90 sec Storyreel V1

As already indicated in my prevoius post I went back to rework the storyboard.

In fact I ended up rewriting the script as well, although only slightly.

My approach now is the following: work through the book ‘Directing the Story’ and thereby improving the storyboard and storytelling of Ara’s Tale.  Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it ?

Well, again, some important lessons can be learned here:

  1. Only because stuff from a book is evident, immediately understandable and and quite simply true, does not necessarily imply, that the skills shown there are also immediately available just by reading it.
  2. It is important (again) to know what you want, what the end result should look like.

These two topics are an always recurring theme in this project. In this case I fully understand and grasp all the aspects given so far in ‘Directing the Story’. So much that I enthusiastically dived into adapting the script (relatively simple) and reworking the storyboard. And there showed the lack of experience and skill to get the result I had in mind. This again distracted from the actual goal – telling a story.

It is very easy to get carried away getting the drawings good and feeling pleased with oneself if one storyboard sheet has turned out particularly well. This tends to give a false reward and lets you forget the real goal. Even if the drawing is good – you have to force yourself to judge it in the context of the story – and abandon it if it doesn’t work.

This is hard, even frustrating sometimes, but that is the experience where skill is gained eventually.

But I am getting somewhere and in the end it is still a satisfying experience.

And as a side note its very interesting to observe the evolution of the whole project. It all started with the idea for a still, which led to the construction of a simple story as  basis for a short film. Now its how to best tell the story using images and sound.

As I have mentioned, I intend to show the evolution of the first minute of Ara’s Tale publicly. It turned out that I have lied – it will be the first 90 sec. 🙂

This time I present the first part of the revised script, the old version of the storyboard and a version 1 of the first 90 secs of the storyreel, with very crude sounds. All the sounds used are only placeholders.


EXT.: Entry to the canyon - Night

Bright golden blurred lights whirl around. The camera moves away from the moving lights while the vision gets less blurred until you see bright moving lights inside a small golden cage.

As the camera moves further away you see ARA, a small girl, still childlike with a slight elvish appearance.

Ara carries the golden cage.

She climbs the narrow path and reaches the entry to the canyon, flanked by high walls of rock. The remains of long decayed fortifications are visible around the entry.

EXT.: Canyon - Night

Ara goes cautiosly along the canyon, which has a slight slope and is littered with rocks that have fallen from the cliff walls. The lights in the cage give off a warm bright light. The white gown Ara is wearing has also a light glow to it and illuminates the steep canyon walls.

Ara reaches the end of the canyon.

She stops and looks ahead to the end of the canyon.

She can see some steps leading to a protruding ledge over a deep chasm. Wisps of mist are blown from the depth and dance around the ledge.

Contemplating the sight with an increasing feeling of unease and anticipation, Ara continues her walk and slowly climbs the stairs.

She reaches the end of the path directly above the abyss, where she takes in her surroundings.

The platform she stands on is the remain of some long decayed and forsaken sacred place.


Ara puts down the golden cage beside her.

Ara becomes increasingly uneasy.

Fear and hesitation rules her.

Ara peeks down into the chasm. She sees moving heavy mist, slightly glowing in a reddish light.

Ara finally settles her inner struggle as she comes to a decision.

Ara opens her arms slightly to the back, puts back her head and closes her eyes.

After a short while she starts to sing with a voice almost unreal in its beauty and simplicity and yet strangely powerful.

Original Storyboard
Original Storyboard

Storyreel V1

I am just at the beginning of  ‘Directing the Story’,  i.e. I am starting now with part 2. I am curious how the next version of the storyboard will turn out, so stay tuned.

Author: loramel


2 thoughts on “90 sec Storyreel V1”

  1. impressive, how engaged you are in this project. many projects fail because the people realize how much work it is. please keep up the good work and try always to enjoy the process of creating the short.

    recently, I saw an interview with andrew stanton, the director of wall-e. one interesting note he made, was:
    Let’s do it false as fast as possible! The first attempts are never the best ones. Before a story is adult it has to go to puberty.


    1. Thank you Martin.

      The interview is interesting to follow, even more so as I can relate ( if only on a small scale) to some of the aspects andrew stanton shows up.

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