Tuesday, June 30, 2009


While working at Big Idea I had the opportunity to work with Tod Carter- an amazingly bright and talented story artist. When he was working out a sequence for a video title Tod often used simple little thumbnail sketches. He'd cram 10 or more shots onto a single piece of paper, no formal board templates or anything. While these were intended as first pass rough sketches, more than a few times the thumb boards were so clear and functional they just scanned those, blew them up and cut them into the edit- no full clean up board needed. I'm sure it helped story development to move faster (saving money & time- two very important things in the world of lower budgets), but whether I was animating, supervising or directing I never felt like we were getting short-changed in the process. The thumbs were clear and they gave us plenty to work with.

That made a big impact on me because I'm always intimidated by the act of drawing. I can draw all day long (and even do OK at it), but the moment the drawing becomes "serious" or needs to be on par with some arbitrary skill level I just shut down. So thumb-boards work perfectly for me. I've boarded a number of films and projects the same way over the years. Quick, rough and simple. Like everything else about this project, immediacy, speed and simplicity are the goals.

As you can see, the drawing is utterly lacking professional skill. But they don't need to be fancy or amazing. I'm not out to impress anybody. The drawings just need to be clear. 

I've been trying to keep my Twitter account updated with things as I move along.


Herman Gonzales said...

I've noticed you do lose the Umph of the thumbnail when you try to copy it again. Yeah Def. better using the original blown up. cool K,
>>>> keep on rockin

Graham Ross said...

Keep it goin' man ;)

Gavino said...

Cool Frijoles!..Keep on doing your do Keith..

BTW (by the way) Out of curiosity..what did RT stand for on your twitter conversation with Raychase?

Keith Lango said...

Thanks. I'll keep slugging away as best I can.

Ended up "RT" mean "re-tweet". I guess it's basically quoting someone else's tweet in order to pass it along to you cadre of followers. Apparently it's also considered some form of honor in the tweet-iverse. What do I know? heh

Brian Horgan said...

I can't agree that 'the drawing is utterly lacking professional skill'

The are clear, easy to read, and convey the intention in a straightforward way. I'd be happy if I could achieve this in my own drawings ;)


Peter Hon said...

Man, I've missed this place sooo much. Great to see you're thumbs up, Keith. I always loved the less is more approach, since it lets you play around with ideas more without diddling with details.