A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Storyboard Q&A : 03

I found a question and answer from a while back that had never been posted. Here it is:

What's your take on showing depth and perspective vs. straight on and flat composition? I certainly like dynamic composition where the camera's a bit lower and things aren't totally symmetrical, but sometimes composing things right in the middle of the frame and at eye level can be really powerful.

I'm still trying to figure out how these things interact. Any thoughts?


Four things to talk about here:
  1. Deep space
  2. Flat space
  3. Symmetry
  4. Asymmetry
Deep space is what's most familiar and common in movies, with flat space being more of a stylistic and/or deliberate choice. Most directors by nature do not film things in flat space or use symmetrical staging/composition. Many of you who read this blog are familiar with the work of Wes Anderson, who uses almost exclusively flat space staging (I have posted a number of screenshots from his films here) and limited space staging (combinations of flat and deep space).


This is a stylistic choice because the majority of his films are shot this way. The Royal Tenenbaums is told as if it were a storybook, thus the flat/limited space. Parts of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon were shot to represent the paintings of the time and used zoom lenses (which are flat, since everything in the frame moves proportionally to the camera lens) instead of push ins and pull outs. The Shining uses deep space but has a lot of symmetry in its shots, a really interesting combination of visual elements. Tenenbaums' shots often are the opposite, flat and asymmetrical.

Deliberate usage of flat and/or symmetrical staging can be used as counterpoint or for emphasis in a film that is predominantly deep or limited space.

The reverse is true as in the fight scene in Barry Lyndon -- the handheld moving camera really creates a jarring feeling compared to the static camerawork that surrounds it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Updating Rose and Isabel

I'm in the middle of preparing the Rose and Isabel books to be printed in their new compiled version. Along the way I'm making a few cosmetic changes, one of which is reducing all the text by one point to give the panels a little more breathing room.

In the panel below, I shrank the word balloon to find I had completely drawn Isabel's hand underneath. I decided to re-frame it and draw it out a bit to show the hand. The tones in R&I are going to get a bit of tweaking as well. I changed the tones on Izzy to be in better continuity with the rest of the page (the original tones were to reflect her dark mood, but I feel her attitude already shows that). Not terribly exciting stuff, but it's great to get back into the old artwork again.

old panel:


new panel:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rose and Isabel Page on Facebook

I'll be posting updates, photos and inspirational tidbits to a new Rose and Isabel Facebook page starting today. The new page will now post to your News Feed, which wasn't happening with the current R&I Group. Check it out for the latest updates!

R&I on Facebook

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

ROSE and ISABEL TPB - Coming Soon

In my discussion with printers regarding a reprint of R&I part 2, it didn't take long to see that a small print run of new Part 2 books was going to be cost prohibitive (since the former printer is the one with the plates). 500 copies would be the minimum to keep the price down and since there's fewer than 100 copies of part 1 left, I'd have to go back to print for that book too. It's kind of like the hot dogs to hot dog buns ratio thing; you'll always have more of one than the other.

What I've decided to do instead is put together a collected edition. I'm in the process of making some cosmetic fixes to the pages and fixing some continuity. The plan right now is to have the TPB go to print in early January 2010 and be available in February.
The TPB will be a square-bound softcover and will make its debut at the Emerald City Comic-Con in March (online orders will be available before that).

I'll post more details about the TPB and other projects soon.