Making your story visual
At its heart, storyboarding is the visual depiction of how your video could look. Presented as a series of pre-visualised scenes, storyboarding can help identify what shots that need to be taken to tell your story.
Deliberately drawn in a simplistic style, a storyboard should give the viewer enough information as to the essentials of each shot without getting hung up on ‘the look’.
Editing before a shot’s even been taken
Quite often when the script is rendered as a sequence of images, simpler ways to tell your story will present themselves – and this is where storyboarding can save your production a lot of time and money.
Once identified, we can easily rearrange shots and sequences before shooting begins and trim down the production schedule. Similar to a script, a storyboard can go through many different drafts to reflect any improvements.
See the results before the video’s finished
Another optional step in developing a storyboard is to produce an “animatic” or animated storyboard. Simply put, the frames of the storyboard are recorded as a video sequence so that approximates what the final result could be on screen.
Another step away from the script to the screen, an animatic can also give an even more distanced, critical view on the story which can throw up solvable issues before you even get to the editing phase.
Storyboarding is an invaluable production asset
Storyboards help everyone get on the same page for a production, where communication between the director, director of photography, and other crew are paramount. Storyboards help clarify vision, align everyone to your video’s goals and solution.
The three stages of your story
A long-established maxim by legendary editor Walter Murch, in any production your story will be retold three times: once in the script; once during the shoot and once again during the edit. As all of your ideas, themes and messages come into focus, previously hidden opportunities for brevity and impact will suggest themselves.
As such, a storyboard should only be seen as a blueprint of your video. Whilst essential to its creation and intent, the storyboard may or may not have the final word in the edited result, as better ideas always have a habit of presenting themselves later in the edit.