In sketching animals from life i'm finding it helpful to use light 3dish boxes as a guide for placing props or characters. Also in sketching from life im finding it helpful to think about sketching separate for the things we see in real life versus imagined poses. Because animals move so quickly its helpful to try to get a hint of it and sketch this in one sketch then next to it without looking up sketch a sort of imagined completion for the sketch that was just drawn based on life (but in a new drawing so dont lose the initial "life based" sketch). I'm finding it fun to not restrict myself to completion of a life sketch when the animal is moving fast but instead to try to capture a curve or maybe even arms or legs placements. After this "life based pass" then look down at sketchbook and try to complete a new imagined drawing using the "life based pass" as a guide.
In making these sketches it was helpful to have some reference for types of dialogue staging.
In studying films its helpful to look up the influences of you're favorite film directors.
Steven Katz's Film directing shot by shot