Storyboarding is a crucial step in creating excellent video content. This process is essential, whether you’re making a feature film or a short explainer video.
But how does one go about a storyboard? Is it as simple as drawing stick figures on a piece of paper? Do you need to hire a storyboard artist or need special storyboard software to do it? How will it affect the production as a whole?
Here's a quick guide to answer your most common questions on how to storyboard:
Storyboarding is a shot-by-shot layout of what your video will look like. It's like breaking down your vision into small, bite-sized pieces, showing each scene frame-by-frame. The storyboarding process allows you to organise your shots, create a smoother narrative, and more importantly, allow the rest of your team members to visualise the concept and final output.
A good storyboard includes what or who is in a certain scene, the dialogue or voice-over needed, plus graphics and designs if any.
Apart from being a great narrative tool, storyboards are awesome pitching tools, too. If you need to pitch an idea without having to use so many words, storyboarding is the way to go.
This process also saves you a lot of time, energy, and money. Since storyboarding is essential in creating a shot list, it helps you determine the resources you need, such as actors, the location, the graphics, and effects. Can you imagine just jumping the gun, hiring a production team, and shooting on location without a plan? You don't want to wrap up production without having shot everything, so storyboarding is an essential step that you don’t want to miss.
The best thing about storyboards is that you don't need fancy words or even intricate illustrations to get it done. Sometimes all you need is a marker and a few sheets of paper, or simple storyboarding software, and a storyboard template.
So, how do you put together a storyboard? Here are a few basic steps:
If you're going at it old-school, start by grabbing a piece of paper and a marker.
At the top of the page, indicate the scene number. Then create a row of rectangular boxes.
Then, label each box with the shot number and the aspect ratio of the shot. Within each box, draw how the shot would look like. Again, it doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. Stick figures would do just fine. Just keep important things like perspective in mind when drawing. For example, if an object is close to the camera, draw it bigger. On the other hand, if they're further away, make them smaller.
Under each box, add details like the action, dialogue or script, camera movement, and any special effects needed. You can also sprinkle important notes on there, too.