Sometimes, in the course of our hectic lives, it’s easy to forget — or not even notice — the little things that make living in Frederick County great. In that spirit, I launched, “What I Love in Frederick this Week”: the best food, drink, shows, shopping, and events coming to the city. If you love something in Frederick, let me know. Submissions can be emailed to or tweeted to @kamamasters.

This week: A filmmaking course with a nationally recognized storyboard artist

If you’ve ever watched “The Big Lebowski,” “Fargo,” or “No Country For Old Men,” chances are that you’re familiar with the work of J. Todd Anderson. The Hollywood storyboard artist is a behind-the-scenes force behind Oscar-winning films, and he’s coming to Frederick this weekend for a four-hour master class.

Thank local filmmaker Conrad Weaver, who’s hosting the class with Area 31 and DUO Media Productions. He and Anderson became friends three years ago at a screening of “The Great American Wheat Harvest,” Weaver’s Emmy-award winning documentary on American agricultural workers.

When Weaver heard that Anderson was touring with his latest book, “The Official Storyboards of ‘The Big Lebowski,’” he invited the artist to stop in Frederick. It was Anderson, Weaver said, who suggested hosting a master class. The four-hour course will include an inside look at bringing a film from script to screen, with a special emphasis on visualizing the on-camera action.

“He’s a renowned storyboard artist, so that’s really his main focus,” Weaver said. “He works with directors to put their concepts on paper and translate them to film.”

That’s storyboarding in a nutshell, an industry term as old as Walt Disney. The comics-style drawings help directors visualize how a scene will look on camera and troubleshoot any potential issues with staging.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Weaver said. “If you look at his storyboards for ‘Old Country,’ you can really see how the drawings translate to the action on-screen.’”

Anderson’s credits also include work as a director, writer, and visual consultant for renowned filmmakers like the Coen brothers. They are experiences he’ll share with the class, along with other production tips, Weaver said. It’s a neat opportunity not only for Frederick’s filmmaking community, but for anyone who’s interested in how the onscreen sausage gets made.

Anderson will also sell, sign, and illustrate copies of his book for anyone who’s interested. Contact Weaver to reserve a copy before the class.

Follow Kate Masters on Twitter @kamamasters

Follow Kate Masters on Twitter @kamamasters

Kate Masters is the features and food reporter for The Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at

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