A storyboard is an essential tool for laying out a video or film project to communicate the look of a piece, to show how a story or plot unfolds and to organize the sequence of scenes before any time or money has been spent on studio sets, location shoots or special effects. It serves as a roadmap for producers, directors, casts, crews, animators, audio engineers and post-production editors.
First developed by Disney Studios back in the 1930’s for their early animated films and used in Hollywood ever since as a standard art director’s palette for visually expressing scripts or screenplays, storyboards are now employed throughout the entertainment and advertising industries. They can also be extremely useful for small business, educational and personal video or animation projects to help define and demonstrate how the various multimedia elements flow together to tell a cohesive story in an easy-to-understand format.
If you are planning to produce a video biography, autobiography, documentary, historical record, training / instructional tape or chronicle of special events for your family, school, company or organization, we strongly recommend that you invest in developing a proper script and storyboard. The latter does not have to be professionally rendered or highly polished. It can be something as simple as a sequence of crude stick figure drawings in frames (or cells) with accompanying notes for scene numbers, titles, on-screen dialog, voice-over narration and transition effects along with a set of coordinated production notes to help organize everything in advance.
The example shown on this page illustrates segments from a rough hand-drawn storyboard for a low-budget home video. As you can see, a person doesn’t need high-level professional skills or a lot of artistic talent to create one.
There are also some very affordable digital tools and helpful free tutorials that make the storyboard process a snap even for amateur directors and cinematographers. We will provide some handy links to several of these at the end of this article. Additionally, there are many commercial art studios and freelance design professionals who specialize in multimedia pre-production services that you can tap into – depending on the scope of your project and your budget.
Along with a group of close associates who specialize in storyboards and other aspects of videography, the talented team at Legacy Multimedia offers a complete list of services to cover all aspects of video productions big and small. We can provide everything from pre-production planning, scriptwriting and location shoots to special visual effects, music, editing and duplication. Whether or not you use us on your project, we encourage you to learn more about the storyboard process and get organized ahead of time. Then spread your creative wings, start shooting scenes and have fun!
A short tutorial on storyboarding for animations
Acting with a Pencil – Storyboarding your movie – A very well written, entertaining article with several excellent examples of storyboard frames.
A Professional Storyboard for 3D and 2D – A brief tutorial covering the Premise and Procedure for creating professional level storyboards for 2D or 3D projects with several good visual examples and a free PDF file for a basic storyboard form.