“[A good artist is] one with imagination and the ability to tell a good story. How well a man draws cuts no ice with me, if what he’s trying to express comes out vague and choppy.” ‐ Jack Kirby
(Sherman cited in Morrow (ED.) 2004, (vol.1) p. 181).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Scale" storyboarding example: Star Wars Opening Scene

In a short space of time, the opening sequence of Star Wars sets up two very important things within 1 main "Establishing shot": One, it dramatically establishes the "setting" of the story- Space. Two, it creates an instant "good guy/bad guy" scenario- empathy for one over the other, simply through the use of "scale". The small ship is dwarfed by the massive ship in pursuit, creating an underdog scenario, simply by sheer size.

It is also a great example of composition and perspective, as the simple planet setting aligns within the eye-pleasing "Rule of Thirds" concept, and depth is created by strong utilization of perspective. We forget that our screen is a 2D surface, and yet we are drawn into this 3D world and story.

A comic book penciler in particular uses scale to create depth, and where applicable to story, empathy and impact, such as Walt Simonson's "Thor" #380, where the usually massive Thor is dwarfed by the Midgard Serpent in a battle taking place in a series of full page spreads.

Oh, and a nice thing about this clip? No CGI aliens cluttering the screen! Thanks for not touching this bit, Lucas ;P

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