:15 Campy Color Females Humor Pitch Boards Products Storyboarding Tips and Tricks Uncategorized

Ingenuity – Quick Simple Color

This is a quick job that needed 3 spots boarded, with COLOR, in half a day!  Of course, I’m used to needing to draw quickly, but color usually really slows things down.  Of course, being a great storyboard artist is all about adapting and turning weaknesses into strengths, and of course, being the total zen master, it’s all just flow anyway.

That’s mostly BS but there is some truth to the notion that when you are challenged with something that seems impossible, you start to think outside the box.  I knew that my normal approach wouldn’t work, so, what kind of approach could?  Since the nature of the spot didn’t require perfect color, that meant I could take a risk and try something new- and while I don’t really disclose techniques in this blog, i believe the frames speak for themselves when I say, this different approach turned out great.  In this job, you really have to be able to use every trick in book, and then some.

If you look at the frames, I’ve managed to color them without coloring the whole image- leaving lots of white space in reserve as “highlights” and then as just negative space, worked out really well in this context.  Saved a ton of time this way, and still looks good!  Of course, the humorous, non-serious nature of the spots was compatible with this approach- but I wouldn’t be able to use this technique on just any project.

You might also notice- I recycled some of the poses!  I had to, to save time.  When your job is only 4 hours long, every minute counts.  Oh, you didn’t notice?  Neither did the client.  Not that it’s unreasonable to recycle art when the client puts an unreasonable deadline in front of you.  You get what you pay for!  But in general, I nearly never recycle drawings 🙂

To provide some context for the boards, the spots involve a “mystery” to be solved, when a friend comes over, and helps her forgetful buddy remember what chore/product she was using moments before.  Simple and Silly.  Here’s the boards.

Done and done.  See you next time!

:30 Action Animation Color Pitch Boards Set Design Shoot Boards Tech Tips and Tricks

Top Secret Commercial

Here’s kind of a funny notion- a commercial that’s top secret while you’re working on it, and barely disclosed as it airs, and you can’t even guess whether or not you even contributed towards it.  How fun!  Well, I drew the following boards, and the following commercial was aired shortly after, and that’s about all I know.   You might think you know even less, but, you probably don’t!

I doubt I need to spell out the challenges of working on a project in which you – A:) Know nothing about the product or company itself; B:) Can only guess if any other competitors are bidding on the same project; and C:) after the fact, searching for the final aired commercial, and finding no clear trail to trace back to anything you drew, nor to any known competitors of your clients.

Did I work on this commercial?  Was it all a dream? Well, it’s on youtube, and resembles my drawings.   Your guess is as good as mine.

If it makes you feel any better, the projects for Major Brand Names are like 1000x more secretive.  Sleep well. LOL!


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Star Wars Lego – Commercial Pitch

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A long time ago, in a studio far far away- I drew up some storyboards for a Star Wars TFA / Legos teaser-style commercial!  Its a lot of fun to draw Star Wars stuff, and like everyone else on the planet, I was very excited about the new films coming out.  So I’m super happy that these boards turned out so great!

So the concept is pretty simple; it had to be, since the details of the movie where still very secret while we were working on this pitch. With a very cinematic, true-to-the-source/directing style approach, we create a tension and build the action as something unseen is pounding at the pod bay doors and we see a squad of stormtroopers converge in anticipation of something powerful breaking through.  Boom!  The doors blast open and inside is something- very small!  Lego star wars characters!  The main Hero lineup is there, ready for action, and they charge through and chase away the stormtroopers.  Classic misdirection.

Here’s the boards:


I had two days to put these boards together and I think they look great- there’s a great cinematic feel to them and somehow I managed to use some colorization photo effects in photoshop to quickly add some effective color treatments.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the job, but it was a fun project!

See you next time,


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Corona “New Can” Storyboards

This is one of my favorite recent projects- a great concept, flawless execution, and I got to have a lot of creative input.

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The concept is really simple- a Corona can is situated in a dreamlike beach scene, and transforms into a palm tree, and from that palm tree sprouts another palm tree and between them appears a hammock, and upon the sand beyond it we see shadows of a man relaxing in that hammock, invisibly- and then the scene transforms into a transistor radio, and nearby shadows of people playing beach volleyball are visible, having fun together, and a ball is knocked into scene, and we follow that ball, and the ball transforms into a grill and chair and umbrella setup, and then that transforms into a sailboat cutting across the seas, and that transforms back into the Corona can, all in a single unbroken camera move.

Wait, that’s not simple.  That’s ridiculously complex and difficult!  But I love a challenge, and I have a pretty good mind for this kinda stuff- moving the camera around in 3d space and whatnot.  I also do a pretty good job of making animatic frames, and basically, this thing was right in my wheelhouse.  There were a lot of minor revisions, I’ll admit, but the boards were strong from the get-go and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

I colored these boards quickly with the help of another artist Sean Streeter, who was freelancing at the studio on another project and finished early, so I roped him in to help on this one.  I’m grateful for his help on it, and he’s really talented artist, here’s his website:

On with the boards!

And here’s the final spot:

So proud of everyone who worked on this spot and made it look absolutely perfect!  See you next week!

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Olay “Red Carpet”

Another fun awards-season spot.  Seems like I had a bunch this year.  This was a fun concept- highly stylized shots of woman’s night preparing to walk the red carpet- shot in reverse- so we reveal the secret to her glamorous beauty- Olay Regenerist face cream!

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This spot was highly developed by the director, a very talented artist in his own right, and he provided very tight style frames that I referenced directly (not traced, but drew from reference) to achieve his vision.  So the polish on these is pretty high, but I still drew them quickly.  Drawing from reference is EASY, you see.

What else… oh yeah: Red accents thoughout helped to reinforce the branding!  And, this was another spot that had levels upon levels of executive approval needed- Olay, E, the Academy, all had to weigh in and approve, and they did.

The boards look great:


And the spot looks great- you’ll have to scroll down on their website to find it; or you can take my word, it looks great:

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Another one done.  See ya next week!

:30 Color Females Kids Samples Storyboarding Toys

Disney Princess Fash’ems Storyboards

Every little girl is destined to grow up to be a beautiful princess and play with their princess friends.  Better get ’em training early!  Best way I know how is to give ’em the latest princess toy craze: Disney Princess Fash’ems!

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Fash’ems are unlike any other doll toy out there- as they have the amazing ability to FASH! As in, swap their fashion accessories.  Also, they “squish.”  Just like REAL PRINCESSES!!!

I’ve storyboarded doz’ems of these kinds of commercials.  There’s kind of a formula for any toy meant for children under 8.  It goes something like this:

  • Establishing Wide (3 kids, mixed ethnicity, usually around a table, parent sometimes in deep background)
  • Crash Zoom/Mid shot on kids playing with Toy
  • Product Lockup/Lineup and/or Graphic Title
  • Mid shot more playing
  • Closeup Toy – Special Action
  • Closeup kid’s face (reaction- LOVES toy)
  • Closeup ACCESSORY
  • Two-shot; Two kids trade ACCESSORIES
  • Closeup: Two Toys as kids play
  • Closeup – Kids faces REACT to awesome play
  • Midshot/wide – Kids having a blast with toys
  • End Product Island/Graphic Lockup

The specific arrangements are always some variation on the above.  Here’s the boards.

And here’s the final spot!

Gotta Fash’em all!