Sunday, 29 November 2015

Toast Slice 2: Episode 2 - 'Beauty Calls'

More here from my work on Series 3 of 'Toast of London'.
With the working title of 'Miss World', this tale veered from sleazy '70s beauty contest cattle-marketry to the sex war politics of Pussy Rioting, while leavened with a touching romance for Steven T along the way.
Guest turns of the week from Vic Reeves as 'CompĂ©re' and Paul Whitehouse as Vic Titball.

When Director Michael Cumming and I convened in swinging Highgate to plot the storyboard – my first submitted work during pre-production – the technically-demanding sequence wherein Toast and Ed find themselves on an impromptu 'lamping' jaunt with Vic Titball was the focus.
Below initial board frames are spliced with the filmed action.
Angles and compositions differ - for either dramatic or technical purposes - but the intent is there.
For instance, the braining of Toast with slaughtered rabbits occurs in a much tighter shot, as do Ed's shotgun potshots. Click on separate frames to get a closer view.

We begin with Ed (Robert Bathurst) and Vic (Paul W) in the front of the vehicle, cutting to the vehicle hurtling across fields, then Toast's confused reactions, then startled fauna, gunshots and resulting mayhem.
All in a day's work.

No animals – or thespians – were injured in the filming/drawing – of this sequence.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Toast Slice One: Episode 1 - 'Over The Moon'

An example here of the finished frame and comparable shot from a flashback sequence involving 1969 Pinewood Studios, Steven Toast, astronauts, Stanley Kubrick and a certain tricky occupant of the White House.
Staunch work by director Michael Cumming, and technical crew, plus Series Designer Rosy Thomas and her clever gang - creating atmosphere on the moon!
As with anything here - do click on the images to get the full-detail benefit.

Toast Slice Zero: Title Sequence

During the broadcast of award-winning Channel Four/Objective Productions show 'Toast of London' I shall add posts giving brief insights into my experiences last summer working as a storyboard artist and concept designer.

This run sports a stylish and effective new title sequence.
Quite late into my involvement I was asked by Matt Berry and series director Michael Cumming to sketch a shot composition for how they saw it in their heads.
With a tip of the hat to the televisual race memory of our childhoods - see titles for the legendary ITC action series 'The Champions' below - Toast himself retains a dominance in the frame while the regular cast of Ed Howzer-Black (Robert Bathhurst), Jane Plough (Doon Mackichan) and Ray 'Bloody' Purchase (Harry Peacock) walk in to join him, before leaving as enigmatically as they came.

We discussed this during a brief break in the studio filming of another episode, and the sketch here was completed while I sat in the darkened set of the Colonial Club.
Job done.

PopCult (TV): Pop will eat itself?

Ushering in upcoming posts revisiting the strand of my career involving storyboarding for television, it was enjoyable to note a closing circle of reality and fiction this week.
Comedian and writer Matt Berry, on the morning of the day his 3rd series of award-winning Channel Four comedy 'Toast of London' began broadcasting, guested across channels with the doyen of ITV daytime telly, Lorraine Kelly.

Looking through the opposite end of the telescope that evening, the first episode itself opened with MB as Steven Toast, again chatting with Kelly in exactly the same set.

A pleasurable metafictional shudder ran down the mind to view it all.

More slices of Toast - and my doings inside the creative toaster - shortly.

An Ensixteen Rarity for you. . .

Here is a chance to download a 4-page 2011 graphic sequence - unpublished physically elsewhere but part of the official 'canon' of the 'bio auto graphic' series.
It's titled 'Time & Relative Dimensions in Storytelling' and I created it as a response to my participation in a fascinating 2010 conference at Manchester Metropolitan University: 'The Story of Things - Reading Narrative in the Visual'.
It is part of the archive of the Image [&] Narrative e-journal.

The theme of the event chimed closely with strands of what inspires me; random associations, happenstance and chance affinities in our shared daily experiences.
In taking place in my native North West it also allowed me to retrospectively visit the strong cultural flavours of my youth, including the creative powerhouse that was Granada television and the fraught cobbles of Coronation Street, Weatherfield.
The salt and vinegar of Northern comedy also runs through it as it does my veins.

Download, enjoy and keep, should you wish.