Will the Internet Bite You in the Ass?

Geez, I hope not.

It hasn’t bit me yet. *knocks wood*

Google me. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

See? Just boring storyboard blog stuff.

No drunken photos of me licking people’s faces, making obscene gestures or my leg draped around strange men.

No videos of me lip syncing to AC/DC, swilling beer or screaming curse words.

No sirree.

All that stuff is safely tucked away in photo albums and video tapes on my bookshelf.

Right where they should be.

That they are only on my bookshelf is one of the benefits of being an old fart. No camera phones and YouTube when I was in my twenties.

Thank friggin’ gawd.

Well now that I’ve opened myself up for my friends to post my dirty laundry on Facebook, I’ll get to the point.

What would happen if I Googled you?

Because you know, that’s what bosses do these days. And Human Resources people. And your co-workers.

Just something to think about.

I bring this up because of a little thing that happened to someone I know. He’s a storyboard artist too.

We’ll call him Mr. X (because I’m so damn original).

Turns out Mr. X was the subject of a post on some fairly famous comic book artist’s blog recently. (At least I think he’s fairly famous. I’m not really up on my ‘famous comic book artists’.)

Anyway, Famous Comic Artist Guy found the online portfolio of Mr. X. And lo and behold, it had some of his old storyboard drawings on it. Apparently Famous Comic Artist Guy used to do storyboards too.

So he called out Mr. X in his post and people left all sorts of nasty comments about Mr. X because he was passing off this guy’s work as his own.

On the Internet.

Pretty dumb, huh?

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The Shot Tells the Story: The Wall-E Wrap Up

All images © 2008 Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures.

Yes, I’m alive.

Sorry for the delay in this last post, but I was having one of those craptastic weeks where you want to curl up in a ball, shut down your blog and feel like you suck at the very thing you’re trying to teach people about.

But I’m better now.

Much better. And I won’t be shutting down anything, thank you very much. : )

So back to business and Wall-E and all that fun stuff.

This is a bonus post to the long ass series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ where I used the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. You can find all the links to the breakdowns of the six shots I discussed in the introduction post.

For this post, I wanted to grab a short sequence and take it shot by shot, exactly how it is in the movie. That was easier said than done because even a short sequence could end up making a mega-long post.

So a few things to keep in mind.

First off, this doesn’t start at the beginning of the sequence. I started a little further in. So there are no really wide shots straight off the bat. There’s only one and it’s later on. You wouldn’t start a sequence like this without going wider sooner, OK?

And I only grabbed one frame for each scene. It would have been nice to see more, but it was getting way too long.

This means looking at the shots the way I have them, there appears to be some jump cuts and stuff. There really aren’t because in some of the shots, Wall-E ended up leaving the shot at the end. So it’s a kind of ‘condensed version’ of the sequence.

But that’s OK because this is really all about the shots and not the action or anything.

Cool? Good.

So let’s see a full sequence and what the shots are saying.

(And see if all of my previous posts made any sense or not.)

“Oh, there they are.” Here we have a Long Shot. This is in the middle of montage-type sequence so it stays on these for a while.

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The Extreme Close-Up: Dissecting Wall-E

All images © 2008 Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures.

Well, I’m still busy, busy, busy as a storyboard supervisor and being all drunk with power and stuff.

*clears throat*

But anyhoo, here we are! The final post of this long-ass Wall-E series known as ‘The Shot Tells the Story’. As usual, you can find the rest of the shots here in the introduction post.

Actually, there might be one more wrap-up post. Because I thought it would be fun to string the shots together. Don’t ya think?

We find ourselves at the Extreme Close-Up. You can guess what this shot looks like. It’s a Close-Up.

A really close, Close-Up.

In the last post on the Close-Up, I told you that getting close like that is very intimate. It’s getting very up close and personal with your character or subject matter.

So you’d think with the Extreme Close-Up it would be super-duper-intimate, right?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

It can be super intimate or it can just be a very useful information tool. It depends what you’re showing and why. I find it to be much more of an information-teller myself. Because to me this shot says:

“You need to see this and ONLY this.”

In this shot, nothing else matters but the subject matter. And it’s usually going to be a particular part of that subject matter. Backgrounds are unimportant (or unrecognizable) in the Extreme Close-Up.

It’s all about one particular thing. One particular part of your character. The eyes. A hand. The mouth.

This is when it can be a super-intimate shot.

Pair an Extreme Close-Up with a pair of eyes and a voice saying, “I love you.” or of a mouth saying, “I hate you.” and you’ve got yourself a pretty intense moment there.

Sidenote: One of my biggest pet peeves is the ‘one-eye shot’. I guess it comes from looking at too many student films (usually in Anime style) that tried to use it to be all deep and stuff. Ugh. It never worked. If there is no good reason for showing just one eye. DON’T.

The only exception is if you work on ‘Lost’. They use one-eye shots and I love them. Because I love ‘Lost’. So the ‘Lost’ guys are off the hook from my rant. Thank you.

On the other hand, if you’re showing an object, the Extreme Close-Up is a very effective information-giver. This is when you’re really telling the audience, “You need to see this and ONLY this.”

This is the one shot that can really save your butt in the ‘don’t lose your audience’ department. Using this shot in the right place keeps your audience informed. It keeps them comfortable. They have all the information they need.

Let’s take an even closer look at the Extreme Close-Up and what information the shot provides.

“Look, I press this button and to make the conveyor move.”

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