The Art of “The 39 Steps” Part 3: The Storyboards

19 05 2010

Here’s our last look at artwork associated with “The 39 Steps,” as my “39 Steps Fest” enters its final week of excitement. Following my previous posts about the movie’s many posters and lobby cards, here are two storyboards drawn by Alfred Hitchcock in preparation for the movie, along with a lovely shot of Hitch himself…

Hitchcock at work on a storyboard for a later film.

Hitchcock’s storyboards were part of his meticulous planning for each of his movies. As he says in some of his essays in the book I’m currently reading, “Hitchcock on Hitchcock,” he felt very strongly about planning every possible step in his filmmaking process, including edits, montages, camera angles, costuming, sound, music and more. The fact that he was a talented artist – he drew the famous caricature that appeared on TV – allowed him to pioneer storyboarding for film, and those storyboards appeared in print as a way to build publicity for his pictures. There were times, in fact, when his publicity people would ask him to whip up a few drawings after the fact, just to enhance Hitch’s reputation as a filmmaker and build interest in his latest project.

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2 responses

20 05 2010

Those are actually really impressive boards. Nice sense of perspective and lighting.

12 08 2011
91. The 39 Steps « Cinema 1001

[…] can be seen in his remarkable storyboards for the film, some of which can be glimpsed at the lovely Hitchcock and Me blog. What Hitchcock began in Blackmail – the sexy blonde with a stocking episode, the […]

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