From Script to Screen | OGR 2


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  1. OGR 09/02/2017

    Hi Mike,

    Okay - it's all more engaging now because the changes to the structure. I have to admit to still feeling largely underwhelmed by your story - in large part because you have no ending really. The detective discovers the crime and then we hear the understudy running away - The End. I can't help feeling that your story needs to run on past this moment. Maybe your story actually begins at the point where the detective and the understudy are talking on the edge of a tall-building; she's in silhouette, the detective is saying 'Why? Why did you do it?' or something like that. Then, we begin again where your script begins - and the story plays out; then at the end we get back to the scene on London Bridge or wherever - the detective says 'Why? Why did you do it?' The understudy says 'because I'm the real star of the show' - and he says something like 'But you've ruined everything! Your career is over!' and she shakes her said and says 'I'll always be the star!' - at which point she jumps off... cut to newspaper headline with a glam photo of the understudy 'Sensation! Murderess in Suicide Shock' - and that camera tracks in and, Norman Bates-like we see that in the photo the actress is smiling to herself, as if to say 'See? Everyone is talking about me now...' I just think you don't have a story at the moment, you just have an event. Asking a few more questions about who your understudy is and what her motives are gives you a bit more, and suddenly you've got more than a series of events.

    So, let's have a chat now about 'style creep' - why is it that all your characters have 'Oyster-Boy' eyes, as Tim Burton has parachuted into give your own designs a make-over? I don't see how this is coming 'from' your story world, rather it is an imposition on your story world from a style that is otherwise 'off the peg'. I'd like to see you developing something less beholden. These are nice enough drawings, but they're stuck wearing masks that do not truly belong to you or this story arguably. As it's a dark little story, maybe look at the tradition of the Victorian Penny Dreadfuls for some inspiration:

    You could still operate in a sort of pen and ink 'scratchy' and expressionistic way (as hinted at by those Burton eyes), but there would at least be a relationship between your story-world and your art direction that belong to each other. Just in terms of tone and mood, you might want to check this out by a former CAA student: great stuff!

    So - you're obviously a bit behind, but I'm pushing you to deal with the problems in your story and to consider your visual concept in a much more context-derived way. In terms of storyboarding, you'll need to ensure this is moody, noir-ish, and engaging - I do think that perhaps something as stylised as Tom's Dorian Gray - as monochromatic and 'cross-hatched' as those Victorian sensationalist stories, the Penny Dreadfuls, will serve your purposes effectively.

  2. I definitely agree with what you said about the script. Your suggestions have really helped me give motive and context to everything.

    The way I made the characters is generally how I feel comfortable drawing but I should definitely push myself more to create a world that feels more unique and in-context to the story. Do you suggest changing the art style entirely or instead incorporating aspects from the Penny Dreadful illustrations like the scratchiness to give texture, the high contrast in shadow and the facial features/expressions?