Story Board Artist

William Mitchell

William Mitchell

From August to October 2006 I was the storyboard artist, still photographer, and Assistant to the Director on "Diary of a Third Grade Teacher." My involvement with "Diary" (now "Love Song of  A Third Grade Teacher") technically began some  years earlier, the first time I saw "Third Grade Teacher" play live in Pomona.  Subsequently I saw the band every chance I got.  Little did I know when I volunteered to assist fellow FA member, director Michaela Von Schweinitz, on her upcoming project that said project had been scripted by Sabrina Stevenson, lead singer/songwriter of the aforementioned band.  After finally  reading the script, which I then said truthfully was the best I had ever read for an independent movie, I was more committed than ever to being involved in this project in whatever capacity I was needed.  I was impressed, and intrigued, by this tale of a beautiful but lonely singer/teacher's quest for sobritety and true love in the City of Angels.

Originally I was  expecting to storyboard whatever scenes were being shot the following day, but it soon became apparent that I would be more useful to the Director as her assistant.   Before  long I was driving the camera car while Michaela shot film, picking up meals from all over downtown, filling in on sound and lights, and hauling equipment, as well as taking digital pictures on-set just as much as possible.  I was pleased and  proud to be wherever we shot doing whatever was asked.  

One of my proudest contributions was volunteering my West Los Angeles  apartment complex's swimming pool as a location.  As luck would have it, the manager of my building had informed me she would be out of town all that weekend, so we encountered no resistance in making the swimming pool  the set for a crowded pool party that Sabrina finds herself attending.  I never heard any complaints from the manager.

On an even more  personal note, I had gotten into the habit of calling my ailing mother in Alabama each evening at 6, just to say goodnight.  At the time I did not have a cellular phone so this habit was often inconvenient to indulge from payphones, which were even then becoming  harder and harder to find.  Sabrina, Michaela, and various members of the crew were happy to lend me their phones without complaint whenever I asked.  Since my mother passed away unexpectedly barely a month after the project wrapped, I will always be grateful beyond words for those calls. 

That is just one example of the kind of generosity and kindness that were commonplace on the set during this project.  I always had the feeling that I was in the presence of friends.  More than that,  all the people on our crew were genuinely good human beings, the kind of folk you'd be glad to welcome into your living room - or your swimming pool.

-william Mitchell
Storyboards by william Mitchell can be viewed on the World Wide Web at  www.largedarkshape.com