Hey! sorry I didn’t respond so soon, I was a bit busy and didn’t have time to get on Tumblr these last couple days. Anyways, I’m just gonna dump a bunch of random stuff here in hopes that some of it gives you a better picture of how things work and what you need to think about.
first off, there was a post Dan Krall made a little while back I remember seeing and I think this is a good read for anyone trying to get in the business regardless of what you’re doing (story, vis dev, animation, etc). If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out!
his post pretty much covers in a better way what I’d say in terms of what you need to do to get a job.
I’m just basing the rest of this off your question which I interpreted as you having trouble just getting into storyboarding and improving in general. The bit about jobs I’ll leave to Dan’s article and other people to cover for now as I don’t want this to be a crazy man’s essay.
things to do or keep in mind. (In my humble opinion)
1) Lots of practice.
I didn’t really have a class that required me to storyboard anything until my 4th year at school. So I started pretty late as far as actually doing anything goes. But during my first semester 4th year, I was probably boarding a story every week. And during class my teacher would give us a bunch of random words and statements and make us board a story using them in 30 minutes. So in that aspect, my teacher really just helped me kick up a lot of work as well as got me more into a mode of being ready to just take whatever is given and run with it. I’d say this is something I’d recommend most people who want to get into boarding to try and do. I was talking with some other story artists at work who recalled doing similar things when training or in school and it’s pretty much unanimously hated. But just power through and force yourself to do it. It’s just like exercise!
Life drawing and studying movies is very good. I don’t do that stuff nearly as much as I should and I’m trying to get back to that. But keep in mind that all that stuff is only to help you with the concepts and practical parts. Practicing and boarding stuff on your own is what’s gonna make any of that stuff useful. There are great life drawers and great composition makers, but that’s not really all storyboarding is. I could go into more detail I guess but I think you’ll understand the more you do it. There’s more to it than just being able to draw a guy and knowing what a dutch angle is you know? There’s character and being able to make things entertaining and stuff.
2) Be as entertaining as you can.
Lots of boards, mine included have a habit of being kind of boring. And it’s kind of the challenge to make it interesting and entertaining. Don’t just board people talking, nobody wants to see 50 panels of you flipping back from one over the shoulder shot to the next. That kind of stuff is a good way to make someone looking at your stuff to tune out and glaze over your work. Always try to visually show things and don’t rely on dialogue to drive the story.
Don’t always stay with your first idea. It probably wasn’t the most original way to handle your problem. Try and always take some time to rethink things and usually you can come up with another more unique/interesting solution.
3) Be yourself
This is mainly my own opinion but personally, I think it’s a bad idea to go about trying to do something because you think that’s what will get you a job or whatever it is you’re trying to get. It’s a little… too ideal of a thought maybe. I understand the importance of getting a job or whatever. But I also feel like making things you would actually like to watch and things that mean something to you is the best way to get somewhere. I don’t mean do the opposite of what you think you’re supposed to do. Rather, don’t cater so much to what you think is gonna get you in. To me, that’s the easiest way to make something boring and I think it probably translates similarly to the people reviewing portfolios. Studios probably don’t want a watered down copy of what they’ve already got. You have different tastes and different ideas, and that’s what makes you special. Not everyone is gonna like your stuff and I think that’s totally fine. Don’t stress about it and don’t take it personal. The people who like what you do and what you have to offer are probably going to be the people you want to work with anyways.
4) Ask for help
I’ve found that asking people for opinions and advice can really help you get by obstacles and problems when you’re stuck. Getting a second and third opinion is always good. You’ll get ideas and insight you probably wouldn’t have thought of simply because you have a completely different brain now thinking about the same problem. Don’t hesitate just because you think it’s cheating or taking away from the work being yours.
It’s a fine line though so don’t go making changes for every suggestion. Learn to filter everything and decide which ideas work and which don’t. This is mainly important because with more opinions, the original idea can start to change and sometimes when you listen to too much advice you’ll find you lost something along the way that was kind of the soul of what you were going for. Just be careful for that. There’s lots of good ideas but not all of them are compatible. If you ask 10 people what they think about your work, there’s a strong temptation to take all the elements and ideas you liked from them and cram them into one thing. Turns out, it doesn’t usually work. Pick and choose.
hmmm…. that’s all I can think of right now. Sorry if it’s a bit long or if the thoughts are a bit vague and scattered. I’m still trying to figure stuff out myself but I hope some of that gibberish helped!
wooo! At last I’m all moved in to my new place in Burbank! Everything’s set up and I finally have internet again. I found some old photos I took from last summer and decided to draw silly doodles over some of them since I didn’t have the internet to entertain me.
just some character doodles I did a couple days ago. I’ve been lazy with the personal drawings but I’m starting to get back to it.
I love all the characters in this movie so much but Kylie is probably my favorite!
Oh, and hi all my new followers! You should be warned all my drawings look like this haha.
John finally put his online too! It’s about a corgi in a zombie apocalypse! So adorable!
My 4th year film at cal arts is now online!
A scorpion hating scorpion slaying mouse passes out in the desert, and finds himself revisiting his childhood days through a mirage. Our tiny nomad slowly remembers his origins, and what had shaped him the way he is now.
woooo! my roomie finally put up his film! Check it out guys!
I tried making the most stereotypical mexican I could while listening to the Gypsy Kings…
whoa, thanks! That means a lot, you’re too kind!
awww thanks! I was a bit nervous because it felt almost too simplified by the time I started production, but I’m glad you liked it!
Hey guys! Here’s my 4th year film! Thing’s I’ve learned while at school: Do your own thing and don’t get upset by all the awesome people around you. It’ll all work out!
edit: if you watch it in fullscreen the lines don’t look awful. I’m sorry, I don’t know why it’s like that :(