On "The King and the Pawn's" pre-production phase. I worked in visual development, storyboarding, and animatic editing. Along with all this, this was my first phase as director, in which I managed crew, consulted creative decisions, and guided the development of story and character.
Visual Development - Silhouettes
VisDev started off with exploring character silhouettes to get the feel and style of the character. I started with David. Through these explorations, I found that round and smaller character shapes fit our character the best.
Next, I moved on to Harold. With Harold, I basically tried to go for the opposite of what I did with David, I went with larger and more rectangular shapes for the character. In the end, the group seems to gravitate towards that shape.
Visual Development - Action Poses
Putting our characters in action poses was probably my favorite part of vis dev. Showing the active nature of David really helped the animators and me, as a story artist.
Harold was a lot of fun as well. He was always very stoic in my mind, so when we were challenged to give him poses, I really got to finally get creative with him. I also ended up doing a lot of these "busy-man" poses as a director.
Visual Development - Chess World
Next, I tried out some visual development on the style of the Chess World. I really enjoyed figuring out how to make a black and white enviromment look lively and childlike. Small bits of color was an amazing addition in my opinion. This isn't what we ended up going with and I lament what could have been, but I do love what we ended up with.
Here are the close to final designs I had for the characters. Fun fact, we had these locked down before pre-production even started. The explorations were mainly to see if we could find anything else that worked.
My biggest and most favorite role on the film was my work on the story. I worked with my team and basic ideas of the story and narrowed down the specifics with my story team. When we were translating things to the animatic, I worked on the middle of the film. I studied numerous montage sequences and films to get capture David's improvement in chess and the relationship with his father.
Here is my section of the final animatic! I've learned a lot through making this. One of my favorite shots is when David is maneuvering through the chess pieces after he's mastered the game.