The pre-production stage is one of the most important parts of the video production process. Making sure that things are clear during pre-production will allow you to have a smooth time during filming. One of the most crucial tasks to make everything clear is creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a tool that will make it easier for everyone to visualise everything that they want to see in the video. This article will cover what a storyboard is along with why it is important, how you can create one, and which elements are included.
What is a Storyboard?
A storyboard is a sequential breakdown of all the shots that you will include in the video. It is a visual outline of how your whole video will flow.
It is one of the most important parts of pre-production and consists of a series of photos or drawings that will precisely show all the events that will occur in the video.
Storyboards can either be hand-drawn or done using templates and images with a storyboarding software. The finished output will look like a graphic novel or comic book.
Why is Creating a Storyboard Important?
Storyboarding is important because it is the tool that will allow you to translate the flow of your script from word form to image form. Each frame on a storyboard has to include enough information to help anyone understand what is going on in the story even if they don’t know your script.
A storyboard acts as a graphic novelisation of your video’s script because it shows what camera angles you should use for the key moments in your video. This makes it easier for the directors and camera operators during filming and for the editors during post-production.
When you have a storyboard, you will not waste time and money filming unnecessary shots. All of the shots that you should film and edit will be based on what you include in your video’s storyboard.
How to Create Your Video’s Storyboard
1. Create a shot list based on your script
The first thing you have to do for your storyboard is to list down all of the scenes in your script and make a shot list for each specific scene. You can even draw a rough sketch of the shot list that you create.
2. Design your images by drawing them or using photos
Once your shot list is ready, you can now present the vision for your scenes. List down all the shots that you will need in your video and then create these images by sketching them or gathering other images which you should place in the squares of your storyboard.
You can either go the traditional way of sketching the scenes, but if you’re not much of an artist you can just use basic shapes and stick figures or just make use of other images that you can use as a reference to the shots that you want.
The most important thing regarding the type of images that you use is that they should clearly communicate your video’s vision.
3. Use arrows to denote the motion of the camera and the characters
Your storyboard has to include the most crucial elements of each scene in your video. But while these images are static on the storyboard, the end result will eventually be a moving video or animation that covers the entire story.
With this in mind, be sure that you are able to clearly indicate the motion of your characters and the camera as well.
You can do this by using arrows in each frame. Arrows can show us where the characters are going within the frame and also indicate what camera movement you want to use for the scene.
4. Add shot numbers and additional notes about the scene
Once you have finalised the images and the movements indicated by the arrows, it will help to add additional notes at the bottom of each frame to give more context about what is going on in the specific scene.
This is where you include anything that can’t be easily expressed in the drawings or movements. You can also add shot numbers to make it easier for the production crew to understand the flow of the shots and scenes.
5 Elements of a Storyboard
The most important element of a storyboard is the story. By plotting each scene in order with the storyboard, it allows everyone to visually see if the story makes sense and contains all of the necessary information and details.
A storyboard also gives the team a chance to include and organise key details about the story’s plot in a logical manner.
Another element included in a storyboard is the characters that are a part of your video. As the video team develops the storyboard, you will get to see the development that the characters undergo throughout the whole story.
Using a storyboard allows you to illustrate and display the actions of your characters like where and how they move around their scenes.
The dialogue is also an element of your storyboard. Each frame should not just show the characters, but also include what they are saying as well. You can illustrate how they deliver their dialogue through visual cues or additional written notes under the frame.
4. Time Frame
Storyboards allow you to establish another important element needed in the story which is the time frame. You should include notes about how much time has passed between frames so the story can be narrowed down to a specific amount of time.
5. Camera Position and Movement
The storyboard helps you illustrate where the camera will be positioned and specify which frames will use a specific shot length (wide angle, medium, close-up). You can also indicate what movements will be made like if you will pan, dolly, or zoom in. Transitions can also be stated in the additional notes under each frame.
Now that you know more about what a storyboard is, how to create one, and what the important elements are, you are now ready to create your own storyboard for your videos.
If you need any help with creating a storyboard for your video, then our team at fewStones can help you out.
When you work with fewStones, you will be able to work with experienced video producers who will make sure that your storyboard is organised and detail-oriented so that your video shoot will be effortless and straightforward.