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WATCH: Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s Storyboards on ‘Pop Squad’ from ‘Love, Death + Robots’

Netflix shares a new video featuring side-by-side storyboards and corresponding animation from the Annie Award-nominated episode, helmed by the ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ and ‘3’ director, who also supervised the animation on Volume 2 of the streamer’s Emmy Award-winning animated anthology.

Netflix has just shared with AWN a new video that gives fans of the Emmy-winning Love, Death + Robots an inside look at storyboards, shown alongside the corresponding animation, from the gripping Volume 2 episode, “Pop Squad,” directed by Oscar nominee Jennifer Yuh Nelson, known for helming Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3. Volume 2 of the animated anthology has been nominated for five Annie Awards, including Best Storyboarding for “Pop Squad.”

“Pop Squad” is based on a story by Paolo Bacigalupi about a future where resources are controlled by the rich, “unregistered offspring” are forbidden by the state. A police officer charged with enforcing population control faces a crisis of conscience. 

Regarding “Pop Squad,” Nelson shares, “I knew this was going to live and die on the main character’s performance, because you have to stay with him through some horrific moments. We used facial motion capture and enhanced it further with key-frame animation. We had actors working together on the mocap stage, so they could interact and feed off each other. We wanted a subtle, realistic approach to the acting. It’s basically live action ballet.”

Nelson had always wanted to do storyboards, even as a little kid scribbling action scenes with her two sisters.  In college, when she found out that storyboarding was actually a job, she went on to graduate from Cal State Long Beach with a B.F.A. in Illustration and began her career doing storyboards in animation.  She previously won an Annie Award in 2009 for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for her work on Kung Fu Panda.

Love, Death & Robots is executive produced and created by Tim Miller (DeadpoolTerminator: Dark Fate) and David Fincher (MINDHUNTERGone GirlHouse of Cards). For Volume 2, Miller was joined by Nelson as supervising director; Joshua Donen and Jennifer Miller also serve as executive producers. 

Go inside Nelson’s storyboards and animation on “Pop Squad” from Volume 2 of Love, Death + Robots:

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.