A couple years ago, I had a great time working on a series of spots for a very popular (in Korea) game called Lineage. The anthem spot was about a minute long and had lots of action and fun characters, and it’s the subject of this post.
The story goes- we find our hero protagonist “Bugbear” in the middle of a battlefield, who breaks the 4th Wall and calls out to us, the viewer, to witness he and his compatriots, with their powers combined, topple the evil Death Knight! Though victory may be short lived- that’s the law of the land around these parts. Witness!
And, here’s the final spot!
This spot had it all- fun characters, action, humor, sex appeal. I love the sense of escalation, and the the way the final product came out is just really awesome- you can really see the quality in the craftsmanship of the animators and designers. Such a great team! Here’s some cool detail shots before you go:
Here’s a very fun project I did a while back, that I’m excited to share- storyboards for the First 5 California “Brainy Birds” commercial, which was part of their Talk, Read, Sing! campaign. Basically: talk, read, and sing to your kids, and watch their little brains grow! What a fun message. And I can attest (I’m a new dad myself), kids soak up your words pretty quick, and you gotta watch what you say! Lol!!
There were a lot of challenges on this project- very tight timeline, multiple layers of client approval, and of course, character designs and music lyrics all undergoing revisions as I’m drawing the boards- sometimes it’s like trying to hit a moving target! But I’m used to it, so it never phases me. I still had fun with it, and I’m sure that comes through in my drawings. One particular storyboard issue when blending live action with animation, is whether or not the “animated” parts should be drawn differently from the “live action” parts- like how do you make the animated part of a shot look different from live action, when it’s all “drawn” by nature of the fact it’s a drawing to begin with? But in this case, only the bird characters were animated, so it’s wasn’t as much an issue. At some point, people have to use their imaginations.
I really enjoy working on animated projects as well, and drawing happy families for me is a snap, so even with all the known and unknown unknowns, I remember this being a fun project.
So, here’s some awesome storyboards I did for a video game commercial- a mobile game app called “Brave Frontier,” which is apparently very popular. I wish I had more time to play games myself! Jumped into this project and worked concurrently with some very talented concept artists and directors to establish a very cool look and mood for the piece.
In this commercial, we see two figures meet- on the sandblasted ruins of some ancient civilization- and they psyche each other out as they prepare to duel. They take turns evolving into more powerful forms of themselves, and summoning more allies, before the scale tips and they charge each other to fight! Here’s the boards.
It’s so fun to get to draw dramatic action, and I really liked the cool concept artwork the other artists were developing for the characters’ looks. Very inspiring. These are a little sketchier than I usually finish, but it worked, given the subject matter, and we didn’t have lots of time to polish anyway.
The final commercial, below, was certainly very true to the shots and compositions of storyboards- but at the risk of providing a personal opinion (which I always hesitate to do, as it is of little service to clients), I felt the final animation style was not as edgy as would have been better served to compliment the mood we sought- at least initially. There could have been any number of decisions made since my contribution, leading to the final product. As the storyboard artist, I’m one of the first in and first out, and things always evolve as the production continues.
Despite this, I had fun working on the project and I’m very proud of these drawings- I think they look cool!
In the early stages of my career (my “faking it” phase), I advertised my services on Craigslist and got involved with all kinds of fun projects that never amounted to anything.
I’m proud now to say that Lost Treasure Hunt, a project from those Craigslist days, has developed to a point that it has top-grade professional talent behind it, and has recently launched a Kickstarter that has just reached it’s funding goals. So proud.
Lost Treasure Hunt is about two precocious teenagers who sleuth for lost treasures using their profound knowledge of secret history and nifty spy gadgets. It’s designed to make learning history and science awesome by tying in all kinds of action and intrigue- and humor!
The creator of Lost Treasure Hunt, Matt Davis, is one of my fondest and earliest clients for storyboarding. I won’t show any of my drawings on the project yet, but later this year I might: The pilot episode of LTH should air in time for Columbus Day, and I’ll try and do a post to coincide. I helped to storyboard the LTH sizzle-animatic in one of it’s earliest incarnations, around 2007, so I’ve got plenty to show.
To learn more about this awesome project, check out the Kickstarter page link below, and read all about it. I really encourage you to contribute even a small amount- and as it has already reached it’s fundraising goal, I do believe you won’t be risking much, and you’ll have the self-satisfaction that accompanies knowing that you’ve helped improve impressionable young brains.
Here’s some storyboards I did a few years back- 2011 or thereabouts. Very humorous story- we see a young woman suffering from a sports injury apply a little BENGAY to the site of the pain- and we zoom in and provide a visual explanation of how the product works to cool and numb the affliction: millions of tiny snowmen bombard the sore muscles and knead them to relaxation, as a yeti ice-skates majestically and judges the ice-sculpting competition being held at an arctic research facility. That’s cold!
You’ll notice there’s a spot of color in these boards- that’s not something I’m usually asked to do, but sometimes it helps the boards read a bit better with these far-out concepts. Obviously, I didn’t have much time at all to color them, but did my best in the brief window they provided.
This was a cool project because of all the various artists that got involved to contribute ideas for character and set designs- I was involved very early in the process, and you can tell from the final product that a lot of work went into developing the animation and design work. See the final video below!
So, a while ago, I worked with a company that will remain nameless, to produce boards for a competitive pitch for a commercial for a cable company that shall remain nameless. Why all the namelessness? Well, in the end, we lost the pitch to a company that shall remain nameless. So all the hard work we did went down the drain… except, they’ve permitted me to use the boards for samples, and I’m proud of the work I did, so here we go!
The story here is, a father is tucking his son in at night, and the son asks, as sons often do, “Daddy, where does the internet come from?” From there, we follow the father’s narrative: The internet is made of tiny intelligent nanobot creatures that carry bits of data through a series of transport tubes and deposit them into our various electronic devices.
The father’s narrative was conceived as one long continuous following tracking shot that tags along with our hero nanobot along his helpful journey- we see him greet us, and carry his cargo through the vast halls and tunnels that run through his mighty universe of information depots (itunes, netflix) and interactive devices (tablets, smartphones). We also see a brief glimpse of the “competition,” DSL, represented in this spot as an exhibit in the Museum of Obsolete Technology. Catching up with our hero, he makes his way to the final destination- and deposits the infocube- and we are teleported back to the original bedroom setting, where the Dad bids his son good night, and turns off the light.
As you look through the boards (there are 48 frames in this sequence), I hope you will notice the real depth and richness of space that I’ve tried to create in this camera move. Whether the client did, I’ll never know…
Thanks for watching.
BTW, for the next month or so, I’ve schedule weekly monday morning storyboard updates to help distract you from work. My intent is to make the blog a little more regular in the weekly postings. Lets see how it goes!