Hyper Island Presents The Art of Storyboarding by David Russell

Don’t miss this special three-day online lecture and workshop with Hollywood storyboard artist David Russell, who has designed concepts and storyboards for over 80 films including Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Batman (1989), The Wolverine (2013) and The Meg (2018).

Who is David Russell?

David Russell’s IMDB page is really long.

Over the past 30 years, he has designed concepts and storyboards for more than 80 Hollywood films, including some of the biggest of their time: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Thin Red Line (1998), Batman (1989), Moulin Rouge (2001), The Wolverine (2013), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) and The Meg (2018).

What is storyboarding?

Storyboarding is a critical phase of film pre-production. The director and storyboard artist collaborate to produce a series of almost comic book-like panels, which serve to visualize for the director how his or her film will be shot. Storyboarding is equally valuable to large, moderate, and low-budget productions. It aids the director during the entire film-making process, from pre-production to editing, to communicate efficiently with the cast and crew, ensuring that everyone in the production understands exactly what he or she is trying to achieve. Storyboards also help improve shooting efficiency and keep the show on budget.

David Russell will analyze sequences which he has boarded for prominent films, and how they were eventually shot and edited. He will also discuss visual planning methods of cinematic masters. The topics are illustrated with film clips, graphics, and storyboard sequences and concept illustrations from a selection of notable films. Each session closes with a question and answer period.

Direct Before You Shoot: The Art of Storyboarding with David Russell

Who should join this online lecture and workshop

This online lecture and workshop forms part of the curriculum of the Hyper Island Motion Designer program held annually in Karlskrona, Sweden, and we are thrilled to be able to include up to 20 guest students to join. 

The art of storyboarding is what you need to plan and direct your pre-production and we’re confident that all types of motion students, aspiring motion designers, film enthusiasts and film professionals (directors, producers, directors of photography, illustrator) would all benefit enormously.

This online lecture and workshop is a part of the student’s module called The Crafts of Motion Design, which is designed to equip the students with the necessary crafts you need to step into the role of a motion designer. It helps participants express visual ideas by sketching and to connect them to visual storytelling.

We have 20 seats available for guests students and the fees are 900 kr (including VAT) for the first day only or 1800 kr (including VAT) for all three days with feedback on your deliveries.


Tuesday 11 September  (8:30-15:30 + lunch break: 11:30-12:30)

8.30-11.30: Online lecture- overview of the use of storyboards in filmmaking

    • Historical overview.
    • How each department utilises storyboards and concept illustrations: director, producer, production designer, art director, cinematographer, set designer, costume designer, visual effects, editor, and the marketing team.
    • Description of the storyboard artist job; the difference between animation and film storyboards: categories of illustrators: production, conceptual, storyboard.
    • Tools & training requirements to become a storyboard artist.
    • Storyboards and concept illustrations as sales devices for proposed film projects.
    • Storyboard artist as a team player: how the artist interacts both creatively and socially with a film crew; common potential problems described; discussion of the psychological motivations of directors and producers.
    • Understanding the camera.
    • Page layout.
    • Use of directional arrows.
    • Shot descriptions.

12:30-15.30: Directing before film shooting

    • The role of pre-visualisation.
    • Storyboarding for visual effects.
    • Storyboard artist as writer/director.
    • Understanding narrative: script analysis and assessment.
    • Script breakdown for storyboarding.
    • Increasing the power of the script via visual development.
    • Storyboard assignment.

Wednesday 12 September  (8:30-15:30 + lunch break: 11:30-12:30)

8.30-11.30: Script breakdown for storyboarding

    • Composition techniques – how the masters of filmmaking achieve memorable shots.
    • Concept and production illustration – function and production applications.

12:30-15.30 Workshop – Storyboard assignments

    • Analysing the storyboard assignments delivered by attendees.
    • You will get individual feedback on your assignment and can learn from other’s assignments and David’s feedback.


Thursday 13 September (8:30-15:30 + lunch break: 11:30-12:30)

Workshop – Storyboard assignments

    • Analysing the storyboard assignments delivered by attendees.
    • You will get individual feedback on your assignment and can learn from other’s assignments and David’s feedback.