The making of BTD promo video – Part 1 the Island

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When Dianne Astle, the author of Ben the Dragonborn, approached me to create a promotional video I was both intrigued and excited. I love fantasy and dragons; so this project sounded like something I could pour my creative energy into. I hoped to create a finished work that would meet Dianne’s dreams and expectations and that could be used to tell people about her book in a short illustrative fashion.

In the next several guest posts on, I will present the storyboard panels that I originally sketched to bring the story to life and ultimately create the promo video.

Before I could envision the world of Ben the Dragonborn I would of course need to read the book. Right from the first chapter I knew that I had the opportunity to work on one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever agreed to work on. As I read the pages of the book I found it very easy to imagine the rich images and environments that Dianne so masterfully presents through her words. I was riveted to the story of guardians, heroes, mer folk and dragons. From beginning to end I was inspired and that inspiration fuelled my creativity; allowing me to realize the video for Dianne.

The above opening scene is the island where the school that Ben Taylor attends is hidden. This school is enveloped within the remote Northern forests of Vancouver Island. I know this place well as I have travelled the forest paths leading to many of these rocky beaches.

It is not difficult to envision Dianne’s island cradled within the crashing waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean; to imagine a castle hidden among the towering trees and mist filled riverways. This is the magical beauty and mystery of where I live.

The photo that I used is located a bit farther North than where the actual castle school remains hidden near Gold River. When reading the book my vision was immediately brought back to the powerful waves that crash against the rocky shorelines of the West-side of Vancouver Island. I imagined a castle nestled between those very rocks hidden among the layers of mist. My sketch captures the mood and mystery of finding that castle hidden among the rugged beauty; the place where our adventure begins.

Sean Sherstone

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