Thursday, June 18, 2009

Editing & Pacing

A couple longer in-class exercises: the first of which broke the students into groups of four, and each group was assigned a portion of a scenario to illustrate on index cards with Sharpies:
"An astronaut launches his rocket, lands on the moon and plants a flag. He returns home to much fanfare then realizes he has come to the wrong planet."
Each individual student (they work out the division of tasks as far as which particular sequence they each cover) draws six panels, each on a seperate index card. This gets everyone talking and plotting the pacing and delivery of each moment, plugging plot holes and addressing overlaps.

Then each group tacked up their respective section on the wall where we studied the results of their storytelling choices: usually with the first reading some kinks are uncovered; this led into each student from each group (now assigned to a different portion of the story) adding three to five additional panels to further tighten up or pace out the unfolding narrative.

Lastly, we discussed how to contract the narrative into the bare minimum of panels needed to still tell the same story; editing is hand-in-glove with determining the successful structure of any narrative - what's taken out and how can be almost as important as what's left in. Around ninety index cards were distilled down to a core of six:

Also each student illustrated, using primarily images with minimal if any text, this scenario:
"You wake up and realize you have overslept and are now late for class. You rush out of your home towards school only to discover that it's Sunday."
Six panels each were drawn on a seperate sheets of paper with Sharpies, and the completed sets are collected and posted up for comparison & contrast with discussions on how to improve. There's always an amazing range of diversity in stylistic solutions to the problems of how to illustrate the events, and it's one of the funnier assignments because of the personal insights we get on what folks each think being late looks like.

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