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The Coens on Storyboarding ‘Blood Simple’

by Celtx

Now into the fourth decade of their collaborative career, Joel & Ethan Coen have earned an indisputable position as some of America’s greatest working filmmakers. Their idiosyncratic oeuvre is composed of genre-bending, tonally eclectic films marked by classic sensibilities, dense dialogue, zany humour, and jarring violence.  For filmmakers trademarked by meticulous writing and directing, it should come as no surprise that storyboarding also plays a crucial role in their process.

As part of their special edition release of the Coen’s debut feature Blood Simple, the eminent cinephiles at the Criterion Collection partnered with photographer Grant Delin on a behind the scenes glimpse into how the Coens approach pre-visualization.

Delin’s video describes how the Coens intricately planned every shot in Blood Simple, both by frame and by corresponding floor plans and equipment setups.

“We’re more comfortable if we have a plan, even if we stray quite a distance from that plan while we’re shooting. The other aspect of it really does have to do with money… if you know from the shots you’ve designed that you’re only going to see this wall and that wall, then you don’t have to build the other two walls. It’s half as much money.” – Joel Coen

Taking a page out of the Coen’s book is a safe bet for anyone preparing to take their next project into production. We’ve stressed the importance of storyboarding  before, and seeing the process in action from some of cinema’s greatest masters should be more than enough encouragement for any Celtx creative to do the same.

Remember, your Studio contains all the tools you need to create a storyboard in the same style described in Delin’s video. If you haven’t tried it yet, check out our tutorial video below:


Source: The Criterion Collection

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