Denis Villeneuve has a reputation for his meticulous storyboarding of almost every shot of the movies he shoots. In Dune, the epic 2021 science fiction directed by him, the director dreamt up the visual progression of the story along with Sam Hudecki, storyboard artist, a mainstay in each of his movies.
Dune is a special project where Villeneuve began storyboarding decades ago as a teenager when becoming a filmmaker was only a dream for him.
Villeneuve has earlier spoken about his special affiliation for the pivotal novel by Frank Herbert. The director spent months with Sam Hudecki, a fellow Canadian who has been with him on 6 films starting with Prisoners in 2013.
Patrice Vermette, the production designer for Dune says that Denis has various storyboards for each scene and keeps them close by during the pre-production process. He experiments with the economy of shots, the tempo, and the mood, till he gets them right.
Villeneuve had earlier shared his relationship with the source of Dune. He was in his teens then and that contributed to making this film the toughest one he had ever done. His earliest dream was to bring the novel to life, and he was fearful of disappointing the teen in him.
Dune: Taking The Multiple-Choice Route To Storyboarding
In an interview, Villeneuve spoke about the Dune storyboards that he drew along with his friend. A present-day teenager with a smartphone might have an embarrassment of options available to them, but back then in a village in the Canadian province of Quebec, it was rare for a teen to get access to even a camera.
He turned to a storyboard to give life to his imagination instead. This habit stayed with him throughout his whole career. It continues to guide his approach to the visual medium even though he had is now an Academy Award-nominated Actor.
Patrice Vermette, Dune’s production designer says that Villeneuve’s approach to storytelling is for someone who has dreams of telling big stories but doesn’t have unlimited filmmaking resources.