Creating The Croods – The Storyboards Behind the Scenes
The Croods will be crashing into theatres in just a few weeks, which makes this the perfect time to share some behind the scenes animation info with you. When I visited DreamWorks, I was actually able to meet some of the character teams that worked on creating the Croods family. Hearing how committed, dedicated and loyal the developers are to the story and the characters definitely explains why the animation is so real and lifelike!
Meet Steve MacLeod. Steve was a guest story artist on The Croods for the past 5 years! He actually started as a trainee with the DreamWorks education system, and now , his name is in the credits. A great tribute to DreamWorks, and also a glimpse into how long it actually takes to make an animated feature film. Writer/Director Chris Sanders added, “That’s the shocking truth of how long it takes to make these. If you have a child at the beginning, they will be going to the premier.”
(Check out Steve and some of his storyboarding.)
So where did the ideas for the actual Croods family come from? The designers on the film, looked back at cave paintings for inspiration on character creation. When they noticed that all of the primitive people seemed to have a certain shape, it was determined that the Croods would be a big, athletic bunch. “…we always were looking at beach volleyball players and downhill skiers and ust people that were athletic and for the whole family because we wanted it to feel real…that they could actually do what we were making them do, “ Kirk DeMicco (Director of TheCroods) added.
Chris Sanders sharing some of the early stages from The Croods storyboards with eager bloggers.
A rough world is definitely one way to describe the intense conditions that the DreamWorks crew created for The Croods. The opening scenes of the movie immediately set the tone of a rugged, tough, primitive world that The Croods call home. In a hunt for breakfast, you see how primitive the terrain and the family really is. Sanders added, “One of the reasons we wanted that in the film from the very beginning was we wanted to really set the dials as far as how tough are these people, how fast are they.” Knowing that the storyboards for this scene were shorthand labeled “Breakfast is a full contact sport” lets you know exactly how tough everyone and everything in these opening scenes really are! Add to that an amazing score including the USC Marching Band, and you’ve basically got a close up view of caveman family football for food!
The Croods having a little down time… obviously NOT during their full contact breakfast.
So what is the storyboarding process like? For The Croods, it started with Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco writing the script. From there, it weren’t on to stroyboards. He artists really adjust the story as they go to really begin bringing things to life. After reading the script, and meeting with the directors to get special notes on a particular scene, the artists get to work. Using EXTREMELY rough drawings, they will then pitch a set of storyboards, get more notes, and go back to the drawing board – literally. After a vicious cycle of revising, editing, re-working, and pitching again, and again, they’ll send it off to editorial to start adding the rough sound. SO COOL!
Some shots of storyboards from The Croods.
Like I said before, knowing how closely the animators, artists, and really the entire DreamWorks team work with a film before it’s released… it comes as no surprise that The Croods made me laugh, cry, and hold my breath more than a couple of times! I can’t wait to see it hit theaters March 22!
The Croods smashes into theaters March 22.
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Re-pin great DIY tutorials, printables & more from The Croods on Pinterest!
A big thank you to 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation for inviting us to The Croods Parent Blogger Summit.
About Ashley – Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her@Momicles2010.