It’s Also The Big Things, Charlie Brown

Well, Emmys season happened and, in true Charlie Brown style, I didn’t win. I didn’t even get nominated. But I’m posting my submission because I’m proud of these boards for “It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown.” By the way, if you haven’t seen this special, directed by Raymond Persi (ExtinctZootopia, voice of Flash) check it out on AppleTV+.

This sequence, which is the emotional peak of the episode, requires Charlie Brown to chase after Sally, apologize to her, and then reveal the transformation of the baseball field—which Sally learns she herself inspired with her protection of a single dandelion. 

It’s The Small Things Charlie Brown Storyboard Seq from Erik W on Vimeo.

The setting drove the staging. I was inspired by a real-life baseball field near my home. Standing on the hillside that surrounds it, I could imagine the grand reveal of the transformed baseball field with Charlie Brown having brought a dejected Sally back to the hilltop for the final scene.

Working back from that, when Charlie Brown accidentally kills the dandelion and a very hurt Sally walks away holding her dead flower, we stay with Sally as she walks down a street under a canopy of beautiful trees; however, as she walks further down, we lose the pleasing green and go darker to reflect her emotional state. 

As for Charlie Brown, when he chases after Sally, I shot it so that the audience always sees the light at the end of the tunnel behind him. I wanted to show that behind him is where happiness lies. It’s as if he’s going into the darkness to rescue Sally and return her to something happy and light.

While running for Sally, his hat falls off. He doesn’t stop to grab his hat because Sally is more important to him than baseball. His priorities have shifted. 

When Charlie Brown catches up to Sally, she refuses to face him. He has to apologize to her back. I deviated a little bit from classic Peanuts staging here and shot the conversation more like a drama—a two-shot where we’re looking at Charlie Brown over Sally’s shoulder as he tries to explain himself. I wanted the audience to clearly see his effort as well as her move toward understanding in this tense sibling moment. 

When they return to the hill looking over the baseball field, I wanted it to feel sort of magical. The sun is setting, the field looks idyllic, and Sally’s dead dandelion opens one more time, completing its transformation and releasing its seeds, the cycle of life up close.

This called for a wide-open shot to get a sense of something larger at stake and to suggest emotional growth for brother and sister as we wrapped up our story. 

If you haven’t seen it yet go check it out on AppleTVplus. It’s a beautiful special with a great musical number composed by Ben Folds. You’re gonna love it.

Also posted to INSTAGRAM and TUMBLR


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *