Winners, Losers, and Survivors: A Crime Blog [Pre-production]

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These are the first seven pages of my pre-production notebook for my current film, Animafia. The pages contain a paragraph of my film treatment, which represents a scene, along with the storyboards and diagrams that go along with that scene.

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The first scene is dedicated to introducing the protagonist as he exits the woods and heads towards civilization. I drew the storyboards on landscaping paper so I could be as detailed as possible as to what I want in the shot, and how exactly I will film it.

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The first scene ends with me setting up the title sequence, which I am using cel animation to create.

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The next scene involves an interaction with the femme fatale and tells the entirety of the backstory of the film. I drew a very detailed establishing shot of the femme fatale’s house, which is actually my Godfather’s house and the place where I’ve shot most of my movies.

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These panels lead into a backstory segment that uses stock footage of the mating ritual of a praying mantis.

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I set things up to intercut between current time, the backstory, and stock footage with the stock footage narration connecting everything together.

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The scene ends with the woman turning off the TV and the rest of the backstory being revealed through the protagonists own memories. The nature documentary idea came from the fact that the film focuses heavily on the primal nature of human beings. I completed filming all the scenes in my godfather’s house, but I still need to shoot the flashback scenes that take place in the woods.

This is only the first three minutes of the movie, but it follows the same structure as The Hunter. It starts with the main character already in their predicament, out for revenge, and then moves into the backstory of how he got there, before moving into the main revenge sequence. Revisit one of your favorite crime revenge films, because I am certain that many of them use this introductory formula within the first 20 minutes of the film.

Written By Tyler Ducheneaux

Images By Tyler Ducheneaux

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