book reviews

Storyboards – Motion in Art by Mark Simon

Planning out multimedia projects is a must. Naturally storyboarding is an essential part of it. I have thrashed around for years storyboarding but have never really studied the art. One book is not enough for someone to claim they know all, but Storyboards - Motion in Art comes incredibly close.

Storyboards – Motion in Art takes you from the question of "What it takes to be a Storyboard Artist?" to billing practices and exercises to better your skills.

The author, Mark Simon, really put some thought behind this book. He may not answer every one of your questions completely but chances are he'll touch on every question you can think of; from how to storyboard for animation to illustrated camera techniques to pricing for storyboard jobs.

Towards the end of the book Mark does an experiment that demonstrates how each artist's individual skill set and imagination flavors a script. He gave a short script to several different artists and turned them loose. The results were great. Each artist own vision came through in the storyboards, from character creation to camera angles, but they all depicted the same scene. It was a good demonstration on how everyone has his or her own unique visions and spin to any one story.

It feels like an added bonus but one of the other things I truly enjoyed about the books was an entire chapter of interviews with successful Illustrators, Art Directors, Storyboard artist and other industry leaders. You can always learn from the past experiences of others that have already traveled the path you're embarking on.

The book is worth purchasing just for the resources in the back of the book. Mark Simon gives you sample storyboards, necessary forms such as a storyboard invoice (front and back), blank storyboard templates for TV & radio and pages on top of pages of other resources.

I purchased Storyboards for my own personal knowledge but the book has also given my team the edge when pitching to Creative Directors and clients. When you have to compete against other design teams for a project or show a new/potential client your vision for their given product Storyboard–Motion in Art gives you an added edge. An essential reference when storyboarding, I give Storyboards – Motion in Art 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to everyone.

Reviewed By: Ernest Phillips
Focal Press