So here is a really fun drawing that Kyle Marshall did for the storyboard. In this scene, Boyd is freaking out because he sees that his owner is about to turn on the radio. He knows that once that happens, Mock’s dancing will undoubtedly ensue.
So, at this point in production, we have really started to nail down the main plot points for the story. Our process so far has worked like this: Rita gave us the main idea for what was going to happen, (Mock is the fun loving bird that starts to dance around in the cage and this drives Boyd crazy). So, from there, Kyle and I started to verbally pitch ideas back and forth to come up with gags. We watched a bunch of old Loony Tune cartoons to really get us in the right frame of mind. We then wrote up a short 2-page write up of a situation that could happen. Once that was done, we sent it down to Rita where she tweaked parts and came up with new gags to toss in. So then we went through a few versions, each one getting a little stronger with each re-write.
What I’ve learnt through writing over the years is that you can never hold any idea or gag too close to your heart. Each idea is a collaborated effort, from gag to gag, and even though one idea might be the funniest joke known to man, if it doesn’t tell the story or if it isn’t true to your character’s identity, you sometimes just have to cut it out. Whenever I write a story, I like to verbally pitch it a few times to my close friends and family. Doing this really helps me to figure out if my story is captivating enough to keep the persons’ interest. A lot of times while doing this, just the fact of having to explain, or even better act out, everything that’s happing in the short allows you to get a better sense of timing and of the characters personality. John K (Ren and Stimpy creator) once told me, you gotta run the cartoon in your head, do it in the dark or close your eyes, so that you can truly visualize everything that’s happening and just act it out.
Another thing Kyle and I did a lot in the story process is pitch to each other and record the conversations. We did this because your ideas can flow really fast, and there’s no time to write things down when you’re really on to something. So, once we were done pitching the ideas back and forth to each other, we’d listen to the recorded conversation a couple of times to hear our ideas again and start to write down the additional gags that we thought were the strongest.