Cinema: draw me a movie

DECRYPTION – American directors value the use of storyboards, the French much less. But what is it for?

“I have always regretted being born too late to convince Alfred Hitchcock of my talents as a designer”, writes Sylvain Despretz, as a preamble to Los Angeles. Storyboards & mermaid songs on celluloid, a story in texts and images of a fabulous destiny, as well as a fascinating lesson in cinema, published this fall (Éditions Caurette). The French illustrator exiled in Hollywood for more than twenty years has yet worked with the cream of the directors: Ridley Scott (Gladiator, The Fall of the Black Falcon), Tim burton (The Planet of the Apes),David Fincher (Madonna music video Like a Prayer) or Stanley Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut). But Hitchcock remains the unsurpassable master, the absolute director, and the cantor of the storyboard.

Storyboard? The term is difficult to translate. Despretz gives a fairly clear definition: “A storyboard is a series of illustrated boxes that precut a shot-by-shot sequence, showing what should appear in the camera lens and on

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