Storyboarding Blood Simple

Since the beginning of their three-decade creative partnership, Joel and Ethan Coen have developed a meticulous approach to filmmaking. From the tight scripting to the impeccable visual style, each new Coen film is marked by a scrupulous attention to detail. This week, we’re thrilled to release the brothers’ 1984 debut feature, Blood Simple, a twisted tale of jealousy and revenge set amid the dusty back roads and neon-lit bars of Texas. Lensed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who would go on to collaborate with the Coens on Raising Arizona and Miller’s Crossing, this low-budget neonoir combines pulp pleasures with immaculately controlled compositions, offering an ideal introduction to the filmmakers’ signature aesthetic.

While preparing our release of Blood Simple, photographer Grant Delin created a video that compares scenes from the film to their original storyboards. Featuring commentary by the Coens, Sonnenfeld, and actor Frances McDormand, this fascinating glimpse at their creative process highlights the careful planning that went into the film’s construction.

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