From drawing into film.

"Storyboards are always left till last after the cast is booked and the locations chosen. The director uses them to plan out the film's scenes; it's cheaper to do drawings than to go out and shoot immediately. The storyboard artist discusses the director and maps it out on paper.The artist has to think like the director, planning lots of angles (using lots of arrows to visualise where things go, considering the lighting (working out where light sources come from and deciding where the actors should be positioned. It's important to have a good idea of images through cameras and lenses, I found it helpful to have studied photography as well as fine art. An entire film can run into thousands of storyboard drawings, charting every scene. They are photocopied and circulated throughout the crew - the cameramen, designers, riggers,. producers. I work from location photographs to get an idea of how the setting will look. But generally I have only one image of something so I have to imagine it from all angles. Not all directors use storyboards however. Some express their ideas verbally. Others do not plot everything before they start work. " John Greaves, storyboard artist, The Independent, 18.2.92

Three Examples for further study

Glossary of the Storyboard

(a compilation of specimens of storyboards will be handed out at the lecture).

LS Long Shot
POV Point of View
Int/Ext Interior/Exterior
Process A process shot in front of a screen
CU Close Up
OS Off Screen
Obj Objective, not POV
Insert Scene to be added later

Compositional sketches for the film Chapayev , directed by the Vasilievs and camera man, Sigayev; from Vladimir Nilson, The Cinema as Graphic Art, Newnes, London undated c1935.


A) Hitchcock

A1. Family Plot, 1976, the cemetery scene A2 North by Northwest, 1959, the Mount Rushmore sequence.

B) Others

B1 Good Fellas , Scorcese, the director's own drawing for the photographer.
B2 Bonfire of the Vanities , de Palma's computer generated storyboard.
B3 Citizen Kane , Welles, the correspondence between the storyboard and the film.
B4 Bladerunner , Ridley Scott, from drawing to film.
B5 Drowning by Numbers , Greenaway, an artist's use of drawings.
B6 Gone with the Wind

C) Other material

C1 Winsor McCay, Gertie the Dinosaur , 1905.

C2 Winsor McCay, Little Nemo 1905/7 film material on McCay from documentary Pioneers of Animation .


1. storyboard by Thomas J.Wright for the cemetery scene for Family Plot , the pursuit of Mrs. Maloney by Lumley.

2. Mentor Huebner storyboard for art director Robert Boyle on North by Northwest
the climactic scene on Mount Rushmore.

3. Title sequence for Walk on the Wild Side, storyboarded and designed by Saul Bass (from Contemporary Masterpieces , St James Press London 1991.

4. directors using storyboards,Welles (Kane ) Martin Scorcese (Good Fellas ) Jacques Tati (Monsieur Hulot) and Brian de Palma (Bonfire of the Vanities )




Edward Carrick, Designing for Film, Studio London 1949

Edward Carrick, Art and Design in the British Film , Dobson London 1949.

R.Myerscough-Walker, Stage and Film Decor, Pitman London 1940.

Eric Barnouw, The Magician and the Cinema, OUP Oxford 1981.

John Fell, Film and the Narrative Tradition, Univ. of Oklahoma 1986.

Karel Rerisz, et al., The Technique of Film Editing , Focal Press London 1959.

Vladimir Nilsen, The Cinema as a Graphic Art, Newnes London undated.

Edward Maeder et al., Hollywood and History, Costume Design in Film, Thames & Hudson London 1987.


Donald Spoto, The Art of Alfred Hitchcock, Hopkinson and Blake NY 1976

W.Rothman, Hitchcock, the Murderous Gaze , Harvard Mass 1982.

F.Truffaut, The Complete Hitchcock, Paladin London 1986.

Thompson and Christie, Scorcese on Scorcese , Faber and Faber London 1989, storyboard for Taxi Driver.