Saturday, March 8, 2008

Storyboard the Sky with Hallam Foe

I love art. I go to museums and gallery showings when I can, and truly appreciate those who can paint draw or sketch as I have absolutely zero artistic talent. I have several friends are blessed with the ability to draw, and I was talking recently with one who is in school and having to do storyboards for a project. This reminded me of a post on the original Hallam Foe blog about storyboarding where Colin wrote about this process by saying "They say 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and it has long been a feeling of mine that the reverse is also true, a word is worth a thousand pictures, books might not be so popular if that weren't true. This can obviously be a problem though when you want everyone to be thinking of the same picture. Cue the storyboard."

As in all of the films of David's I've seen, I've always been so, so impressed with several of his beautiful landscape shots. Almost without fail in every review of the Hallam Foe film, his visuals got kudos. From what I gather, these storyboards only provided the platform for the careful thought and planning that went into each of these scenes, as a lot had to be abandoned for the actual shooting. But still, it was cool to look at these storyboards now after having seen the film, to see how precisely things were planned in advance, right down to Hallam creeping over Edinburgh and then comparing it to the wonderful work David and all the camera crews did. The storyboard artist, Derek Grey has his own website where he posted some of the perilous clambering over the rooftops down to peer into Kate's skylight and its very cool stuff indeed.(great additional artwork and caricatures on the site as well!)

While I was on the artist's site, I did see something which was an unexpected bonus: artwork he did for the upcoming Rounding Up Donkeys, the second in the Advance Party trilogy after "Red Road." While I probably shouldn't be writing about this as it was a glimpse into a scene and a bit more insight of the lead character, it involves the use of a balloon and a shot the director wants in homage to the great Fellini. Now La Dolce Vita is a classic and one of my favorites, so this impressed me this effort by Morag Mckinnon, to put these subtle touches in the film, and I think this bodes well for the overall outcome of Donkeys...or at least I hope! Now my true knowledge of films is mediocre I think for being a supposed fan of films and certainly not nearly at the level I wish it was, so I cant be completely certain which scene these storyboards and scene it was supposed to invoke, I cant but help think of the classic (and imo sad) clown scene in La Dolce Vita.

However when I think of balloons, I will forever think of one of two things. Many people release balloons at weddings these days, but my memories are of a friend who passed away when we were children, and perhaps it seems weird (too much like Levon by Elton John) but we let go balloons at her funeral -kinda like she was in a happier place. While we were all in such grief at her sudden passing, it seemed the thing to do and just fit. The other association I have in my head about balloons and films was of the very first short film I remember studying and seeing many years ago called The Red Balloon. I think this is still considered a classic and a wonderful piece of film. Regardless if this type of planning and thought (ie homage to Fellini) is being put into the Rounding up Donkeys film, I think this is an excellent sign.

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