Think Writers have it Bad? Read This Tale of Woe

Artists! Artists get screwed as much as writers! Especially storyboarders! We know it’s true cuz…Nikki Finke never lies:

inceptionStoryboard Artists Get Screwed
by Nikki Finke

I heard the other day from one of the storyboard artists working in Hollywood and beyond for 23 years who thinks they haven’t been given the credit they deserve. “Have you ever thought about us? Have you ever asked yourself what does a story artist really do? Have you ever thought about what department they are a part of?”

The complaint is that storyboard artists are often thrown into the Art Department budget – presumably because the decent Art Directors used to do boards and share some of the same tools of the trade. But they can be under any department’s budget because in truth they are a department of one. They report directly to the director and write story and much else and have nothing to do with the Art Department or any other department. They work alone and manage themselves. Very efficient.

“We help direct the movie before it gets made. We are generals in the logistic pre-production war room helping to get it all ready then asked to leave as if we’re a 3-day-old house guest as a thanks.  We work hard and deserve credit, which isn’t even guaranteed on the credit roll, did you know that?  We could use some good gritty press to push our case. I think we’re the hidden guilty secret of every director who uses us.”

The Art Directors Guild absorbed the storyboard artists’ union Local #790 and continue to treat these Illustrators and Board Artists “with disregard and imperiousness is a start. It’s a very humiliating thing. Go to an Illustrator union meeting if you can and watch Scott Roth avoid any question put to him utilizing legalistic flim-flam for a good belly laugh.

“I’m not a bitter man, and I still love my job most of the time, and film making is a good thing to support. But sometimes I’d prefer a little more truth about what we really do. I think we deserve to be understood better. We are usually content to sit in our uncomplicated world and do our job well but sometimes it seems like we are taken for granted. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that we might even be due a percentage. But of course I think that.

“We aren’t as glamorous as the famous players because we don’t really want fame but we’re important to this Town we call Tinsel. So how about some credit? How about sticking up for the unsung heroes?”

Here are several storyboards, courtesy of Flavorwire and the DGA Quarterly:

Read it all

Go, Nikki, go! Man, did we ever miss ya!

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