Here’s another storyboarding assignment. This one, we were given a fable, and told to make a faithful modern interpretation of it. The rules were:
- The characters don’t have to be animals, but they must maintain the characteristics of the animals given.
- The story must be faithful in spirit and in moral to the original – no fractured fairy tales.
- It does not have to be slavish to the original dialogue, and there’s plenty of room for re-interpretation.
- Try to flesh the story out.
So I’m going to present my storyboards without comment, followed by the original fable prompt. Then I’ll talk about what worked and what didn’t.
Okay, got all that? Now here’s the original fable:
…so you can see, I wasn’t just needlessly misanthropic and cruel to my characters, it’s basically the backbone of the fable: “beware of sociopaths.”
So, what I think worked:
- The expressions generally are pretty good. I really like the Crow’s happy skipping around the office, and her drunken “I am a GREAT singer” stuff. The bit with her singing onstage also works well for me. I really feel for her, especially when she kisses him on the cheek.
- The Fox is sort of invisibly menacing for the most part, and it’s a constant question as to whether he’s a decent dude or not, up til the end, where he reveals himself to be moustache-twirlingly evil.
- The adaptation was faithful but not slavish. The bit of food that she had turned out to be the “Big Cheese” lottery ticket. The Fox tricking her to sing became her onstage at karaoke.
- The characterizations were WAY more fleshed out, and I like how they turned out. The Crow comes across as a total lonely heart (she sings friggin’ Total Eclipse of the Heart), and thus susceptible to flattery. The Fox, from his first panel of introduction, is a clear predator. Look at his body language with the sheep. He’s not physically intimidating, but he’s still got her on the defensive.
- Little motif things: the Fox hides his tail, but it appears and wags around when he’s being devious; the Fox is initially displayed as distorted and warped from the water cooler; the Fox is constantly framed with firey candles in the dinner scene, like the devil; when she first falls into the Fox’s trap, that fire has literally dug its way inside her (via the reflection in her eyes).
- Both songs (“Everyone’s Fool” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”) work well on a flavor/irony level.
- I just like the rumor that the Fox and the Hound were an item. Because I’m like five years old.
What I don’t think worked:
- It definitely needed some more beats around the karaoke scene, to establish that the lottery ticket is in the purse, and the purse is left on the table when she goes to the stage. As is, it’s confusing how he took her lottery ticket.
- I want an insert of the radio she’s listening to at the beginning.
- I want an insert of the 7-eleven sign when we first cut there.
- The final back-and-forth between them is too distant and staged – the Fox really needs to get in there and twist the knife.
- The art of the Crow gets inconsistent near the beginning and near the end – she’s too skinny or too puffy. It mirrors her mental state, so it kind of works in an oblique way, but it still bugs me.
- When she kisses him, the Crow is either not big enough, or the Fox is too big. Something wrong with their relative scales.
- The staging of her prancing around the office is kind of weird. She exits going left, then enters (falling into her chair) going right. Same with the Fox. A minor detail, but still kind of bleh.
I have (easily achievable!) ideas on how to make this even better, into a really good portfolio piece. As is, it’s pretty good, but with a couple tweaks, it’ll be close to great.
Oh, and the teacher really liked it. Asked for a copy, even. Yay!