Friday, March 12, 2010

Shootboards for Dave

A while back Lief suggested I post a few shootboards I had done over the years for my cousin David Straiton who is a director in LA. I am at the moment in animatic limbo waiting for client approval on roughs so I thought I would oblige him.

I actually got out of the shootboard thing a few years ago, but David occasionally asks that I help him out. He's a pleasure to work with. Very professional, knows what he wants and expects input from the artist, which helps to reduce the grunt factor. He's directed a variety of TV series including Enterprise, Heroes, Angel, Charmed and House. Its quite a list.

This first example was for a pilot called '2 Kings' which was shot in Toronto but never made it to air.

The next set is from a series called 'Standoff'. I remember when I drew this it felt awkward...not for ethical or moral reasons (I lost those years ago), but because I hadn't drawn a gun totin' dude since I was a kid in elementary school. The only things the people I draw are usually holding are bottles of beer or Immodium.

This last set is from 'House'. As I remember, this was one of the first episodes David was to direct (I think he's directed a total of 10) and he wanted to make sure his producers understood his take on the opening 'teaser'.

I'm still hoping that someday David will finally accept a feature length directing gig for some expensive period piece that has airplanes in it, the prerequisite elements that would persuade me to really get back into shootboards. (Sorry, David. That was presumptuous of me. I'm sure Bruckheimer would have someone else in mind.)
Anyway...hope you enjoyed this. If that big flick ever comes my way, I'll be sure to post the boards.

Richard Row


  1. Rich; These boards look terrific! I'd love it if you told us a little more about the nuts and bolts... how much time do you typically have to do a shooting board for David? And how long do you spend per frame?

    I think most of us would rather draw guys shooting guns than eating cereal... why exactly did you get out of this sort of stuff (and how did you get into it in the first place?)

    Thanks so much for finally posting this stuff - very inspiring and really interesting!

  2. Thanks, Leif.

    I remember when I used to do shootboards on a regular basis, the meeting with the director seemed to take longer than it would to draw up the frames. That's essentially why I stopped doing them. When producing a shootboard there are a lot more restrictive pre-determined factors to angle, set, cast, choreography, being a few.

    With agency work, I get to play director. Its a hell of a lot easier when an AD simply emails a script and says tell this story with pretty pictures. And the money's better.

    Don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy producing shootboards. The problem solving can be rewarding and I usually don't have to spend more than 10/15 minutes per frame. (I think your average civilian understands them better as well. Trying to explain agency boards seems to take forever.) But, as some of you can attest, making money trumps fun.

  3. Nice work Richard.
    I never really understood what a shooting board was.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Rich; you know, I can completely relate - those meetings with the director were a tedious part of the process on the few occasions when I've done shooting boards, but once we had established a relationship, they were pretty good about trusting me to work long distance. Still, I do know what you mean about getting to play director when you do agency boards... I enjoy that aspect as well. And I had to smirk at your frankness about money trumping fun. Hah.

  5. These look great! I think the best shooting boards look like they were done effortlessly.