Studies and illustrations for a praxinoscope featuring a 14th century Castilian knight charging on warhorse.
Inspired by Muybridge sequential photographs of a galloping horse from his famous Animal Locomotion series (1887). I would recommend the book, still unmatched to this day as a reference for painters and animators interested in studying movement. This praxinoscope is part of a larger permanent historical exhibition designed for the Battle of Atoleiros Interpretation Centre, in Fronteira, Portugal. The knight above is an example of the cavalry that took part in the Battle of Atoleiros in April 1384, between Portuguese infantry and a punitive expeditionsent by John I of Castile.
The sequences take the visitor through different phases of the famous Portuguese defensive battle, one of the first of its kind in Europe, exploring the trenching tactic used, troops movements and other historical aspects while interactive features draw on some of the injuries inflicted on soldiers whose remains were later found on the battlefield, studied by archeologists and visible in the interpretation centre.
Storyboard and production drawings for a film projection on large screen (ratio 3/1) for Fundação Batalha de Aljubarrota (FBA), the Aljubarrota Battle Interpretation Centre (CIBA) in Portugal.
The result of extended teamwork with producer & content designer Johan Schelfhout, Maverick ICS, this storyboard was initially used as a visual screenplay to pitch the show to Fundação Batalha de Aljubarrota but also proved a very good tool to help write the adaptation itself in sequences.
The script is an adaptation of Fernão Lopes chronicles, depicting the 1383-1385 Portuguese crisis known as Interregno. A story for the modern viewer, seen through the lenses of an almost contemporary witness, revisited by todays scholars to be as historically accurate as possible. The fierce political fights for power over the kingdom followed the death of the King Fernando I, and a civil war ensued culminating with the Aljubarrota battle in 1385, which involved Portuguese troops and English longbowmen allies fighting against Castilian and French knights. In this early version, the audience follows Fernão Lopes as the narrator on the battlefield in the the battle aftermath and is told how it came to be, from court intrigues, murders and alliances to medieval warfare and military tactics.
The film trailer:
If you are interested in medieval history in general and would like to know more about the Aljubarrota battle in particular, you should visit the museum, where you will be able to see the resulting show on wide screens.
As for the storyboards, we did many more for this adaptation, since there were adjustments made to the film, including re-shooting of a few scenes with additional budget.
Interior scenes were filmed with more people or in different locations than initially.
Even though we had a few film references, a big part of these scene actually work more like theatre.
In the end the show focus shifted towards a little bit more of spectacle and the battle itself. Subsequent storyboards reflect that.