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UW-Stout student Griffin Buhman has a head start on his career as an artist and his first Hollywood credit to boot.
Buhman, a senior studio art major from St. Louis Park, Minn., recently provided black-and-white drawings for a new app called Shot Designer. It’s a software program that helps directors and filmmakers plan camera staging and shot blocking, a high-tech version of traditional storyboards used on film sets.
The program, for use on computers and cell phones, can be purchased online and downloaded.
Buhman’s artwork of a hypothetical interrogation scene is being used in Shot Designer’s online tutorial and marketing materials.
“The app lets you map out scenes for a movie. It’s a way to keep your scene plans organized and clearly show them to people,” Buhman said.
Buhman learned of the opportunity through one of his professors, Kevin Pontuti, who formerly owned a video and photo production studio in Los Angeles. Pontuti was approached by one of his industry contacts who is president of Hollywood Camera Works, which created Shot Designer.
“Griffin was one of the first students to come to mind,” Pontuti said. “The drawing skills and aesthetic sensibilities he’s developed in his studio art classes shine through in his entertainment design work. He is a great example of the disciplines of studio art and design coming together in a very exciting way.”
Pontuti had Buhman in his Digital Narrative class, which focuses on visual storytelling such as storyboarding and cinematic visualization skills.
“They gave me the app and had me go in and draw the scenes from each camera angle they had set up,” Buhman said.
Buhman drew the scenes freehand before scanning them into his computer. He then exchanged his mockups with Shot Designer several times “to make sure I was on the path they were comfortable with” before the two parties settled on the final pieces of art.
He was paid for eight drawings.
“It was challenging in terms of a time rush and interesting to get a sense of the work speed in the industry. It was a taste of real life, a wonderful experience,” Buhman said.
Buhman graduates in December. He is considering several career paths, including working as an illustrator for children’s books and comic books, becoming a storyboard artist or going to graduate school.
For more information on UW-Stout’s Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art, go here. UW-Stout also offers BFA programs in entertainment design; graphic design and interactive media; industrial design; and interior design.