Transcript of "Introduction To Storyboarding - Eraser Head"
Introduction to Storyboarding
Eraser Head by David Lynch
Reimagined by L.MacLeod
I decided to start my research process
by taking screenshots of the original
film and arranging these into a collage.
I then noted down all the timings for
the original opening sequence.
I used the screenshots and timing
notes to help me create new shots,
which were in keeping with Lynch's
style, for my opening scene.
Researching Eraser Head
• David Lynch directed, wrote, edited, created sound fx, art design, production design,
composed music, created special fx and produced Eraser Head.
• Production began in 1971 and lasted 6 years. The film was completed and released in
• Jack Nance – who plays Henry, kept his hair in the character’s style for the entire duration
of the production.
• Lynch was a student at the American Film Institute's Centre for Advanced Film Studies
when production began. They allowed him to transform some unused stables on campus,
into film sets for Eraser Head. Lynch also lived there during the production.
• No one is certain how the deformed baby character was made nor manipulated. Lynch
refuses to say how the effect was achieved. Some people think that it is a puppet made
from an embalmed calf foetus or a skinned rabbit.
• Eraser Head is Lynch’s first feature length film.
Main Characters in Eraser Head
Henry • Main protagonist
• Insular existence
• Slightly naïve
• Socially awkward
• Very shy and reserved
• Daydreams extensively
• Carries a pupa in a matchbox in
• Decorates his room oddly with a
bowl of water inside a dresser
drawer and bundles of twigs
with mud on top of the dresser.
• Owns one record which he
listens to whilst staring at the
radiator in his room. This is his
main form of entertainment.
• Has a girlfriend called Mary X,
with whom he discovers he has
had a mutant child.
• Henry’s girlfriend
• Has mutant child with Henry
• Has some form of epilepsy
• Feels she is not ready for
• Mary’s mother
• Does not entirely approve of her
daughter's relationship with Henry
• Feels Henry and Mary should be
• Sexually inappropriate – possibly a
• May be schizophrenic
• Married to Mr X
• Mary’s Father
• Friendly towards Henry
• Appears to be bi-polar
• Seems to have the ability to make the
plumbing shudder when enraged.
• May be a hypocondriac
• Married to Mrs X
• Mary’s Grandmother
• Cared for mainly by Mrs X
which suggests she is her
• In a catatonic state
• Does not join the family at
• Appears to still enjoy
cigarettes despite her
The Man in The Planet
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall
• Linked to Henry – his actions mirror Henry’s
• Could be a puppet master or God to Henry,
however he could just as easily be a figment of
Henry’s imagination. No one is entirely certain.
• Lives on the planet that we see at the beginning
of the film
• Lives in the apartment across the hall from
• Shares a phone with Henry and sometimes
takes messages for him
• Henry is sexually attracted to her
• Appears to be promiscuous
Lady in the Radiator
• Is a product of Henry’s imagination
• Appears in Henry’s visions. When he stares at the
radiator in his apartment, he sees her
• Has large growths on her cheeks that make her look
a bit like a chipmunk
• Sings and dances alone on a stage
• Appears to long for Henry’s approval and attention
• Becomes more aggressive as the film progresses
• Henry and Mary’s child
• Is extremely deformed
• Mary mentions that the doctors “are still not even
sure that it’s a baby”
• Cries constantly and cannot be soothed
• Will not eat
• Suffers from breathing problems
• Lower body is encased entirely in bandages,
with only the head and neck free
David Lynch’s Influences
• The Wizard of Oz books by L.Frank Baum and 1939 film directed by Victor
• Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
• Freaks by Tod Browning
• Nosferatu by F.W Murnau
• Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí
• Metropolis by Fritz Lang
• The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene
• Ingmar Bergman
• Alfred Hitchcock
• Maya Deren
• Andy Warhol's films
• Middle class 50's America
David Lynch (centre) on the set of Eraser Head with Jack Nance.
I tried looking for examples of storyboards by
Lynch, only to discover that he does not use
Shown here is a photo of his storyboard for
Eraser Head, which just has shot numbers and
some doodles. The rest of the storyboard is
Evans is an artist, who did her final dissertation exploring the styles of a couple of
directors. She produced the same storyboard in the style of three different directors.
Her Lynch style storyboards are very similar to Lynch’s animation style, and I found
them both helpful and inspirational.
Zack Snyder produced the storyboards for the
Since there was already a graphic
novel of Watchmen, Snyder decided to produce
minimalist style storyboards. They show
everything that needs to be in shot simply and
If greater detail of an individual shot was
required then the original graphic novel served
as a reference point.
inspired me to
draw regardless of
how bad at it I
think I am.
His style is
accessible to even
the most timid of
doodlers. If he can
get away with
drawing trees for
hands, then I feel
that I am not doing
Saul Bass’ work is inspirational, but
slightly intimidating in style for me. It’s
meticulous and looks wonderful.
I have chosen him as an inspiration to my
style, mainly due to his inking. The ink
washes that have been used in the above
storyboards to add depth, is something I
hope to emulate with my intended black
Other Works Similar To
• Most of Lynch's other work, both in film and animation
• The Machinist by Brad Anderson
• Little Otik by Jan Švankmajer
• Faust by Jan Švankmajer
• Ringu aka Ring (original Japanese version) by Hideo Nakata
• Liquid Sky by Slava Tsukerman
• Riget aka The Kingdom (original Danish TV series version) by Lars von Trier
• Kynodontas aka Dog Tooth by Yorgos Lanthimos
• Delicatessen - by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
• Carnivàle (TV series) by Daniel Knauf
• Rubber Johnny by Chris Cunningham and Richard D. James (aka The Aphex Twin)
• Shivers aka They Came From Within by David Cronenberg
• Naked Lunch book by William Burroughs film by David Cronenberg
• Xiu Xiu
For further information on this project, please visit my blog at
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