Saturday, April 11, 2015

Disco Worms - Storyboards

My original task on "Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms" was doing storyboards together with my old friend and colleague (and former roommate) Kim Hagen. In this case we boarded the entire film together, with Kim doing almost two thirds of the footage. (As it happened, in 2007 Kim and I seemed to be the only ones left of the "old guard" of Danish animation who were still actually drawing for a living.)

Kim had been part of the initial development of the movie, and was working on his second sequence when I arrived. His first sequence, where Barry finds his dad's old disco record (Disco Inferno by the Trammps), was already in animation, so for the rest of the production we were pretty much playing a game of catch-up with the animators. What's more, since I soon started squandering all my regular working hours engulfed in the character design process together with the 3D modelers, I had to spend every evening, weekend and holiday at the drawing desk, trying to complete my boards.

Figuring out how these spine- and arm-less creatures got about their daily tasks was an interesting challenge. And where there's a will there's a way - apparently you can't keep a good worm down!

These are some of my early boards on the movie. In the sequence below Barry and his best friend Tito are walking home from their first rehearsal with the newly formed disco band. Barry is upbeat as always, Tito more sceptical about his new life in the limelight.

Let's continue straight into the next sequence. After leaving Tito, Barry comes home, high on his visions of great disco stardom, only to find out that his band has been rejected for the great song contest of their subterranean society - ostensibly due to blatant insect racism towards worms!

Here's the animatic of the first sequence of Barry and Tito walking home (the dialogue is the original Danish track). At the end it was edited a bit differently than originally boarded, because the actor added some funny improvised dialogue for Tito as Barry keeps squeezing him: "Eeh... okay... you're welcome... (pause) It's okay for you to let go now." It came out quite funny.

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