Monday, March 30, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Time Bandits (1981) - How Gilliam Turned Script into Storyboard Sketches

[Quick Summary: A young boy travels time with six thieving time bandits.]

I confess this is all I knew about Terry Gilliam:

- He was part of Monty Python.
- He has been working on a Don Quixote film since 1998.
- I heard that he could really draw.

I finally saw those drawing skills when I read this script in book form.*

Gilliam's sketches pepper the script. 

They're worth studying to see how to translate words into pictures.

ex. In one scene, Napoleon is the only audience member at a Punch and Judy show.

Backstage, the puppeteer is wounded, but carries on.

These are the 3 sketches that follow:

First, the nervous manager and the puppeteer:
 Move in closer on the dying puppeteer:
 Punch and Judy from Napoleon's POV:


WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The script was focused, clear (distillation #1).

This allowed Gilliam to reduce whole scenes into sketches (distillation #2).

Time Bandits (1981)
by Terry Gilliam & Michael Palin of Monty Python

* It is now out-of-print, but used copies are available.

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