CTN, I've wanted to work on stuff for my storyboard portfolio, but I've been having a hard time with it. Working on the Myst comic is so much easier for some reason. Something about working on pieces that are just for job applications leaves me feeling poopy. So I'm trying to get back to fundamentals ... what do I like about storyboarding? Why do I want to do it? I decided to do some studies from films ... and not just "great" films ... but films I enjoy. What are MY favorite things? What do I want to learn from? Those are the questions I'm trying to ask myself. 

Some of the films/shows I like: Deadwood, Arrested Development, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Sweeny Todd, In the Loop, The Thick of it, the Office, anything Studio Ghibli, Classic Disney, Pixar. 

So I decided to do an exercise where I thumbnailed from scene from something I like. I chose Deadwood. I found this clip online:

I used Snapz Pro to record a quicktime of it, which I can then easily scrub through. Then I drew these thumnails. 

Oh man, I love Deadwood. In this scene alone, there are so many delicious little details. I just love the acting. Some of my various thoughts:
  1. It was fun drawing the very small. Drawing small forces me to really just think about the most important parts. Like on the first page, when Al is taking off his shoes, he has his back to the camera, but the way his legs/arms are positioned it's clear what he's doing. 
  2. I love the glazed look in his eyes when he's talking about the past, or just arguing in his head. Drawing the eyes slightly apart is so simple, but has a big impact. 
  3. When he's saying you can't be like 'a boy with his thumb in his mouth' (makes the gesture), no you gotta be a grown fucking man" the distant look, the veracity of it ... it really feels like he's been told that many times in his life! I love it when characters argue with voices in their heads, repeating things they've been told. 
  4. When he's unbuttoning his undergarment, the position of the shoulders shows you how far he's gone down.
  5. A big part of the energy in Swearengen's face is from those eyebrows. He often keeps them way up in a surprised look, even if his eyelids are still pretty low. When his eyebrows do drop it feels pretty dramatic. Really looks angry.
  6. When he says "No! I don't look fucking back, I do what I have to do and go on" The way he whips his head back and forth, I just liked that. Feels more defensive than declarative. 
  7. Then his expression totally changes to surprise and he says "whoa, whoa, whoa" to the woman who's giving him a blowjob (too quickly for his taste). So funny.
  8. When he says "did you know that behind the orphanage she ran a whore house", and he looks at her for a response ... he puts his tongue in his cheek. That's a hard expression to render, but I really liked it. I hope I get to use that someday. 
  9. The look of digust on his face when he talks about "mrs. anderson", the woman who ran the orphanage. He's got all those wrinkles, when he looks disgusted and all those lines scrunch up on his face, it really reads. 
  10. When he says "Fat.Fucking.Mrs.Anderson" his expression goes real big.
  11. I love how he laughs a bit when he's talking about the fact that he didn't even get to count the the money his mother gave him before mrs. anderson took it. The cruelty of it is so absurd, he's laughing at it. 
  12. After that he's rubbing the woman's back as he's describing having to give over the money, the "7 dollars and 60 odd something cents" ... he's rubbing her back. Seems like a mollifying behavior for him more than anything for her.
  13. When he's breathing heavy, his jaw is pushed out. 
  14. His final "you can spit it out, you don't have to swallow" that line feels great. One, it's him doing something "nice" after being so horrible. But it's also like ... 'you don't have to swallow all the stuff I've just said" better to spit it out and not hold onto it. All that painful stuff about being abandoned and having to be a man. He doesn't want to swallow it either. 

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