As we have sat down (or stood up) to discuss, scrutinise and analyse every decision in the cinematography and the narrative, we moved into developing the final storyboard that would allow us to jump in and create an animatic.
Initally after drawing down a rough plan for the setting and geographical space, we drew up the storyboards in chronological order then I added the shot direction notes such as the shot description, sound, animation and effects.
For example, in SHOT 1 below, the crane up was to infer to a voyeuristic perspective as we peek into the base, hence justifying our cinematography with the context of a secretive and forbidden setting. With the dry, dull tone, the sound remain mostly diegetic to keep the atmosphere consistent with the subtle satire. Attention to detail is a priority as we want to make the animation feel energetic (ironically!) and dynamic with sounds of the wind blowing the sand, the creaking of the outposts and the specific sounds of the truck. We aim to also use sound to highlight the time period, having notable 1950’s tunes playing with a graininess in the truck so that the sound is still part of the world’s logical diegesis. We also aim to ensure that there is no blocky movement and that every character and property is still reacting logically to the weather and terrain conditions.
We also took time to think about our editing style to ensure appropriate pacing with the 15 seconds. To keep things simple and make the action fluid with the continuity, shots will remain largely static for aesthetic purposes of the desolate setting and so that we can do shot-reverse-shots and match of action. This way, we establish continuity by showing each shot connect and also keeping the 180 degree rule understandable to the audience.
Interestingly, at one point we rather oddly over thought the positioning of the camera over the shoulder of each character during a shot-reverse-shot. In order to overcome this issue to keep within the staging of the camera positions, we took over the shoulder photos to connect them cinematically to keep an idea of the camera’s framing.
The last part of the storyboarding process to deciding on the final 5 seconds of credits. We wanted to collaborate the ending to infer to where the aliens are going and what happened in the end. For example, the alien is trying to hitch a ride using the soldier’s arm while another alien (showing there are more of them) is holding poker chips to assume they are heading to Vegas.