A video Storyboard turns an idea into a production. It concretizes a vision in a way that connects the brand with its viewers. The storyboard is a blueprint for your video, demonstrating how each part of the picture will blend together shot-by-shot. This ensures that filming runs smoothly by predetermining the narrative, resources, and cadence.
At True Film Production, we use storyboards to connect with our clients to turn their visions a reality.
Why do you need a storyboard, and how can you create a powerful video storyboard for your brand?
The Purpose Of The Storyboard
There are two key reasons to create a video storyboard: planning and communication.
If you want to see long-term success, you can’t just pick up a camera and start recording. You need a strategic plan that will tell you the resources you’ll need for every aspect of filming. A storyboard brings you through all of the elements necessary to create the video.
It can tell you everything from the props and costumes to the backdrops and settings, and from the necessary equipment to the editing tools. The storyboard shows how the visuals and script will align to build a cohesive narrative that aligns with your brand voice.
The storyboard tells you the tools, time, and budget you’ll need to effectively generate this video.
It also helps concretize ideas in an actionable way. It shows the crew exactly what each shot should look, sound, and feel like. This is a great opportunity for you to open the lines of communication with your video production company. You can work together to evolve the project on paper before filming to ensure each shot looks exactly as you imagine it (or better).
Ultimately, the storyboard builds a video vision so you can start filming with a clear strategy.
How can you create a video storyboard for your brand’s marketing campaigns?
1. Build a timeline of key moments.
What are the major events or moments of your video? Starting with the main points of action can help you organize your thoughts and build the adjacent shots accordingly. Focus on the climax as well as key turning points of the story. Brainstorm a list of ideas, including as many details as possible.
Think about the story you want to tell. What is the purpose of the video? How will this video and story promote your business objectives? How will each key moment build this story further?
From here, create a rough narrative timeline. This will help you set up the series of events. Break up the timeline into sections. You can later switch up the order of these sections to add intrigue and variety, like flashbacks or shifting perspectives.
2. Start with a template.
Use a template to start building each shot. Most storyboards end up looking similar to outlined comic strips.
The template should include:
• Rectangles for sketching the visuals
• Action description
• Dialogue description
• Special effects, camera angles, graphics, and audio notes
• Shot number for reference
Keep the visual rectangles in a 16:9 ratio. This is the same as most video ratios, so it can help you sketch the scene exactly as it should look.
We recommend using a whiteboard if you want to create a video storyboard. This is a great way to easily color-code and change your ideas as you go.
At True Film, we have a specific template we use to build visually scripted storyboards.
3. Break up the shots.
A “shot” is any duration of time that handles a specific scene of your video. The shots come together to help create your story. Each box on your storyboard should be a different “shot” with a rough sketch of the composition of people and things within the background.
Building the story shot by shot keeps the video as concise as possible. What is the purpose of each shot? Can you get rid of some shots that don’t add to the story? Do you need to add more shots to fill out the narrative?
4. Sketch the scenes.
Create thumbnail drawings in the boxes. These will show what that shot will look like. The sketches don’t have to be artistic or beautiful. Stick figures and symbols get the job done. You can even use photographs or images if you have a specific scene in mind. These pictures are just a way to get your idea on paper to better communicate to others what you envision for the scene.
When sketching, think in 3D. Use perspective and angling. Draw some objects smaller to indicate they are further away or larger to show they are closer to the camera. Using this perspective is a great way to direct the crew of the appropriate camera angle.
5. Write action, dialogue, and notes.
Most storyboards focus heavily on the visuals to get an idea of what the frame will look like. However, you want to also include a written portion that will give the specifics of the shot. Answer the questions:
• What’s going on in the scene?
• Who’s speaking? What are they saying?
• What props are they using?
• Are there special effects or graphics?
• What will the audio sound like? Is there a voiceover? What kind of music is playing?
6. Understand your cuts.
The “cut” is the end of a shot, where one scene ends and the next starts. These are the transitional periods that move the story along. You want cohesive cuts between shots to keep the audience engaged while progressing the narrative.
On your storyboard, write the cut between each rectangle of shots. Write what the “cut” looks like and why. What is the motivation? Why are you cutting at this point in the scene? How is it building tension? How is it driving the story forward? How does this cut hook the viewer and encourage them to continue watching?
7. Be creative.
Don’t worry about what the storyboard looks like. It’s okay to throw caution to the wind and build the storyboard alongside your imagination. Think of your board as an experiment. You can keep experimenting until you’ve built the final product you want to generate. Each new draft will bring with it new ideas and a deeper sense of the story.
We recommend using color when possible. This can help your ideas pop off the page and feel more realistic.
8. Make an equipment list.
As you create the storyboard, write a separate list for the needs of the production team. What does each shot require in terms of props, costumes, characters, and setting? An itemized list is crucial for smooth filming and production.
This can help build a schedule and budget. It will tell the crew exactly what’s necessary to bring the idea to life—and just how much that will cost overall.
9. Finalize the storyboard.
In its final drafts, everyone on the crew should review the storyboard together. Walk through each shot with regards to visuals, script, and notes. This ensures everyone is on the same page for narrative and flow. This is an opportunity for final feedback, edits, and pivots.
Finalizing the storyboard creates a clear and actionable plan for filming. Shooting and editing the video becomes significantly easier when the crew knows exactly what each shot will look, feel, and sound like.
The Bottom Line
If you want to create a video that will build your brand voice and appeal to your viewers, you need to start with a storyboard strategy. A storyboard ensures your project is more than just a video—it’s a marketing campaign that will engage your audience and develop your brand.
We believe in the power of the storyboard at True Film Production. Our content strategy and creative services focus on visually and stylistically building video concepts that will delight your customers with each view.
Start building your video’s next storyboard today! Contact us now to get started.
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