If I had to explain my role as a Storyboard Supervisor
I'd resume it as "to make the story BETTER!"
But of course, a supervisor don't do it alone. We count on the talent of our colleagues as much as our own.
So toghether we find the best way to convey the story and get rid of anything that stands in it's way.
Bellow are some feedback I'd give when supervising for these two shows:
This is one feedback I gave to an artist thumbnails
He was very familiar with the show and did an amazing job! Just a few words suficed for this stage
But the good thing about the thumbnail is that if it goes otherwise it's easy to fix and set artist on the right direction.
This is an example where we had a begginer artist and lots of things had to change.
Another cases where we needed significant changes
As you can see, we had to flip the first staging to respect the 180º rule. Then, there was a lot of things happening at the second shot without proper spacing of information. More than that, the story was about a character who was expecting a letter, but his friend received instead. There was a lot of focus on a gag, but not as much on the feeling of the character.
So, first we added an open shot to locate the scene (and was a recurrent shot when the mail bird arrived). Then a POV closing in the main character where we see him longing for the mail. However, we cut to his back and see the bird passing through him then connecting to a reverse shot where it delivers the mail to his friends. We cut close to the main character to see him desolated, then a mid shot of his friend receiving a letter. Instead of a close up as the artist suggested, we wanted to be on the protagonist shoes, half distant from the scene; the letter his friend received was not relevant, but the feeling of being forgotten. Finally, we open to a shot with the bird leaving the ship.
This was a simpler one, from the same episode. The main character had to feel abandoned for no one remembered his birthday. So, when we open the shot, we're not only stablishing the characters location but also his distance from his friends.
Then, the artist made one of the characters comming in the foreground responding but with his back to whom he was adressing. I like that idea but it didn't worked for this moment, specially with the way the actor recorded the line. So, we kept that character's head on the foreground since the beggining of the shot and cut to his answer. The answer was distant so we see him kind of distant, and even colder was that other character who would deliver the line and leave screen next. So we merged both shots keeping their distances related to the feeling they represented.
Now, the last character would deliver her line which would raise the main character's hope. We go close to her but not too close, a medium shot. Then we see him closer to screen, happy again, and cut back to her on the same distance to extend that hope a few seconds more before breaking it. However, she wasn't talking about him but about her new book, and she express her excitement by hugging it. We cut back to the main character, alone in the center of the screen framed by the door, sad but conformed. Then we cut back to his friends and the story goes on...
One thing that I like to keep in mind is that the story was assigned to an artist whom we trust and worked hard to deliver his best ideas. So rather than erasing his/her voice and imposing mine, I prefere to try making the idea work before bringing something completelly new.
In this case, I gave examples and explained the concept then left for the artist to decide how to do it
(the text translates: Show the 2 trees, complete the action, then show the reaction, finally restablish the distance)
This was a late story change requested by the client.
I had to quickly come up with the plot and pass it to the board artist. But still, I opted not to frame the thumbs to allow more freedom for the artist when boarding.
Of course, there are times when there is no time
The amount of freedom I give depends on the schedule and on the board artist's affinity with the show and style
By the second half of Dino Adventure's production, we were delivering two episodes a week so the most relevant part of my work happened either on direct talk or text.
"making the story better" is virtually endless while production time is not. I believe that a key value for a storyboard supervisor is making the best out what is available. Limitations can come in many ways: time, budget, episode duration, technical stuff, team members...
it's our job to turn those limitations into creativity fuel.
There's much more I wish to say, and would gladly do so if you'd be interested, but I've already dragged enough for now.
Thank you for your time :)
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