Do You Know How Many Hoops A Storyboard Has to Jump Through?

I sure didn’t, and the answer surprised me. The snapshot below is taken from the storyboard for the Adventure Time episode “Guardians of Sunshine” which was recently posted over on the Frederator Blogs. Study it for a minute before continuing.

Guardians of Sunshine Approval boxesYup, that’s nine steps in total before the episode goes into actual production. Is it too many or too little, I don’t know. Although being on a mainstream network, I’d say that this is about as complicated as you can get before crossing over into feature films.

Of course, smaller and independent works won’t have near the same number of steps but it certainly struck me that just the storyboard alone would have to go through so many levels of approval just to get into production. It’s certainly another sign of the complexities of animation!

2 Comments on “Do You Know How Many Hoops A Storyboard Has to Jump Through?

  1. Storyboards are important. With TV shows, where the actual animation is often done overseas, it’s especially crucial to make sure that all the preliminary work is as close as possible to what the final product should be, since there’s limited time and money for going back and correcting mistakes and miscommunications. But even when that’s not the case, storyboards are still your best shot at working out what the finished product is going to be and fixing problems without putting in all the time and effort that actual animation requires and potentially losing it when it turns out that a scene isn’t working in the story.

    Before Lilo and Stitch came out, I remember telling my then-boyfriend/now-husband that I’d just heard about how the filmmakers were spending a year working on nothing but the storyboards so that the boards would be as clse as possible to the final film and the amount of animation that didn’t make it into the movie would be minimized. He looked at me and said “You mean they don’t do that with every film?”

    For the record, there were still scenes cut from Lilo and Stitch that made it as far as pencil tests.

    • Exactly right, for animation, getting the boards right is essential. I was just amused at how many steps they go through 🙂

      Walt Disney seemed to believe in them too, he even boarded his live-action films to make sure they would look right before they started filming!

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