How to create a storyboard for a website
No large cinema or TV production can do without a script, a director or a sound designer. Nor can a well-thought-out storyboard be dispensed with. And what about smaller film projects such as image films, documentaries or explanatory videos?
What are the advantages of a storyboard?
A storyboard helps you to visualize the film even before the first shot has fallen. Thanks to the storyboard, everyone involved in the production literally gets a picture of the big picture, on which everyone is working together. For clients, co-producers or investors, it is also often helpful if they can already get a precise idea of the project with the help of a storyboard. In addition, the visualization of the individual images and settings can be used to identify artistic or dramaturgical errors even before the film is produced.
How detailed the storyboard is can look very different. Either different scenes are summarized in one picture or something is already illustrated for every single camera setting. It does not depend on the elaboration of individual details or the means used, but much more on the conveyance of the content. So you don't have to be an artist or designer to make a storyboard. It is important that the storyboard can be used to understand the structure of the successive scenes from which the film emerges at the end.
When is a storyboard appropriate?
When a storyboard becomes useful or even necessary for the implementation of a film, depends on many different factors. In general, however, it can be said that the more elaborate the film, the more sense it makes. Large advertising film productions for cinema or TV or complex image films are meant that usually require a large team and a larger budget to be implemented. Such productions take great advantage of working with a storyboard. The production team can prepare precisely for the work on the set and the client knows exactly which film he will get delivered in the end.
In addition to the size of the production, a spectacular and extremely artistic concept can also be decisive for the use of a storyboard. Music videos are, for example, productions in which the producers have a lot of freedom in the design and implementation of the film. Even if the storyboard tries to outline the idea in just a few pictures, this can be extremely helpful in conveying a precise vision. Of course, this also applies to an explanatory video. Customers who do not deal with the moving image on a daily basis sometimes have difficulties to understand the implementation of an artistic concept - with the help of the storyboard, misunderstandings can also be prevented.
On the other hand, however, the smaller the budget and the concept of the film, the less you have to deal with a storyboard. Documentary projects, for example, that live mainly from their spontaneity, improvisations and sometimes coincidences, should not be squeezed into the corset of fixed images. It is advisable to look again with each project to see whether a storyboard is really necessary and helpful or not.
One should pay attention to this when creating a storyboard
The following video is super helpful if you're interested in storyboards but haven't created one before:
Of course, films can also be produced without a storyboard, but sometimes a storyboard makes the difference between any and a good film. Here is a brief summary of all the reasons that generally speak in favor of a storyboard:
You don't have to be a great artist to draw a storyboard, actually anyone can. It doesn't matter whether you draw it by hand or create it digitally - it is only important that the idea of the film is comprehensible. Because a storyboard not only serves the creative mind behind it to visualize the idea, but also to convey the vision to the production team and the customer.
The following 4 small questions are helpful:
Which image size do I want to use?
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If you know what image size the film should have, the storyboard should also work with it. Above all, this means the aspect ratios. Do you think of a widescreen format for your film? Then you should also prepare the individual images in the format (2.35: 1). If you are aiming for the 16: 9 ratio that is common on TV, then also use that in your storyboard.
Is every beginning difficult?
Finding a good start for your film is certainly a challenge, but extremely important. Also try to start your storyboard at the beginning of the story or at least with an opening scene. A concrete starting point from which the story develops is advisable as the first picture. From there you can consider the individual settings that the scene should tell itself about. Do you want to start with a long shot, or do you prefer a close-up shot? Where does your story even begin? Developing a picture in your head first not only makes the storyboard easier to draw, it also saves you a lot of time.
Which camera movements do I want to incorporate?
A picture can tell different things through the movement of the camera. Common camera movements are, for example, sliding or panning. In your storyboard you can use arrows to indicate these camera movements and your pictures will already become a little more lively. The first picture should show the starting position of the camera and the arrows represent the direction in which the camera is moving. With a second picture you can determine the end position of the camera. So you can capture a complete scene, from the first to the last camera movement, in the storyboard.
Is there any text in my film?
If your film contains monologues or dialogues, you should incorporate them into your storyboard. But a film consists of more than just pictures and texts. Any information relevant to the image can also be added to the storyboard in order to make the plot and the dramaturgical course more understandable for outsiders. Therefore, do not leave out any important information.
With these tips you should now know everything you need to know to get started with your own storyboard. It takes a bit of practice and experience to develop your own style and find out which technique is used to develop the best storyboard for yourself and your team.
On the way from an idea to the finished film, a storyboard is very helpful to convey your own ideas and to give the concept the finishing touches. You should make sure that the overall idea comes into its own and is easy to understand thanks to the pictures. Even if a storyboard doesn't have to be a work of art, there is a lot of work in it, so you should weigh up with every project whether the effort is appropriate to the budget.
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