Storyboarding, or the act of breaking a story down into individual panels (think like a comic strip), has always fascinated me. It’s a reminder that the sweeping story that floods past you is actually created from all of these individual frames, stitched together. And, in movies, somebody like Jennifer Yuh Nelson has the job of figuring out what to put in that sequence.
In this interview, Nelson describes the act of storyboarding as “Where you make your mistakes.” She might know where a scene begins or ends, or maybe just what happens in the middle, but it’s only in iterating via the storyboard that she works out what’s really going on.
It’s a concept that will rhyme with any professional work. Everything flows one way in real-time, but it’s also always divisible to some point. How we break things up to practice them, and how we play with the ways they present is a massive skill to hone. Watching a master like Nelson discuss her craft is just. so. damn. cool.
Thanks to Josh Spector for flagging this. Enjoy!