Storyboarding, 5th July 2008

 
 

Fran Hazelton talked about the Babylon creation myth known as Enuma elish that she was preparing for a storytelling performance at the British Museum.

June Peters demonstrated the process of storyboarding. This is a technique for holding a story in your head so you can tell it as an oral storyteller. June told the Sumerian story known as The Marriage of Martu. Then workshop participants told her what happens in the story, the events. They pieced the story together in a group discussion.

On a large sheet of paper, divided into six segments, June then sketched the story’s opening and closing events. She drew simple, cartoon-like images of a city with ploughed fields and the faraway wild open country where people live in tents. She drew stick people for the city’s king and his beautiful daughter. The story ends with the princess telling her girlfriend she will marry Martu, the nomad who won her heart and her father’s consent when he became the champion wrestler at a festival in the city.

In twos and threes the workshop participants then discussed what happens in The Marriage of Martu between the first and last events. They discussed the sequence of events, what happens in each event and how one event leads to another. They drew their own sets of images for the second, third, fourth and fifth segments of the storyboard.

June then put these missing segments on the large sheet of paper and The Marriage of Martu appeared as six memorable sets of images from which the whole story could be told. As they say in the newspaper business: a picture is worth a thousand words!

June then sang the English folk ballad known as She’s gone with the raggle-taggle gypsies oh! This story, like The Marriage of Martu, is about the love between a high-born lady and a man outside the settled, rule-bound society she belongs to.

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