October 6, 2017 at 5:16AM


Direct Before You Shoot: The Art of Storyboarding Master Class with David Russell

Hi there,

My name is Tobias, and I’m an independent filmmaker and devoted reader of NFS. First off, I need to thank all of you for your amazing work on both the podcast and the website. NFS has played an essential part in my development as a filmmaker, not only creatively, but also by making me feel part of a community – it goes a long way knowing you’re not alone.

Aside from expressing my appreciation, I’m also writing to shine a light on a very special seminar that I was lucky to attend about two weeks ago. The seminar is called: Direct Before You Shoot: The Art of Storyboarding Master Class with David Russell.

David Russell is an acclaimed storyboard and conceptual artist, credited on cinema masterpieces such as; Return of the Jedi; Batman (1989); Moulin Rouge; The Color Purple; Terminator 2: Judgment Day, just to name a few. Check out his imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0751096/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2

For two day, this master artist went into the far depths of everything pre-visualization: the origin of storyboarding; formatting; compositing; lighting; color, and much more.

One of the most exciting subject matters – for me personally – was the process of translating a script into storyboards, and how storyboarding can help early in the writing process by revealing weaknesses in your story.

An extract from David Russell’s official website: dynamicimagesdr.com
“An expert analysis of the visual planning process, this Master Class teaches how to design powerful and dynamic film imagery that connects with its intended audiences. It provides an insider look at how a script can be enhanced through creative storyboarding, and how this critical tool is used by celebrated film directors to realize exactly the film they envision. The class is designed for professionals and students in the fields of directing, storyboarding, and pre-visualization. It offers a practical set of techniques that can strengthen each filmmaker's storytelling ability.”
See dynamicimagesdr.com, MASTER CLASS, https://www.dynamicimagesdr.com/master-class

At the end of the second day, David brings up storyboards created by members of the audience and analyzes them in front of the whole crowd. Now bear in mind, I’m not a drawer in any way, shape, or form. I can hardly draw a stick figure without making it look like it has bent bone dysplasia syndrome. But here it makes no difference; it’s all about the telling of the story. I learned more about shot selection than I did during my entire time at film school – both from a technical and emotional standpoint.

Whether you’re a cinematographer, director, or anything in between, I highly recommend everyone that’s interested in enhancing their storytelling technics to keep their eyes out for this class. The art of storyboarding has a voice, and the voice belongs to David Russell.

All the best

Tobias Ohlsson

1 Comment

Born August 20, 1958 in New York, in the family of a Jew Bernard Russell and Italian Maria. The father of the boy was executive director of sales at the Simon & Schuster Printing Publishing House. After graduation, David entered a prestigious college, which he subsequently graduated with a diploma in political science. The first directorial works were two short films of 1987 and 1990. The first full-fledged picture was released at the Russian box office in 1994 under the name “Emancipation”. This black comedy was created by Russell in his own script. The original name of the film comes from a slang expression denoting the process of masturbation, and the plot of the picture includes a piquant incest scene between mother and son. The main male role in the film was played by aspiring actor Jeremy Davis, for whom the role in the film was only the second acting job in his career. The film caused a stormy and controversial response from critics, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Independent Spirit award for Best Screenwriting Debut, and was awarded the Audience Choice Award.

June 23, 2020 at 11:18AM


Your Comment