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  • Tom LaBaff

Longshot - EA Sports - Storyboard News


I’m pumped to finally get to talk about this! I had the opportunity to work

alongside director Mike Young at EA sports to help bring his story to life.

For six months I helped storyboard the feature length script ‘Longshot’ that

will be released with the 2018 Madden game.

After three years away from the game, former five-star high school

quarterback, Devin Wade takes one last shot to play professional football.

In Madden’s fist-ever game mode, players control all the decisions that

may or may not get Devin to the NFL draft.

Dan Marino, Remy from House of Cards, Friday Night Light's Scott Porter

and other all star actors were used for likeness and motion capture.

What is a blueprint pass?

Not many story artists bother with this pass, but I couldn’t recommend it

more. For example, when an artist gets assigned a few script pages he or

she typically has a brief kickoff discussion with the director, then returns a

couple of days later to pitch the full sequence.

That’s a big leap from page to screen! What I like to do is first show a

rough bird’s eye view of the location. The characters are indicated with

only a single letter. It looks just like a floor plan. Then I show how the

characters move through the scene while performing the scripted dialogue.

This simple but valuable step does a lot. It allows the director to get a

feeling for the timing, stage direction, humor, and pacing. It’s amazing how

productive these short meetings can be. It’s also a good way to get ideas

for the characters physical motivations and is an opportunity for new

dialogue or action. It’s like a doing a glorified table read.

So, when I show the next ‘real’ drawing pass, much has already been

figured out. This blueprint pass is a low pressure, first look at how the

scene is taking shape. Don’t just try it, make it part of your process!

Here's a sample blueprint sketch. I used colors to indicate characters in

this one. And then a couple boards.