Monday, July 29, 2019

Original Animation Storyboards: ALF Episode 144007, Act 1, "Birdman of Melmac"

Here's some fun stuff: I'm scanning original storyboard pages (not the either 8.5x11 0r 8.5x 14, but the original 11x17 page). My goal is to archive this work and spread it around because I think these pages are really good. These pages were done of ALF episode 144007, "The Birdman of Melmac". It's a rare and special thing to have original artwork from TV animation production; usually the animation studio keeps it, later to be disposed of unceremoniously (as in, placed in the dumpster).
I don't know why I have these pages; I had assumed, until this morning when I was organizing my storyboard copies for impending bulk-scanning, that these were cut pages. Checking the board copies I discovered that all of these pages were used in the board-as-shipped. I can't imagine why I have them; excellent, stunning and superb as they are, they're no better than countless  pages that I DON'T have. Just you wait; y'all are in for an on-going treat!
 I roughed all of these pages out, to be cleaned by other artists. At the time, in 1987, the Animated ALF production crew had 3 or 4 dedicated clean-up artists that it was my job to keep busy. The only one who's name I can recall off hand is Paul Wee, who has risen to obscurity working for the past 20 or so years on The Simpsons.
To be honest, I have no idea what the actual episode looks like. I don't know how this storyboard translated to the finished product. Looking at it from 32 years later, I can' image it turned out well; I didn't give the overseas animators and layout crew enough information. For instance, I'm calling for a bg slide in the background, but haven't drawn anything to be slid, just the notation and downward pointing arrows.

This is fun; I was visualizing aviation fighter sequences and trying to storyboard it in this sequence.
Again, I can't imagine how this turned out, on-screen. I'll have to make an effort to find out.

Not enough information in scene 21;  this needs at least 3 more poses to play out properly. For instance, do the animating speed lines continue after Gordon grabs Harry by the feet? Or did the grab already happen off-camera in scene 20?  If so, why are there speed lines, since Harry's forward motion has been abruptly halted?

This isn't as bad, staging-wise, as it appear. Thor, the titular Birdman was introduce in scenes 1 through 12. I don't have the originals to those pages, so am not posting them now. You'll have to wait to see them until I do the bulk scan of the copy-board.

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