J. Todd Anderson

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J. Todd Anderson is a storyboard artist who has worked with a number of filmmakers, including the Coen brothers.[1] He also, along with film archivist and friend George Willeman and WYSO D.J. Niki Dakota, produces Filmically Perfect. He made his directorial debut in 1998 with the film The Naked Man.[2] A few years later, he served as second unit director on the Coen brothers' Intolerable Cruelty, which earned him membership in the Directors Guild of America.[3]

Anderson received credit for appearing in Fargo as "Victim in Field".[4] Instead of his name being used, he was credited with the symbol for the artist formerly known as Prince, which was turned on its side and a smiley face drawn in the circle.[5][unreliable source?] In addition, his name was used in the 2010 film True Grit as one of the many aliases for the outlaw Tom Chaney.


Anderson has stated that his role as storyboard artist is "less creative than interpretive". When working with Ethan and Joel Coen, the Coens go through the movie shot by shot, and Anderson works to "establish the scale, trap the angle, ID the character, get the action". Afterwards he sits and does a more polished drawing from the sketches drawn with the directors. After getting feedback from the filmmakers and adding several details, such as facial expressions, necessary props and arrows depicting actor and camera movement, the drawings are photocopied and given to everyone on the set. Thus, the storyboards Anderson creates are vital to the smooth process and good communication on the film set.[citation needed]

Anderson has contributed to and been credited for the storyboards of the following films:[6]

Film Year
Raising Arizona 1987
Twister 1989
Miller's Crossing 1990
Barton Fink 1991
The Addams Family 1991
The Hudsucker Proxy 1994
Nadja 1994
Search and Destroy 1995
Something to Talk About 1995
Fargo 1996
The Big Lebowski 1998
Weeping Shriner 1999
O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2000
The Mothman Prophecies 2002
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002
Shooting Miller's Crossing: A Conversation with Barry Sonnenfeld 2003
The Stepford Wives 2004
No Country for Old Men
(credited as Visual Supervisor)
Have Dreams, Will Travel 2007
Nosebleed 2008
Burn After Reading 2008
Norman 2009
True Grit 2010
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
Hail, Caesar! 2016

Pop opera[edit]

Anderson has written the words and music for a pop opera entitled Nativity.[3] It tells the story of the birth of Jesus through the eyes of angels. First performed in Dayton, Ohio in 1995, the show was not performed again until 2008. Anderson cites his influences on the piece being rock operas such as Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar as well as gospel musicals.


  1. ^ Price, Linda S. (May 25, 2008). "Coen Brothers Movies: Drawing Storyboards". American Artist. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Nashawaty, Chris; Willman, Chris (October 11, 2012). "Flashes". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  5. ^ 7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Fargo!, CineFix, March 7, 2016
  6. ^ J. Todd Anderson on IMDb