Storyboarding for Television

Submitted for your approval is a stack of Hanna-Barbera storyboards I found recently. There were a good deal more in the initial pile but I threw them out years ago. I never had any interest in hanging on to material I created for Saturday Morning Television. I actually have no idea how many storyboards I did over a ten year period, but I imagine there were quite a few. If memory serves, I worked on the first Smurf show with producer Gerard Baldwin many years ago. Scott Shaw! and I had the pleasure of actually working with Peyo and his collaborator, Mr. DeLaPort. Our boss, Gerard Baldwin seemed determined to create a show worthy of our inspired source material and I’m confident he delivered the goods. What did the studio think of his efforts, you might ask? How much did they appreciate the animated show that continued on the air for nearly ten seasons?

They wanted Gerard Baldwin fired.

Do I understand the special insanity that goes on inside an animation studio? No way. I do know that a good deal of money is involved and you can always count on network skullduggery and studio politics to keep things interesting. I could never play that special game so I avoided moving up the studio ladder. I was once even offered the job of associate producer. That job could have been a stepping stone to full producer one day. I turned down the offer because I knew I would make a terrible producer and I would have been sacked in short order. I simply could not provide the level of BS to be effective in a producing job. I returned to the drawing board because I “knew my place.” Besides, I found creating storyboards for a television show to be a lot of fun. And, it was fun in the good old days of television animation. It’s not so much fun today, and I’ve turned down my share of storyboard gigs because it’s simply not worth the hassle. With a few exceptions, I find storyboarding for television today to be a nightmare. For those of you who can do the job and do it well, my hat goes off for you. However, in the words of famous Hollywood producer, Samuel Goldwyn - “you can include me out.”

When friends learned I had thrown out stacks of Hanna-Barbera storyboards they exclaimed, “You could have sold that stuff!” Perhaps they were right, but I’ve always considered this material just another necessary step in the production process. Some might find my rough sketches worth saving but I sure don’t. What I truly value are the good times I had while working on the animated show. After all, that’s what really matters after all.

 A stack of storyboards for the animated show, "The Smurfs." I did more storyboards than I can remember over a ten year period.

A stack of storyboards for the animated show, "The Smurfs." I did more storyboards than I can remember over a ten year period.