The purpose of a storyboard in pre-production is to help the process more smoothly when setting up the cameras. You decide on a shot list. Then detail the location, characters, and type of camera angle ahead of time. This way, it establishes a visual format will get everyone on the same page. There are applications for those who want to stay within the digital realm. And even one for those with no drawing experience. Providing a storyboard along with a script is also a wonderful way to let the client know your visual goal. Here are a few tips to getting it right the first time around.
Start with a Shot List
After converting a script into a shot list you will know the minimum number of bubbles needed for your storyboard. Even if your video is a single camera angle, you should still have an image of it available. The best part of the storyboard is the establishing shot. You need to know where to point the camera and position your actors before yelling action. If you are working with something like a dolly shot then you may want to add this in as another bubble. But as long as you know where to begin then you can work around the details at that time.
Detailing movement in a storyboard is an optional phase. It further outlines and describes the work but not ass essential as the setup. For dialogue scenes you can edit together then you only need one bubble for each close-up. As a general rule, one bubble for every time you need to position the camera.
Make the size of the bubbles equal to the aspect ratio you will be working in. This is kind of a no-brainer but turns out to be a common mistake for the novice.
Visit your locations before you do the storyboards so you know what you will be working with. It might be feasible to storyboard some of the elements prior to this. But know that you may need to tweak some of the elements to get the shots that are possible.
Alternative Storyboard Methods
For those who can’t draw there is a mobile app called Cinemek. It lets you take pictures and incorporate them into a storyboarding element. The pictures do not have to be the people themselves. The idea is to frame the shot with whatever materials you can. Lego pieces are a wonderful tool to set these images. The versatility in sizes and the various accompanying pieces available.
Having a good storyboard is not an exact plan. But it can save you time when stepping behind the camera.