Kickstarter got a little more monstrous this week with Clover Press and Richard Bennett’s new book Godzilla & Kong: The Cinematic Storyboard Art. The book features storyboards by Bennett across his career with over 60 films to his credit. It features selections of the best sequences from the blockbuster hits like Godzilla vs. Kong, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Kong: Skull Island.
It’s a book for Kaiju aficionados for sure, but also for comic fans too. Bennett started his career drawing comics and turned to storyboard work later in his career. “I started out as a comic book artist and fans of both comics and films will see how that experience informs my work.”
If you’re a lover of cinema, you’ve probably seen many of the films Bennett worked on including Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, Star Trek, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Tron: Legacy, Dunkirk, Tenet, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Now live on Kickstarter, Bennett answered a few questions surrounding the book, what series would have him return to drawing comics, and more.
AIPT: What is something you wish people knew more about when it comes to storyboarding for movies?
Richard Bennett: It’d be nice if they knew all the massive planning that movies go through before principal photography. Many crafts are involved and contribute, storyboards being one of them. Yet it’s almost an invisible one.
It’d be nice if people could become more familiar with the craft and its objective. I think they’d augment their appreciation for their favorite movies after seeing all the hard work involved.
AIPT: When curating this work looking through your previous drawings, did anything surprise you?
RB: Well, it’s always a trip to look back at the work done for any movie, in retrospective. But what always moves me is when I actually finish a project and place the pile of drawings done in a labeled box. I still draw on paper, so they pile up…
AIPT: Your work in storyboarding is incredible working on over 60 productions. How would you describe how storyboarding something like Avengers or Captain America compares to The Social Network?
RB: Besides the genre, what’s most important for me is the director’s approach, and how they like to tell the story. Normally, once I start on a new project I like to become acquainted with the director’s work if I’m not already familiar with it.
Therefore, you are kind of ahead of the curve at the time to talk about the first scene.
So rather than applying a certain method of work to different ’genres’, I like instead to focus mainly on the director’s need for a scene, while also keeping the genre or subject in mind.
AIPT: With so much work in storyboarding, do you find yourself thinking about life, or a memory in a visual movie-making way?
RB: Not really. However, occasionally when I’m not working, and not thinking about the scene (but already have read the script), is when the best ideas appear in my mind. It’s a very curious thing.
AIPT: It’s a controversial topic but, how do the Godzilla and Kong movies rank for you, say top 4?
RB: I can tell you I like the three I worked on. They are all good in their own way. If I could add one more, it’d be Peter Jackson’s King Kong of course, it’s a masterpiece.
AIPT: You’re a seasoned comic artist too. Is there a comic series you’ve always wanted to draw that would make you want to return?
RB: Definitely I’d be interested on anything involving Batman if the right opportunity presented itself.
I still think Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is the best work ever produced in comic book history. It’s a very interesting character.
Also, I love Daredevil as well, fascinating too. But, yeah, no doubt Batman would be my first choice.
AIPT: As a comics site I must ask, are there any comics you’re currently reading right now either old or fresh on the shelves?
RB: Half of my library consists of graphic novels and comic books, so I’m constantly browsing through the material. I have the habit of revisiting random books with a coffee every morning before I get to work.
I just pick two or three books and browse through them.
But, last month I read again the whole Barbara series from the amazing Jorge Zanotto and Ricardo Barreiro.
I’m looking forward to reading Batman Beyond: The White Knight, I’m a big fan of Sean Gordon Murphy’s work. And also, can’t wait to get the whole Time2 graphic novel compilation from Howard Chaykin; he’s one of my all-time favorite artists.
First time I saw American Flagg, my head exploded. I never saw anything combining comic books with graphic design like that. Him and Ken Bruzenak took lettering to a new level. And the use of duo-shade paper…awesome stuff.
I also can’t wait to get the whole Clarke and Kubrick album from the amazing Alfonso Font. I have some of the albums, but not the entire upcoming run compilation.
Other favorites include Juan Gimenez, Alex Toth, F.Miller, Otomo, José Luis García López, Michael Golden, Neal Adams and Jorge Zaffino, just to name a few.
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