New Job Decisions

by Ted Slampyak on June 29, 2007

in Illustration,Storyboards

It didn't take long. We'd been back in New Mexico for three days when I got a lead on a possible storyboard job for a movie being made here, the new Kevin Costner comedy "Swing Vote". I got the job, and start today. The job should last through next week, with the day off for the Fourth, of course.

I've done loads of presentation storyboards for commercials, and a few production boards for films, but no matter how many I do, starting a new one is always a little scary. Everyone has a different approach to storyboarding -- some directors want you on site, reporting to them often, and some prefer you work at your own office, emailing or faxing the work as you do it. Some don't really care.

I prefer working in my office at home. Maybe because I'm such a homebody, and maybe because I like the freedom of not having someone looking over my shoulder. I've never had a problem with a director not liking my work -- I may have to make revisions or redraw some panels, but not often, and I've never had a director or client think my work isn't good -- but I still get anxious that someone will look over my should and tell me I'm doing it all wrong. I'd rather get that kind of news over the phone, or better yet, by email.

But maybe I'd enjoy being in the film production offices for this job. I don't know yet what they're going to want me to do, but if they want me to stay on-site and work, I'll give it a try. Maybe I'll split my time between the two, based on the availability of the director, or director of photography or whomever I'm going to be reporting to. It might be fun working in the offices with the film's art department, and would certainly give more networking opportunities than if I stayed hidden away at home.

The other consideration when I get a job, especially a storyboarding job like this one, where I'm hired for the day and am supposed to devote my time exclusively to it, is dealing with the other work that I have. Even times such as now, when I don't have any other freelance gigs going on, I still have Annie to work on every week. (Luckily, Jazz Age is on a hiatus right now, so there isn't that to worry about.) Fortunately, there will be plenty of time this weekend and next week in the evenings to keep up with the little orphan child.

I always remind myself, even if I have a week to get a job done -- like Annie -- and even if there are no other jobs looming, to get the work done as quickly as possible, while still pacing myself and not stressing out about it. You never know when another job will pop up, and if your other work is done, or at least well underway, it'll be a lot easier to take on the new stuff.

I won't be posting any images from the storyboard job here, until after the movie comes out. But I will post updates on how the work is going, and what it's like there. Wish me luck!

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