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Animation and Adaptation

Persepolis came to the big screen in an unusual way. Marjane Satrapi is a well established graphic novelist, and from this basis the film was developed.
Imagine that you are able to finance film projects; do you think that this information would influence your decision? In what way?

Film and graphic novels are very different mediums and require different approaches and techniques.

In the section Production Process you can see the animators at work.

The following task mirrors that process, making you the director as well as the animator.


Working individually or in small groups think about an event from either your own life or the life or a historical person or character from a favourite book or film.

When you have decided on the event then this can be taken through the same stages as Persepolis:

Graphic Novel:
(click to download example pages in pdf format)

Storyboard – click to download storyboard template in pdf format.

Once you have drawn a storyboard use one of the following:

Windows Movie Maker, i-Movie, Power Point or Anamatics to test out shot durations and transitions. Does your sequence work? Are there additional shots or transitions that you need to add? Remember there is a difference between the conventions of a graphic novel and a storyboard. Think about what you had to change to make the storyboard work.

Using your favourite films as a way of thinking about styles and techniques that work is a useful way to begin to develop your own work. In an interview with Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (click to download a pdf of the interview) we can see that this was an important part of the process of developing a common frame of reference in the development of Persepolis.

Think specifically about your own favourite films. Are there any visual elements that you like and might want to use in your storyboard?

Find out about the effect of cinematic ideas/devices such as:

  • fade to black
  • jump cuts
  • dissolves

Adding to and redrafting the storyboard is an essential part of the process if you want to improve. If you were to then move into the final stage of production you would have the best possible foundation to start the final production work.

Please email your finished work to us. The best examples of any work emailed will be displayed on this site.