Movie-making tips that can be applied to comics~

Are you looking for tips on how to get started as a comic/manga artist? Maybe you're looking for feedback on works you've already created. Then this is the forum for you! (Note: Ported from

Moderator: Harukochan

Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:58 pm

Movie-making tips that can be applied to comics~

Post by sarydactl »

That is to say, I want to post some tips on storytelling and such that I've picked up in different places :9 .

SCRIPTS: (HUNDREDS, anime is in a different section as well). The main one I used in class is the one for the Signs movie (yeah, aliens). Paying attention to visual details in scripts is important. Keep in mind how your characters talk--they should sound like real people.

MOVIE ANGLES: (be sure to click for details, and look at the camera movement as well--some CAN carry over into comics). Cinematography has a really profound psychological effect on readers. You can make powerful people look weak, and weak people look powerful. A good way to learn shots is to study what kinds are used--I suggest looking through the climax of Death Note. You can see the power go from Light to Near just from the way the images are angled. And when Light goes insane, check out those viewpoints/angles! It wouldn't be the same without them. The scripts above will also list what kind of shots they have. For added effect, we can also combine shots with PANELING. In this way, we've got an advantage over movies :Y .

If you're too lazy to click, then I'll go ahead and mention SOME important things:
  • Looking at a character from below makes them dominant.
    Looking at a character from above makes them weaker/losers/scared/etc.
    Zooming in on something gives it more importance.
    Zooming out sets the stage, or gives a sense of scale.
    Tilting the camera angle will also affect weakness/dominance.

    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY...RULE OF 180*. Watch any pro film and you'll see it in action. We have two characters--character A and B. They talk to eachother. You pick ONE SIDE of them to tell the story. Let's say you choose character A's right side--that makes it character B's left side. You DON'T CROSS SHOULDERS, unless you are purposely unnerving the audience. Here's more info on it:
PLOT: This kind of goes along with script-making. I'm just going to copypasta something I wrote a while ago. I'm too lazy to make the tense neutral so BEAR WITH IT
First, you need an idea for what you're going to write. Usually I get ideas by reading things...I look at a comic and go 'wow this genre is awesome but I wish it had ______' and then devise some characters and a setting to fill in that blank. I always have too many characters so I've never had a problem coming up with them. Before /using/ them, I make sure I /like/ them. If it's not fun writing them, I wait until they get a new character perk (which could take a while) or try someone else. Characters that get discarded in this way are usually picked up in other stories where they fit better.

I use a three-act plot to help me figure out events and order of events. The first act is the exposition, and it ends with the inciting incident (a conflict that sets things into motion). Act two goes all the way to the resolution of the conflict, and is the longest. Act three is kind of like an epilogue, and is the shortest.
Above is a map of the tension in a story. A lot of people usually put the climax in the middle, but if you think about it it's always, always at the end, with just a small resolution after it (kind of like a slope that leads to a cliff, rather than a hill). The best way to figure out how this works is by thinking of stories you know and mapping it like this. Eventually you get a feel for how inciting incidents work, and then the rest is easy. And after you get that down, you can completely break the rules how you want.

With that in mind, I make a list of 'events' that go with the characters. I put them on the chart, and bam, plot points. If I have too many exposition plot points, I figure out a way to tell them through action or dialogue, rather than summary. Putting the inciting incident as early as possible is best, but the very beginning also has to be interesting, to draw in the reader.

So yeah. After that I write a quick script, kind of sloppy, with [art notes in brackets]. If i see something that is different than i intended i try and work with it. Afterwards I print it out, then start on the thumbnails. The script is finalized as I draw the pages it appears on. Sometimes I throw out a bunch of pages and redo them, just because I found a mistake. The thumbnails are mainly to figure out the page layout, the exact dialogue, and the poses I'm going to draw. I usually aim for 32 pages for first chapters, and then 24 for later chapters.

And then I draw. Sometimes the dialogue changes because I've thought of something better while drawing. Sometimes I see crappy dialogue and do my best to fix it. In any case, that's how I write :3 .
Yep. Hope this was useful...
If anyone wants me to critique their story or movie aspects, just post a summary or script or something :9 . But use these tips as guidelines first, I guess. Can't work too hard on a story.

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:46 am

Re: Movie-making tips that can be applied to comics~

Post by tgyenpress »

Thanks for these tips. :) Really helpful in some ways.

(On a side side related note: Aren't anime OPs and EDs based on movies?)