Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Storyboard artist J. Todd Anderson to share film experiences

J. Todd Alexander will show how he sketches scenes in the storyboard process during his talk Friday at the Mercantile Library.
Courtesy Women in Film
J. Todd Alexander will show how he sketches scenes in the storyboard process during his talk Friday at the Mercantile Library.

Dayton native's movie credits include Men In Black, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The Addams Family, Twister and three George Clooney films.

Most of J. Todd Anderson's work in movies has been behind the scenes, except for his small part in the 1996 Oscar-winning Fargo.

Anderson is the dead man lying in the snow in the poster for the Coen brothers film starring William H. Macy, Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi.

Poster for the 1996 Oscar-winning film Fargo.
Poster for the 1996 Oscar-winning film Fargo.

The Dayton native and Wright State University graduate will explain how he ended up playing dead — and tell lots of other stories from his 60 films — at the Mercantile Library 6:30 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 22.

For 35 years, Anderson has collaborated with directors as their storyboard artist. He sits down with them and reviews the script, then draws a detailed shot-by-shot visual guide of what the directors plan to shoot. So the title of his talk, cosponsored by Women in Film Cincinnati and the Mercantile Library, is called "The Art of the Storyboard."

His impressive creditsinclude Men In Black, Twister, The Addams Family, The Big Lebowski, Nell, The Dictator and The Stepford Wives.

Anderson first hooked up with the Coen brothers for Raising Arizona in 1987, and has done storyboarding for most of their films since then: No Country for Old Men; The Hudsucker Proxy;  The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Miller's Crossing; Inside Llewyn Davis; and a trio starring George Clooney, O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Hail Caesar and Burn After Reading.

Clooney also has used his storyboards directing Leatherheads, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Suburbicon. Anderson has also worked with directors Barry Sonnenfeld, Frank Oz, Drew Barrymore, Charlie Day, Lasse Hallstrom, Shane Black and Jodie Foster.

Early in his career, he participated in two 1991 Cincinnati movies — Foster's Little Man Tate and Bill Duke's A Rage in Harlem starring Forest Whitaker, Danny Glover, Robin Givens and Gregory Hines. He also came back to Cincinnati for Robert Redford's The Old Man and The Gun, shot here in 2017.

The evening begins with a 6 p.m. reception at the Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., 11th floor, in downtown Cincinnati. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $25 for the general public and $15 for Women in Film and library members. Here's a link to membership information for Women In Filmand for theMercantile Library.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.