Director Boris Hiestand brought a bold, clear vision for Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed! which has already earned him a BAA nomination for Best Children's series, and a top spot in CBBC ratings. Working with such fun characters and mad-cap action packed scripts, was lots of fun.
Storyboards were developed with a combination of drawn and CG elements that allowed us to push a cinematic approach to storytelling and create accurate boards for the CG pipeline. Of course, the greatest emphasis was on story and acting, fleshing out comedy and drama from the script. In this split screen clip from Freewheeling (below), you can see how Panel Forge was used to create production ready storyboards that closely matched the final framing in the animation.
For this scene from Super Paul (left), I heightened the dramatic tension of Dennis and the gang, stuck in a pie oven, with the dramatic lighting and frenetic movement of Dennis' torch.
While I worked out of my home studio, I worked closely with Boris, pitching the storyboards at block and drawn stage via skype and exploring visual ideas to further support the story.
We had a few homages to classic family films, such as Red and Black to the Future. I really made sure I did my homework for these episodes, studying the visual language of these films shot by shot and boiling these down to a few, hopefully memorable, moments for the adults. The temp music track in this episode gave me goose-bumps!
The colour clip of the same scene (below) shows the transition from storyboards to final animation. The quality that Boris Hiestand and his team at Jellyfish Animation delivered was incredible and seeing the storyboards evolve into final animation and enhanced at every stage was very rewarding.
Cinematic ambition was pushed to to it's limit in Dare Dennis, where the gang try to save an out of control Gnasher in a runaway supermarket trolly. This was one of those scenes I live for as a story artist, where the script, allowed for huge visual freedom in mapping out a fun chase sequence.
This colour clip of Dennis skating down a very steep hill in Dare Dennis, based on one of my storyboards, shows the transition from storyboards to final animation.