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Thursday, May 21, 2015

"A Fight Scene...What Was The Most Expedient!"

A composite shot of the scene...
I am still working, as a storyboard artist, on a feature film project in St. Francisville, Louisiana. At
times, it can get pretty intense even though the deadlines are pretty much self determining between me, the cinematographer and the director. Thankfully, there's no drop dead deadlines, like there are in the advertising world.

A friend asked me if I was drawing all of these key frames (establishing shots) from out of my head and without any scrap. The answer, pretty much, is yes. And, it is exhausting, for me, to do so.  But, we spent three days shooting location shots in and around southeast and central Louisiana, so I do have photos to work from. But, in classic art direction form, the angle always seems to have a need to be changed. 
In one scene, there's a fight that culminates in an old sugar cane factory in Plaquemine, LA. It's pretty cool place to walk around in, and, at the same time, it's a real death trap, if you're not watching where you are walking. As it happened, one photo wasn't enough and the angle was not to the director's liking. So, I cut and pasted two photos and then, in Photoshop, warped them, to fit in perspective... kinda!

I spent way too much time trying to draw two guys fighting. I thought, my wife loved the movie,"The Ouiet Man" with all the John Ford regulars, and as it always seemed to be in his movies, there's always a great fight scene. ( I needed the bad guy to fall back when he is punched, dangerously close to the hole in the steel floor.) 

So, I Googled it and there was an almost perfect shot of John Wayne taking it to the actor, Victor McLaglen. So, I drew it from that shot, scanned it into the computer, and pasted it into the scene.

The final comp... for now!

The scene needed some definition by moving lights and darks.
Later, I redrew, actually traced, the entire layout, with all the changes and then, added rays of artificial light. The finished piece with sketches, pasteup, retracing, and final comp was completed, in  about four hours.
Copyright 2015/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, May 4, 2015

"Okay, That's A Bit Over The Top, But"...

Atchafalaya Spillway...
I really have been remiss in keeping with my original intent. That is, to sketch everyday and post whatever I can that isn't an embarrassment to my "reputation" as a great American illustrator.

Okay, that's a bit over the top, but you know what I mean. Somedays you are hyper sensitive to every line you put down, and it, many times, looks worse than a mindless and aimless doodle you create between beers.

I can't explain it. I stopped trying to, long ago.

Anyway, I decided to post some "thumbnail" sketches that I'm doing for a film being shot in and around the city of St. Francisville and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before investing any more time, ink and paper to show my interpretation of just what the director is thinking, I draw these quickies before I go and do another round of sketches in a larger size.

The director swears she can't visualize thumbnails, so these drawings are for me to formulate an approach.
Fireside hug...
We aren't even a tenth of the way through the script, and I've completed about ten large pencil sketches, ( legal size ) and eight color finals, which I complete on the computer. To get to that point, I've done, already, about fifty thumbnails that vary from 1"x2" to 2"x 6".

Here's a few samples...

Copyright 2015/Ben Bensen III