A storyboard is a visual representation of a film or video, composed of a sequence of illustrations or images. It serves as a graphic organiser or an aid in the planning of a motion picture, establishing what exactly will be shown on screen, from which angle, in what order, and so on. Depending on the situation, how much time you have, and what stakeholders (your team, clients, collaborators) are looking to use them for, a storyboard can be rough and simple; other times, they can be very elaborate.
We say, A Video storyboard is one of the important steps of pre-production. It is a tool that sketches different (mostly, critical) scenes in the video you are about to make. It basically looks like a comic strip. Each frame shows who or what is in the scene, what is being said and any other text or graphics that appear on the screen. Whether you’re going to make a video for your business or want to create a short film or a funny animated video sharing to social media, storyboard your video is pretty essential.
Why is storyboarding important?
Some may think of a storyboard as just a bunch of comic looking images! Why not skip this process while making videos? Here are a few of the reasons that will show why storyboards are a crucial step in creating videos, and therefore indispensable.
- A good video storyboard will help you visualise what the video will look like and make changes and come up with a final version that’s really good before you do a single shoot. Working on a story scene by scene will let you know how the story will progress. Sometimes a thing that seems coherent in your mind, may not make sense of paper.
- Making a storyboard makes your video production much easier and saves you a lot of time. You can start with the storyboard first even if you still haven’t written the script. It’ll only make it easier for you to write down the script.
- Pitching. Big budget movies like the Pacific Rim, Transformers and Harry Potter may not need any backers, but If you are a new video marketer, then you know how many times you need to pitch in an idea before it gets accepted. A storyboard is to make sure that your ideas are properly represented. It is like a draft you submit.
- Budget and Expenses. A video storyboard is the prototype of your video. Hence, you need a video storyboard to bring the entire team together, before putting all your energy, effort and money into making the final product. The greatest upside of having a video storyboard is that you will get an idea about your budget. Where to start? Where to shoot? What do you need? A storyboard contains everything you would need in a scene. So drawing up a tentative budget for the video becomes easy. That is why even big movie franchises like Harry Potter use storyboards to get things done.
Steps for making a good marketing video
1: Planning the marketing Video
Before designing your idea & characters on a storyboard or writing the script, there are a few things that you should put down on paper.
What is the Objective? Is it to promote your brand? Is it a how-to or tips video explaining about your product features or service? Is it to encourage more users and /or subscribers to your YouTube channel? Are you looking for more online engagement? Once you have clarity on these, break down your story into scenes. Where will the scenes take place, meaning location. What characters are involved? What kind of colours go well, in line with the branding, and are any props needed? etc.
Key Message. Video lets people see and hear your message at the same time. A visual won’t make much of an impact if it’s not accompanied by effective wording. Get your subject matter aligned with the right words, draft and edit a few times to make sure your message is crystal clear.
2: Visualise Your Script with a Storyboard
Before you go ahead and start drawing the scenes, there are several things you need to finalise first. Identify the Key characters or props, the theme of the video, the timing and span the key characters/ props will be appearing on the screen, Setting/ backdrop, location, and more. Next, let’s turn a script from something written into something visual by sketching them out. Worried about you’re not an artist? Never! Just do it! You don’t need to be a storyboard artist – even stick figures or rough sketches can suffice!
Notes and frames. The goal behind making storyboards is to bring to life the imagination inside your head. Decide on frames – For online video or TV use 16:9, for good film dramas and comedies use 1:85:1, and for square videos for Instagram and Facebook use 1:1. Aspect ratios determine the size of the frame you will be using in your storyboard.
Every frame in the storyboard needs notes, after you make a storyboard, you can add notes and details at the end of it. You can add it in footnotes, or as a dialogue box. Under each box where you’ve sketched the shot, write down the description explaining what’s happening, any dialog shared between the characters and additional notes such as camera angle or special effects.
Numbers. Whichever way you have done the storyboarding, whether on paper, cardboard, or on software. Number all the slides once you are done with the drawing and notes. That way identifying shots or scenes becomes much easier. It will also help you identify and put a cap on the Length of video. Depending on the subject matter and message to be conveyed, video should not be too long since audience attention spans have become shorter with the constant stimulus of advertising going around. You need to make sure that your video does not run over 3 minutes. The final length of video could also be dependent upon the Promotional Channels you have decided to use for sharing your video. Is it on your website, on your social channels or any other video sharing platform?
3: Collaborate and Revise
Now that you have inserted the script to match it with the frames using a storyboard, it’s so much easier to make your team understand what you won’t be able to explain in words.
The storyboard helps to team members, or your clients to envision what the final product would look like. Also, if the client decides to make some changes in the course, they can very well share their inputs during this phase so that it does not affect the production budget.
Storyboarding also helps in Identifying errors at an early stage. It is during the storyboarding phase that most of the errors related to narration, media, and other relevant details are identified. This saves the much necessary time, effort, and cost that could disrupt the production phase.
You’ve made a great video by employing the best team. Six months down the line, you need to update it. How do you do so efficiently and without creating version issues? Pick up the latest version of the storyboard, make changes in it (in track), and share it with anyone with the latest source files of the module. Continuing to use the storyboard as the blueprint for the course, any developer will be able to take the task up and make the changes without errors and version issues.
5: Last benefit is localisation. A well-drafted storyboard can come to your rescue again by providing the English developer with instructions in English, along with content for text on the frames or the screen, and the narration in the language to be localised into. The developer will refer to the English instructions to complete the localization without errors.