Drawing Courage: Behind the Scenes


 
 

Drawing Courage is a collaboration between FableVision Studios’ summer marketing and animation interns. Working as a mini-production studio, the four of us came together to utilize each of our strengths and produce an independent project that scaffolds all of the knowledge and skills we learned during our time at FableVision. Together with Ethan, my fellow marketing intern, and the fabulous animation interns, Mimi and Yury, we created a series of four comics to show what you can create when you work with and learn from people in a very special internship setting like the one FableVision provides.

Here’s a behind the scenes view of how we made Drawing Courage.


“The independent project is a good opportunity for people from different departments to collaborate and experience first hand the challenges that come with working in a group and discussing different ideas.” - Yury

Inspiration and Ideation

So, how did it all begin? I knew that FableVision offered interns the unique opportunity to create an independent project that furthered skills and interests related to FableVision, but wasn’t sure how that would take shape. During our Intern Meet-and-Greet, Ethan and I met Mimi and Yury, this summer’s animation interns. Our supervisors, Sarah Ditkoff and Hannah O’Neal, told us about the opportunity to do an independent project together.

We knew we wanted to work on something that highlighted all of our separate talents, and out of this discussion came the idea of telling a series of fictitious stories through comic panels that hit upon themes that helped shape us into the creative people we are today: identity, loss, love, and self-care. It was then and there that we decided that the interns would collaborate on a joint independent project for the first time! 

Implementation

We hit the ground running seconds after the Interns Meet-and-Greet ended. We made plans to have weekly Tuesday meetings to discuss our project and prepared to give our formal pitch in two weeks time.

During the formal pitch, we presented our project’s overall concept, what we intended the final project to look like, and the estimated production timeline. After laying our foundation, we discussed and assigned individual roles. It really felt like we were a mini production studio within FableVision! I was named the creative director and writer, Ethan was the producer and editor, and Mimi and Yury were our artists. Our intern team did everything from production to marketing and everything in between. 


“I wanted to stay true to the story while keeping it somewhat abstract and making sure the progression still made sense while the art influenced it. I'm very excited to see it come together and I hope that people will be able to see a little bit of themselves in our comics.” - Mimi

Channeling Our Voice

Writing the comics involved a lot of verbal communication and talking through my thoughts out loud with Ethan. Though the stories are fiction, I wanted the stories to feel authentic, and for each piece to be as relatable as possible. 

Finding the right balance depended heavily on the text and visuals working in harmony. I leaned on Mimi and Yury for their artistic creativity when I hit writer’s block. There were moments when I couldn’t find the right word to express a particular emotion, but they were able to convey it through their drawings.

Penning The Stories

Once Ethan and I felt confident in the text, we began writing descriptions for each comic panel, which included suggestions for backgrounds, character facial expressions, body language, speech/thought bubbles, and aspects of each story that would become animated. Ethan has written screenplays before, and he helped tremendously in writing the comic descriptions. Ultimately, Ethan and I would sit down with the artists, Mimi and Yury, to discuss the language and potential art. It was important to have Mimi and Yury let their own creativity and vision help guide the direction for each story. Together, we decided that each story would be depicted in be one long, infinite scrolling, vertical comic. 


“This is the first time I’ve worked with artists so closely on something that’s so deliberately emotional, so it’s been a challenge to balance that while also focusing on the business of getting the work done.” - Ethan

We all love FableVision’s mission: creating “stories that matter, stories that move,” and we wanted to incorporate movement into the panels. In addition to emphasizing certain story aspects with movement, the pops of color were also very intentional. The highlighted words and drawings are intended to draw attention to moments within the story that are pivotal and impactful in the characters’ lives.

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