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:
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.
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.
A while back, I got called in to my good clients at DirecTV (now AT&T) to work on a spot for their Adworks campaign- a commercial about commercials! How funny! But really, it makes sense to make sure your advertising dollars aren’t going to waste, right? That’s why you hire ‘Ol Maxy, right? and then you use Adworks to make sure the Ads go in front of your target audience! Otherwise, well… see below!
Our Hero “Ad Man” runs from setting to setting, doing his best to sell product to the most unmatched of buyers- with very predictable results. But the laughs are an easy sell! Lol!
Here’s the boards! I hope you enjoy them, this is some of my finest work!
Here’s the final spot!!
Yup, no matter how hard you try, Gladys at the nursing home isn’t going to buy your reduced price Lamborghini. You just have to face facts!
This project was a little more extensive than most and we had time to board out some “B-Roll” if you will, with options for other shots to help sell up the humor a bit. It was all optional and really, at the end of the day, humor depends on the performance of the actors and more, so you do a lot of alternative takes to see what works best. But I did my part and boarded it out my best, to give it a fair shot at success. So, next up you’ll see some boards that are disjointed in continuity but will hopefully spur a neuron or two and make you chuckle. Enjoy!
I’ll leave out the specifics on what product/company these frames were advertising for; suffice to say, it was a collection of short spots of families and loved ones reflecting on the nature of their relationships (with some product placement tastefully featured in the periphery). Rather, Let’s consider these boards an example of how I really try to bring a sense of acting and characterization to my drawings- bringing forth a sense of deep human connection when called for. I think the work speaks for itself.
Just as often as I’m called upon do depict amazing action scenes, or elaborate fantastic worlds, I’m then called upon to draw a tender moment of kindness, or humor. That’s the world of Storyboarding Commercials- you draw everything and it’s thus I believe it’s the best artistic training ever. The work demands you never get too comfortable drawing the same thing every day- I draw vehicles, animals, people, places, animation, live action, humor, horror, sci-fi, and even in new media like VR! It’s a new challenge every day and I love it.
Earlier this year I had a blast working with the good people at BLIND on their amazing project: The Xbox “Scorpio” debut trailer. This officially introduced the world to the Xbox One X, and it’s always an honor to be included on such high-profile assignments. I’ve generously been given permission to show some of the storyboards I created for them- I think this is some of my best work!