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Alfred Hitchcock & The Art of Visual Storytelling

While preparing for Historia de Amor’s brief, Boston visit (starting this Thursday, closing APR 24) the LA Times raved about the show’s west coast run, describing it as “If Alfred Hitchcock turned a graphic novel into live theater.” This sent me running back to my Hitchcock DVDs, which, admittedly, I had not focused on since my initial obsession while I was studying film production in college. I was struck by how painterly of a director he was, which made even more sense when I re-read some of his more famous interviews. Take this quote for instance:

“Once the screenplay is finished, I’d just as soon not make the film at all. I have a strongly visual mind. I visualize a picture right down to the final cuts.”

With his training as a draughtsman and some pre-film jobs in advertising, Hitchcock’s legendary storyboarding accuracy makes complete sense (though he always hired a storyboard illustrator to execute his vision. Here’s a storyboard to finished film comparison:

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Or let’s compare a page of Hitchcock storyboarding to an actual sequence in the film.

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Watch this sequence as it appears in the film here.

Hitchcock’s storytelling is so visual, in fact, there’s an entire website devoted to breaking down each of his feature films to 1000 still frames which themselves, without dialogue, music or sound effects, manage to convey the story and mood of the movie purely via visuals. It’s a master class in visual storytelling.

Luckily, Teatrocinema, the artistic team behind Historia de Amor, have taken many cues from the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and, as you can see, they too take storyboarding their stage works very seriously. Here’s photographs from their offices in Chile:

 

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All of this meticulous planning leads to something audiences have never seen before: a merging of cinema, graphic novels, and theatre. Behold, the look of Historia de Amor

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Photo cred - Montserrat Quezada A

 

Historia de Amor – APR 21 – 24, 2016 at The Cutler Majestic in Downtown Boston. Tickets still available. 

 

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