Transmedia storytelling – How many art frames are needed per minute of screen time?

Transmedia storytelling is the technique of telling a story across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.  In plain english for creators and intellectual property developers; let’s create a story that could take the form in comics, film, tv series, video games, and toys.

How much art do you need for each minute of screen time?  That’s the big question.  This is my analysis based on a couple examples just to get an idea so that we know what to expect as creators.

star wars a new hope manga

Star Wars A New Hope Manga has four volumes; each with 96 pages for a total of 384 pages.  The film is 125 minutes, so each minute on screen takes about 3 comic book pages.

tekkon kinkreet storyboards

Tekkon Kinkreet has 671 pages of storyboards, with 6 frames per page for a total of 4,026 frames in this 111 minute film.  This comes out to about 36 frames per minute of screen time.  If you put 6 panels on a comic book page, that would be 6 pages per minute of film.  The manga however has about 200 pages, which would equate to about 2 pages per minute of film.  Let’s take the average here and say it’s about 4 pages per minute of film for this example.

So there you have it folks.  3-4 pages of comic is equivalent to 1 minute of film.  So if you want a comic that could potentially be a 2 hour film, make a graphic novel series that is about 360-480 pages long.  If you keep your trade paperback books at around 100 pages long, then you need about 4-5 books worth of story.