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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Research 4.2

Case Study: Brandon J Wallace

I have an appreciation for storyboarding, especially as someone who is a fan of animation.

A while back I came across this a short interview with a story artist from Aardman, for the film Early Man. I knew little about it, only that it was a big deal in the process of developing the film or visual story and its almost like a direction for the camera. I had seen many sections of storyboarding but to be honest, heard little from people talking about the process and what is involved. This interview I found really easy to digest, and as a fan of Aardman was really fascinated to see the kind of boards are created to help bring a script to life.

From storyboarding, I could see the close connections the style had with graphic novels, comic books and Manga. When editing the story sequence to make sense, visually the boards are basically a comic. I feel as though both areas are about creating key frames that best fit the action, story or dialogue. The difference being the added details in storyboarding perhaps giving direction on how the camera will pan, or frame a scene, i.e camera pans from left to right.

This part of the course is definitely something I hope to learn more about, not only through research of my own but from materials provided by the OCA. By doing the work and diving deeper in to the visual story telling realm.

We start this journey with Brandon J Wallace, and his use of storyboarding to improve composition.

It's a great idea to look through existing films as a way to improve on composition. Some of the greatest directors, storyboarding, designers, editors and many more are involved with creating films, the teams are huge. Each frame is very well planned and thought about in a way that best tells the story. Lighting, angles, colours etc play a huge part in how the story is portrayed. They only ever show what needs to be seen, and deliberately show them in a particular crops that will emphasis the story and emotion. The same can be said for animation, which probably takes twice as much work behind the scenes to make sure every shot is impactful and important to the story. Reflecting on the works that are hugely available to us, is such a key part to learning, observing scene changes, camera views and how they frame a scene so that it can move your attention where they want it to be. It creates mood, it keeps an audience engaged and it makes a story easy to follow. You can learn to understand why directors, film makers, script writers make the decisions they make. You have limited time to tell a story well, how did they do it?

Brandon has selected a few films, quite important films in terms of history and impact. He selects a scene and draws each cut or change in shot, building up a storyboard of the key frames. It's quite pleasing to the eye when seeing a page of thumbnails from a film, and seeing how many changes are made in a single scene is fascinating.

As so many elements are considered in a final shot, using them as research and inspiration is a valuable source. Not only for use of storyboarding, but breaking down the shot for the lighting, and even down to the details in colours. As mentioned by Brandon when recreating a storyboard from Get Me Out, the colour blue seemed to be an important element in the way the story was being told. It gave a change in the atmosphere of the story, and portrayed a change in the timeline, a flashback as such.

I've thought of using films to help better improve my design in layouts for storytelling before, but never really did it. Brandon has definitely inspired this, and I look forward to trying this practise myself.



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