At 3:00 PM in one of the Panel Rooms at the Salt Lake Comic Con, comic writer/artist Tony Puryear, filmmaker Kohl Glass, and Nathan Best, co-founder of comicbookmovie.com, conducted a panel focused on how to tell a story visually.
The panelists opened with their opinions and approaches regarding visual storytelling, Puryear opening by recommending the film “All is Lost” staring Robert Redford, noting how most of the story is told visually with no dialogue.
“It’s a two hour story of a man against the elements,” Puryear says. “It’s pure film and pure storytelling…”
Following up on that comment, Glass explained how successful visual storytelling is about what is both shown and not shown, citing a scene from Jaws as an example.
“Quint starts telling this story about the USS Minnesota,” Glass says “Think about how weak that story would’ve been if we would’ve went into a flashback….that story was so chilling, and it was chilling because it was him telling this story that happened to him.”
Best then offered a more audience-oriented perspective on visual storytelling, particularly when it comes to adapting comics to film.
“To me, comics are the perfect choice for jumping to film,” Best says. “…if you want and easy way to do it where everything’s set up for you and ready to go.”
As soon as the projector was ready to go, Puryear then showed iconic still images from movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, as well as a few comics, including a page from his graphic novel, Concrete Park, which is published by Dark Horse.
“Some people think the basic unit of film is the shot.” Puryear says. “Other filmmakers say ‘No, the basic unit of film is the cut, the jump between one beautiful, uninflected image and another.”
As the panel continued, the topic shifted from juxtaposition of images, to how some images can’t translate across mediums, with the biggest message of the panel coming from Glass.
“Images need to serve the story,” Glass says, “If your story is good, then people will forgive the visuals.”
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