A Filmmakers Guide: What is a Storyboard?

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Creating a storyboard is considered by many, the first step towards creating any type of filmed content. You might have heard the term once or twice before, but don’t worry! we’re here to make it easy and understandable for you.

A storyboard is a set of illustrated frames which work together to convey and articulate shots which will later appear in the film. It is usually tasked to a storyboard artist, however the director plays a role, making sure the storyboard itself fits well into the plot.

Don’t worry, you don’t really have to be good at drawing it’s just advantageous. However, a storyboard is a technical document and shouldn’t necessarily have to be seen by the audience.

So let’s get to it!

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What is the Purpose of a Storyboard?

So, why even consider storyboarding? Well, a storyboard contains the illustrations which will ultimately make up the most fundamental scenes of a movie. It allows the artists to design and shape the universe as imagination sees fit.

This allows the involved artists to play with composition in order to achieve certain effects during scenes, whether its a dramatic mood, or a creepy ambience, its up to the artists to imagine how the scene will convey beforehand. And there’s no better and faster way to communicate this, than through a sketched illustration.

Imagine being an artist and having to describe specifically how you picture Luke Skywalker fighting against Darth Vader in front of Palpatine. There’s so many ifs and buts to it. Nothing is as fast and as specific as a well drawn image.

Funny enough, the framed illustration even made it to the big screen.

starwars storyboarding

How to make a Storyboard?

The requirements for creating a storyboard aren’t many. Though it may look like it, you don’t really have to be a storyboard artist to get this matter into your own hands. Knowing a few things about composition and how to film neat shots might help, but really, its just a plus.

First off, you might want to download a storyboard template to save you some time. Fortunately, our friends from Studio Binder are more than happy to help with that. You can download the template and work on it from a computer software or simply print one and start sketching your vision of the film!

Now, you shouldn’t be expecting to smash the whole narrative into a single sheet of paper. In fact, one sheet will be able to provide for a whole scene. Be sure to include the film’s key moments rather than just the transition ones.

In case drawing isn’t one of your virtues, make sure to add a detailed description and to guide whoever is going to read your storyboard with arrows.

arrows storyboard

Just as storyboard shows, you can emphatize direction and movement with arrows. Its specially useful to indicate when an object moves towards or further away from camera aswell as the direction the camera frame should be heading to.

Benefits of Storyboarding

The benefits to storyboarding are many. In fact, at HookSounds, we consider its an essential start to every piece of filmed content.

If you’re not convinced yet we’ll name a few benefits of what you’re missing out on:

  • A precise visual reference to contrast against your filmed material
  • Storyboarding will save you time on set
  • A back up document in case memory fails
  • Optimal use of cinematic composition
  • Provides a clear communication method for the rest of the film staff
  • It’s basically an easy step-by-step guide towards filming whatever you have in mind
  • Quick, easy and organized message

If you’re just starting out on your filmmaking career, then I’ve got wonderful news for you too! At HookSounds, we make content creation easy for artists such as yourself.

We’re well aware of how well audio can benefit a filmed product, this is why we offer original, royalty free music tracks and royalty free sound effects for artists seeking to push their finished products to another level.