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  • Writer's pictureRavi Swami

John Lewis Xmas 2020 - "Snowman"

Now that the cat is officially out of the bag I can (I think...) share a storyboard for a segment in the new Christmas John Lewis / Waitress Christmas campaign, which runs the gamut of animation techniques and styles from different directors.

Signing an NDA with production co' Hu_Sh meant that I had no idea what the job was for other than that it was for one section in a longer commercial featuring the work of several directors and that the segment was to be directed by Sylvain Chomet, the director of "Belleville Rendezvous" and "The Illusionist".

I've provided storyboards for several commercials directed by Chomet for the same company in the past and in general, being commercials, it can often be a case of taking an agency storyboard a stage further but with input from the director.

Although superficially simple, and following a simple plot that is in the vein of a children's picture book to follow the theme of the spot - which is to pass on the love - there was a bit of figuring out required of details like character placement and acting / attitude and the final completed segment pretty much sticks close to the board but with the removal of one shot - rightly - and the addition of another shot at the end that I didn't provide in the storyboard.

The removed shot of a rear-view of the snowman as the car drives away is not really necessary since it doesn't move the story forward, in what had to be a very economic narrative.

The demands in this type of storyboard are more to do with solving narrative flow issues and communicating an idea, in this case the snowman's middle becomes a replacement wheel, and for it not to seem odd, even though it is animation, and less about trying to match an illustrative style such as Sylvain's, especially considering the turnaround for the animation.

John Lewis Waitrose Christmas Commercial 2020

Production Co': Hu_Sh London

Director : Sylvain Chomet

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