In this post I will elaborate on the process of storyboarding for HUMANS tv series.
Mark Brozel was directing episodes for HUMANS season 2 and was on set in London and asked if I was available to storyboard some scenes than needed planning. There was not time for me to arrange getting down to London and sorting out accommodation, etc. I needed to watch season 1 and get up to speed on the series. And then read the script and be ready to take a call from Mark to go through the script so I could produce an initial draft of how the scenes would look.
I remember watching the trailer for season 1 and thinking of watching the first episode. As is usually the case, due to being engrossed in whatever project I was on with at the time, I forgot all about it and it came and went without me noticing.
Mark and I discussed the script over a series of phone calls. Having worked with Mark on DCI Banks, I already had an idea of how he liked to shoot scenes. Below is a scan of a page of script and my initial breakdowns of scenes scribbled down while discussing the script over the phone.
Here is a screen grab of the running dog scene. You’ll notice it has been filmed running in the opposite direction.
Below shows how the order of imagery has changed in the final edit. Niska doesn’t pick up a leaflet and read it.
In the first draft of the script and storyboards, the street scene begins with the leaflets falling from the sky and, Laura, Niska and Mia leaving the house to witness the chaos. First the running dog, the leafleter, then the cook, etc. Insted, all this happens before Laura, Niska and Mia exit the house.
The storyboards will have enabled the shoot to run smoothly and get all the shots required to tell the story. The editing suit is where the fine tuning is carried out.
You will notice in the storyboards my comment about Mia (Gemma Chan) carrying Leo (Colin Morgan) and whether that would be possible the way it was drawn in the storyboards. It looks like they may have got around it by using a stand-in (possibly even a male wearing a wig and Mia’s clothing) because you never see Mia carrying Leo in full shot. The only time you do is in the background and she is out of focus so that you can’t tell whether it is actually Gemma Chan or not. And then, after the initial establishing shot of them all leaving the house, Mia and Leo are mostly obscured by Laura and Niska
I got a call from Mark Brozel, inviting me down to the set for the shoot but I was already on with another project and so it just wasn’t possible. Had I gone, I would have seen, first hand, how they pulled the scene off.