Storyboarding Workshops: Mapping out Words and Space

Storyboarding Workshop

Over the last few weeks the Ties to the Tay group has been meeting in order to discuss and develop our storyboards for filming various short stories and poems from the wonderful Watermarks collection.

In many ways storyboards provide a ‘map’ for plotting out where scenes will be filmed, the chronology of images, how these match with text (or not in some cases!) and what audio may also accompany the visual components, especially in relation to emphasizing particular sentiments or associations with characters and settings.

In essence, storyboards provide a helpful tool for planning out filming and what comes next. They also help to transform the written word into, well, a visual and audio world!

During our discussions, one of the things we’ve explored is the ways in which visual Storyboarding Funimages provide a shorthand for whole sections of written text–and also the ways in which certain events, histories, and perspectives can be hinted at through the perspective of the camera (or multiple cameras). A good example of the latter is shown in the short clip below–where the narrator discusses angles and the use of perspective in terms of how the viewer determines their relationship with central characters.




In terms of documenting how we imagine the films to take shape, we had a diverse range of approaches taken, including collage, dialogue and animation.

Storyboarding Draft 1

Storyboard design by Bet McCallum.

This diversity provided further fuel for thinking about the key elements of the stories and what parts could be adapted further.

storyboarding image 2

Storyboard design by Bet McCallum.

University of Dundee Archives

University of Dundee Archives

Along with moving images, we have also been investigating the use of still photographs and relevant pictures held in local archives, such as the University of Dundee Archives, which host a wide range of material, including photographs, manuscripts and maps.

This investigation has led to fascinating discoveries including hidden histories and geographies of local institutions, such as St. Ronan’s home for unmarried girls in Dundee–the setting for one of the stories.

So there’s lots of activity going on, with our next storyboarding meeting in a few days, and the scheduling of our next set of soon-to-commence filming days–where there will be lots of “Lights, Camera, Action!”

And, in the very near future, the Nethergate Writers can be seen and heard at the Dundee Literary Festival at 5.30pm on Saturday 25 October in Bonar Hall (on the University of Dundee campus)–please come along and enjoy!


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