Behind The Storyboards of The Princess And The Frog – Part 2

Wee! The first official post of 2010!


And what better way to kick it off than the second part of my interview with Paul Briggs? You can find the first part of my interview with the ‘The Princess and The Frog’ story artist, here.

Enjoy Part 2 and don’t forget to click on the illustrations to get a better view of Paul’s awesome work!

What’s a ‘typical day’ for you as (current) Head of Story when you’re in production?

A typical day as a Head of Story is managing a team of Story Artists to help the Director get their vision up on screen.

That doesn’t mean I completely buy into it. In fact, I feel the biggest part of my job is always being honest and open in questioning and confirming what the Director wants. Together as the story team, we work really hard in supporting or challenging the idea that is being presented on the screen.

There’s also the scheduling side of it all, but that’s no fun!

Is there a process for assigning certain story artists a particular sequence to work on? Do you go with their strengths or is it the ‘luck of the draw’ for them?

We have some pretty incredible board artists at the studio that can do a wide range of scenes but most tend to gravitate to sequences that appeal to them more. So you want to assign sequences that people will have the most fun boarding.

You know you’re going to get incredible work from them but I always like to try and push people out of their comfort zone for a sequence or two. It really challenges them and forces them to keep their skills sharp and grow as a story artist.

The best artists are the ones that you can hand any sequence to and know you’re going to get something special back.

Click on image to enlarge.

Are feature boards still done with paper and pencil and set up in a story room? Or have things gone completely digital? What are your typical working tools?

You know it all depends on the artist. Some guys here still work on paper but a lot of us work digital now. Whatever makes you comfortable but also allows you the freedom to quickly sketch your ideas down and not become precious with them.

I normally work in Photoshop on a Cintiq and use another program to pitch in. When I’m boarding I actually limit myself to 2 custom brushes, 3 to 4 levels and only 4 different gray values (no color unless absolutely necessary to make a story point.) This limited palette forces me not to get caught up in all the bells and whistles.

I concentrate more on the just getting the idea down rather than a pretty drawing. We pitch all digital on screens that our boards are projected onto.

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