When a movie like "Dolphin Tale" films in Florida, it's not just local actors such as Tom Nowicki, Betsy Landin and Rus Blackwell who got work on the Clearwater shoot. Local crew picked up jobs, including work on storyboards.
Storyboards are the movie frame-shaped drawings that help convert a movie script into scenes, illustrating the shots and effects that the film will require. "We're illustrating the director's vision, so that the entire crew is working toward that same vision," says Mark Simon, president of the Orlando company Animatics & Storyboards Inc., which did the work. "It helps with budgeting, planning stunts and effects."
Orlando artist R.C. Aradio did at least 200 drawings for "Dolphin Tale," the Hollywood film that tells a fictionalized version of how Winter the dolphin came to lose her tail and have a new prosthetic one fashioned for her at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter was rescued in 2005 near New Smyrna Beach, where she was caught in a crab trap.
"I would meet the director, Charles Martin Smith, and the director of photography, talk with them, sort of work out where characters would be with these little figurines I have," Aradio says. "We'd go through the whole script, figure out what they wanted in the shot. And then I'd go over to the Clearwater Aquarium and see what the backgrounds would look like."
"Dolphin Tale" was Aradio's first feature film, after years working with theme parks and ad agencies on commercials. His big movie challenge? The "toy helicopter scene," a computer effect in which the kids who take care of Winter play with a toy helicopter that gets away from them and buzzes in and out of the Clearwater Aquarium and environs.
"They actually called me back to watch them shoot Scene 95," Aradio remembers. "I walked through the set, and everybody on the set, from the director to the gaffers, had my storyboards pasted up so that they'd know where to shoot and what to show. That was quite the thrill."
Like a lot of storyboard artists, Aradio has other things he does with his drawing talents. He's hoping to make a feature film out of his sci-fi Western comic strip, "Colt the Outlander," which has appeared in Heavy Metal Magazine for 10 years. And if a movie is made (an actor is attached to the project), they're going to need storyboards.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times