You may watch the video or read the transcript below.
The story I’ll be using is — dan, dan, dan, dan, daaaaaa.
Yes, I will be storyboarding the song “The Phantom of the Opera”, because “The Phantom of the Opera is there inside my mind.” All kidding aside, if you’ve never heard of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on Gaston Leroux’s book — I envy you, because you can experience it for the first time. It is awesome! I always wanted to retell it as a 2D animated mini-series, so I’ve been directing and retelling my own version to myself for fun since I was sixteen years old.
Please familiarize yourself with the story; read Cliffs Notes, listen to the song, look up the characters.
In my version, Phantom is actually the youngest son of a Sultan who was born with half of his face disfigured. His mother died giving birth to him, and since she was the Sultan’s favourite wife, his father both hated and loved him. When his father died, his older half-brothers decided to kill him to take his share of the inheritance and Phantom ran away with The Persian — who was his bodyguard in the palace. They assumed new names and the prince became Erik and Phantom of the Opera. He chose to hide beneath the Opera House, because he found old architectural drawing of a secret house king Louis XIV, The Sun King, built as a meeting place for his secret Sons of Sun society. Erik restored the dilapidated house and adapted it to his needs. He is using jewels he smuggled out of his own palace to wisely invest and finance his life in France. He was eighteen years old when he first met Christine (fourteen) who’s been living in the Opera House’s dormitories. He is still the genius he is in the original, just much younger. Half of his face is disfigured, half of his face is breathtakingly handsome. I find this visual contrast works best, because there is something even sadder about a character who is nearly a perfect specimen of humanity.
Every single one of the characters in the original has an extensive back story in my own version. It is this extensive back story that the audience never sees that informs the motivations and thus actions of the characters.
I know my version of “The Phantom of the Opera” really well, so I’m ready to get to work.
Your mission if you choose to accept it following this post is:
- Decide which existing story your would like to storyboard for your own portfolio.
- Get to know your characters and locations really well. Feel free to build on the existing material and make the characters your own.
Now, let’s get creative!