Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Storyboard study - Ratatouille

I've been told that the best way to get better at boarding is to pick a scene from a movie you like and draw it shot by shot, to figure out how it's been done.

Here's an excerpt from a study I did a couple of months ago. It's from the movie Ratatouille.

In this scene, Linguini has just been told to kill Remy. He's about to drop the jar in the Seine, but he just can't do it.

I didn't write down the dialogue, but I think the visuals speak for themselves.


First, you've got the extreme close-up of Linguini's face at the beginning (shot 9), to emphasize the fact that he's torn between two feelings. He has a hard choice to make.

Then Linguini sits and starts to speak to Remy (shot 17 to 27). The shot that particularly stands out is shot 21, when Linguini says "But YOU, you can !" (speaking about cooking). This is Linguini's goal - he's trying to make a deal with Remy. He's trying to get him to work for and with him.

After Linguini releases Remy (shot 28), the camera starts to move. This is a dramatic change in the scene, a moment where something big is happening : Remy decides to run away from Linguini. We stay with Remy, and Linguini gets smalller and smaller in the frame - a great use of Point of View.

Shortly after that, though, Remy changes his mind. This is beautifully shot : Remy stops, and the camera gently trucks towards him - and stops - as he turns to look at Linguini (shot 33).

Then, cut to shot 34 (my personal favorite). In this one, you really feel the distance between the two characters and the loneliness of Linguini. The music helps a lot in conveying the mood, too.

This feeling is further emphasized in the following shot, number 35, where we go back to a static camera and a flat, full shot of Linguini slowly heading towards his bicycle (the lighting is particularly well-done here).

The cut to shot 36 is great : we get closer to Linguini as he hears something offscreen.

This is Remy. Coming back to him.

From shot 37 to the end, the camera gently moves again, getting closer and closer to the two characters. This is the final beat of the scene : Remy accepts the deal, and Linguini is relieved.

Great scene.










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