Storyboards from the animated short film Napoleon gets a Ticket.



Storyboarding is the first step in making any animated film. Since animation is such a difficult, life-consuming process, storyboarding gives the film-maker the opportunity to efficiently plan a film before starting production. There is nothing worse then telling your amazing, patient girlfriend that you are gonna miss date night because you didn’t anticipate how long Napoleon’s hair was gonna take to groom. This is the first time the story is developed visually therefore playing a vital role in determining the final cinematic language. For production planning purposes approved storyboards allow a coordinator to break-down what assets will need to be created, build a production schedule, and calculate the non-existent budget for the film. Most importantly it allows the film-maker to see the building blocks of the story in a sequential fashion. The decisions made during the storyboarding process carry through the rest of the project. So it is important to take the time and refine the boards as much as possible. In the end you and whatever sanity you have left will thank you.


For The Ticket I worked with Alexander Curtis, a talented layout artist, to create the storyboards. In CG its easy to get too free with camera movements which can be disorienting to the viewer. Nothing is worse then a nausea inducing CG camera not matter how dynamic it is. I made it clear in the beginning to treat the camera as if we we’re shooting live action. I also asked Alex to focus on telling the story from a limited front-on perspective as much as possible. In addition to giving the camera work a stylized feel, it also limited the amount of assets which needed to be created to tell the story. Shallow depth of field was built-in from the beginning as a compositional tool for separating the characters from the background. It also creates a sense of intimacy with the character. Close-ups with long focal lengths were used to achieve this. These were mixed with wider shots to establish the environment and give more room for the characters to move around in. Please enjoy the initial storyboards for my film The Ticket.