This Is No "Jump Cut"; Jeff DeGrandis Tells All!


Jeff DeGrandis of DreamWorks Animation (formerly producer and director of "Dora the Explorer" at Nickelodeon) spent Sunday, February 23, with 18 eager-to-absorb-his-knowledge students of the animated film. From 12 years of age up to some in their 30s, Jeff laid it all out for them. Here's some of what he had to say:


"Once the script is written for a film or animation, the next step is to make a storyboard. The storyboard is a series of drawn panels, which visually tells the story of the animation as clear as it possibly can, sort of like a comic book. Though not entirely mandatory, storyboarding is one of those aspects of filmmaking that takes your film from the deep, dank, and dark recesses of your imagination and brings it to life.


"The storyboard becomes a visual script, letting you see action of the characters, dialogue, acting, transitions, background layout / locations and camera planning. In my opinion, storyboarding is one of the most exciting parts of producing an animated picture. You’re the cameraman, actor, set designer and planner. As a storyboard artist, you are the first person to visually layout the picture."


At the end of the 5 hour session (they did break for lunch in case you were thinking otherwise), everyone left with a new found sense of accomplishment and all were eager to take their new perspective on the importance of storyboarding and apply it to their own projects. Thank you Jeff for your amazing talent!


Photos by Stephen Russo.