Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Storyboard Comparison-
"The Curious Quartet"

Presenting the first of MOTUMovie.com's storyboard sequence comparisons! I figured what better way to start than with one of my favorite scenes from the film- The introduction of Skeletor's warriors!

What makes this one extra neat is the fact that the storyboard for this sequence was handled by William Stout, the film's production designer! Here's his original setup for the sequence-

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Stout makes note of "makeshift electrical overrides" in his intro, alluding to the fact that Skeletor and his crew have had to convert this room in Castle Grayskull to their own purposes.

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The opening board has the viewscreen dominating most of the shot. Take note of Stout's breakdown of character placement, especially the "quartet".

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The scene from the film mirrors Stout's board almost exactly. Karg and company are visible in this shot, which you may have missed when viewing the film.

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The next board shows a comm tech making adjustments in his crane-like pod. The shot in the film is pretty close here, but actually takes place before the viewscreen shot.

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Stout describes the zooming shots on the viewscreen as "powers of 10" on these storyboards, meaning the camera is homing in on the key's location by degrees of 10.

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The next board shows a scene not featured in the film. Instead of Skeletor merely doing a voice over for the "that's close enough" line, the scene originally shows Skeletor speaking this line in view of the camera. Evil-Lyn would have also reacted in shock, now knowing that Skeletor had glided up beside her.

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We quickly shift back to the viewscreen, where the "powers of 10" has come to a stop. Red arrows illuminate the key's position. This shot is replicated almost exactly in the film, though the zooming sequence is uninterrupted by the Skeletor shot in the final version.

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Next, the storyboards show Skeletor striding towards the screen, fixated on the image and ignoring Evil-Lyn. This scene does not appear in the film, though the placement of the characters is the same as in later shots from this sequence-

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Skeletor stares at the screen in the next shot. This scene is also not present in the film, though the staging is the same as another shot later in the sequence. In the film, Skeletor only stares at the image for a brief moment before turning to Evil-Lyn and inquiring on the status of the mercenaries.

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The introduction of the mercenaries flows a bit differently in the storyboards than it does in the film. Originally, Skeletor would have addressed them directly instead of Evil-Lyn introducing them. Skeletor's turn towards the henchman is still present in the movie, though he is now accompanied by Evil-Lyn (who now provides the dialogue).

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Though not quite as shadowed as they were in the storyboard, the introducing shot of the mercenaries is pretty close in the film version. The main difference is the order in which the characters are placed. The storyboards have a different sequence of introduction than the film, so the characters were switched around to reflect this change.

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The boards show Skeletor addressing Karg first, while the film has Evil-Lyn introducing Blade initially.

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Karg moves into the light from the group shot in response to Skeletor in the storyboards, while he is actually introduced last in the film. Each of the mercenaries "walk into the light" in the film, though they are isolated solo shots instead of moving forward from a group.

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Next up is Blade, who is actually the first introduced in the movie.

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Lastly, Beastman and Saurod are introduced. Though the board shows both lighted at once, the intention was for each to come forward separately as seen in the film.

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The closing storyboard of the sequence has Skeletor giving command of the expedition to Karg, while the film shows a panning shot of Skeletor addressing the group as a whole. It's interesting to see Karg's importance in these boards, as the film does seem to show him in command of the mercenaries, but doesn't explain it to this degree.

Hope you enjoyed this first one! More to come!

-James

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