Last year I had the opportunity to render a few storyboards for Sir Lenny Henry’s Three Little Birds ITV limited series and it proved to be a nice little respite from corporate motion graphics shenanigans. So any chance of delving into narrative is an opportunity I automatically am enthralled by.
This one was to essentially break down the more complex action sequences, and I ended up being placed on the project by the lovely producer Stella Nwimo, speaking to Yero Timi-Biu + Soren about their plans for the more involved scenes. Going through the script, expectations were laid out for certain scenarios, suggestions were traded and ultimately I got to work fleshing out composition and narrative.
The process of fleshing out composition via scamps before working on the actual frames has become the standard (it used to be the standard in the very embryonic stage of my career, but for some reason, I abandoned the process thinking it was an unneeded extra step). The arrogance of youth, as they say. The fact is working from scamps really helps to solidify process, composition, and idea in a thumbnail, without spending too much time trying to do the same thing full-frame.
As such, this project returned me to a great place with storyboarding, particularly film narrative-based storyboards. Advertising is cool, but it often involves drawing some smiling businesswomen or men, with mobile phones using apps and other Shutterstock-ery simulacrum. Fun, but often unfulfilling. Here you have a wider range of emotions to tap into, so these jobs tend to bring more to testing the pen.
Worked digitally with the Cintiq, and a shotlist (I believe this was provided to some degree, but likely were beats [can’t remember] but often I end up adding frames to ensure the narrative flows naturally, especially during complex, dynamic action sets.) For Episode 3, it was an involved, high-stakes football scrimmage at Leah’s workplace. For Episode 4, for the most part, was dangerous tailgating sequences.
The main thing was to make the action feel natural and kempt and allow composition and camera distance to carry the brunt of the aesthetic onus.
Usually, I like to give storyboards a polished finish with strong ink lines, but alas, with the amount of work needed and the timeframe, more scampy-type finishes were in order.
Check out some of the storyboards below:
Have you guys seen it yet on ITV? Let me know what you think and how the final scenes compare to the storyboards!
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