27 June 2011

The Narrative Armature

  1. Davids contends that storyboards are constructed with the following things in mind that direct the viewer: Perspective, sequence, time dilation, and media. These four variables require agency on the part of the creator. What other choices of the creator might be considered to have an effect on the story? What about the parts of the story that can't be storyboarded? Tone, music, dialogue, effects, cinematography do as much to make a movie as the scenes in a storyboard. If a series of storyboarded perspectives can be a tool to ”explore sequences of space and time and ideas about change and movement” (11.6), what other methods can architects employ?

  2. Let's assume that you would apply a storyboard method to design work, and presumably everyone has done so to some degree. What do you think storyboards are most successful at conveying? Do you agree with Davids that “the succession of images implies a protagonist and simulates human experience whether or not people are actually included in the image”?(11.8) Is this better suited for the beginning of the project, for analysis and discovery, or it it better as a presentation tool, or is it equally applicable to both situations?

  3. Reading McCloud's explanation of the simplification of cartoon characters “toward a purpose” (31) led me to think about how much work actually goes into abstraction, and how the characters we know and styles we enjoy are the end result of much trial and error, having been manipulated constantly. Consider this original template done by a Disney animator that later worked for the creator of looney tunes: http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/3/1/9/41319.jpg?v=1 Bugs Bunny is a template drawing, whose proportions were calculated and tested to evoke a specific character function. Do you think visual storytelling relies too heavily on tropes and stereotypes? It it an insidious art form? Have we been irretrievably conditioned to respond predictably to cartoon cues?

  4. It would seem that most of Davids' examples use story-boarding as a sequential narrative to either describe a spaces or discover them in a linear fashion. So too does McCloud rely on a linear sequence for the explanation of his incrementally complex ideas. These narratives keep the viewer on rails. Is this a fundamental flaw in using story-boarding for architecture? Buildings may be sequential, but aren't experiences that otherwise might be storyboarded actually divergent based on the user and program?

  5. McCloud states the best comics are those who have the best harmony between the realism of skillful drawn images and powerful words, and suggests that the further an artist and writer develop their individual sophistication, the harder they are to “reconcile” in comic form. (47-49) Do you find the same in architectural media, that the more finely rendered images are more difficult to abstract in verbal description? Does there need to be a reconciliation between our hero shots and our big ideas?

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