Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And So It Begins

About a week and a half ago, I sat down with my sketchbook and started doodling some character design ideas for the mime. I knew I wanted to have the same basic overall shape from the mime in my original storyboards, but I didn't fall on an idea that really made me go, "Yes! That's the way!"

I dropped it for the time being while I disappeared for a week to attend QuakeCon '08. I figure, if nothing else, the character will - at least partially - develop itself in the storyboarding stage.

However, before moving on to storyboards, I wanted to do things properly and do what is called a "beat board" first. A beat board essentially presents the major points - or "beats" - of the story. After sitting down with the Mime and Lion joke for a few minutes, I broke down the story into these beats:

  • A Mime is performing at the zoo
  • The Mime is caught performing without a permit by the Zoo Manager
  • The Mime and the Zoo Manager talk "monkey business"
  • Life as a gorilla is working out great for the Mime
  • People eventually get tired of the gorilla and begin paying attention to the Lion in the next enclosure
  • The Mime sneaks into the enclosure and pesters the Lion - the crowds go nuts.
  • One day the Mime falls onto the ground and is chased by the Lion
  • The Lion pounces on the Mime and pins him
  • The Lion is revealed to be another man in a costume
Of course, there are several more beats in the story, but these are the ones that hold it together. I can go in and flesh out the other beats later if I want, but for the sake of preventing things from getting out of hand, I'm taking things one step at a time.

After some work, I produced these beat boards:

The nice thing, I realized, is that I can use these puppies as my color script by just coloring them in Photoshop.

Now that's what I call economizing.

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