Storyboard for Video Production

Posted on: April 24, 2023

Storyboard for Video Production

In this guide we’re going to walk through the why’s and how’s of developing a storyboard.

Using a Storyboard for Video Production

So you want to get into video production and make an awesome marketing video or tell your own story on screen, but where do you even start? Getting your ideas and creative elements down on paper helps guide you at the start of your process. Storyboarding is a great first step in video creation to get your information all in one place. From helping your time management for post-production tasks to helping with pre-visualization and budgeting, making a storyboard can set you up for success when it comes time to shoot your videos. In this guide we’re going to walk through the why’s and how’s of developing a storyboard before tackling your next video production projects

What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a visual outline that takes your script or concept and breaks it down shot by shot to show what’ll make up your video. You can think of it like a graphic novel version of your video. It helps you to visualize the story, pacing, and camera angles, and allows you to troubleshoot any problem you might see before getting out into the field. There are several different types of storyboards depending on your video’s needs but you could go as basic as stick figures and arrows or as detailed as taking an image you’ll actual be using in the final video. When planning a storyboard, think of it as a guide or map that has all the information you’ll need for your production.

Benefits of using a storyboard in your production?

The benefits of using a storyboard for video production cannot be overstated. It provides a roadmap to follow, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the video you’re trying to create. When getting your production team on the same page with information a storyboard is a great way to show your vision and helps brainstorm new ideas for your video. If you’re working for a client a storyboard might be crucial to help make your idea come across. A lot of the time the script isn’t enough for them to understand the concept but when they can see it in a storyboard it helps bring your idea into view.

Storyboarding encourages planning ahead and staying within budget for your video. Moreover, it helps you to visualize the story, pacing, and camera angles, and work out problems you hadn’t considered while writing the script. There’s less of a chance you’ll forget to bring a landline telephone if you have it in your storyboard. Storyboarding saves you time and headaches.

Storyboarding your video is also helpful with your video editing. Not only will your editor use a script but if a video storyboard is available they’ll be able to follow along while editing.

Image author Rodrigo Ferrusca

Types of storyboards for your video:

There are several different types of storyboards employed by video producers, and they all serve different purposes. The most common storyboard types for videos include traditional storyboard, thumbnail storyboard, and animatic storyboard.

  1. Traditional storyboard: This is the classic storyboard, a rough sketch of the scene, with characters, angles and background to help visualize the shot. You can add a description to explain the action taking place, describe any audio or music heard or even include pieces of your script. Your image can be as detailed as you like or as simple as you like. It can be time consuming, but this is still the most widely used method of storyboarding for video production.
  2. Thumbnail storyboard: This is where the sketch is replaced by a series of thumbnail images, similar to comic book panels. It’s quicker and less detailed than the traditional storyboard, making it ideal for quick design or brainstorming sessions.  You can even just grab a photo and insert it instead of drawing something out. It’s also great if you have a small or one-person team that’s doing everything.
  3. Animatic storyboard: This is a more advanced form of the traditional storyboard, and will take a bit more time, but is great when you have complex scenes, an interesting camera shot or animations within your video project. As the name might suggest, this storyboard takes rough sketches and animates the frames so you can see each beat play out. If your project is relying on graphics or effects, this is a great way to show the style and design of those elements.

Find Storyboard Templates Online for your Video

There are no set rules to creating a storyboard, so you can mix and match these styles or create something that works best for your team. The important part is for your storyboard to serve the needs of your video. If you need somewhere to start, there are many resources available to help you create a professional and clear storyboard. By searching online, you can easily find a variety of storyboard templates that can be customized to meet your specific needs. These templates can help you organize your story, plan out your shot, and create visual representations of your ideas. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned filmmaker, finding the right storyboard templates can make all the difference in the success of your video. Sites like StudioBinder and Canva have some templates to choose from, many for free or a free trial, but you can also just search Google to have access to a variety of storyboard formats that can help you bring your ideas to life, and create a compelling visual masterpiece with your video. 

Tips and trick to create storyboards for your video

Storyboarding can be a complex process but will be endlessly helpful. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind so you can make the most out of this step.

  1. Be prepared before making your storyboard. Have a script or detailed outline, know what audience you’re speaking to and have a general tone and vibe you want your project to have. Then use your storyboard to get these ideas across in your video.
  2. Make it simple. Show the important elements you need for your production but it doesn’t have to be life-like.
  3. Be flexible. Your storyboard might look perfect but if you find an angle or location that you love even more, you can always make adjustments. Be free to make changes.
  4. Envision the story and flow of the video as you go along. Your script and your storyboard can work together to tell the story to everyone involved in your video production.
  5. Communication is key. If someone else on your team will design your storyboard, let them know exactly what you want or give them some creative control. But work together to make it as helpful as possible when you get to the next steps of your project.

Your video production starts with a great storyboard

Utilizing a storyboard in video production provides you with various benefits, including efficiency, visualization of the story, and staying within time and budget. There are multiple types of storyboards, and they all serve different purposes, and you can choose which storyboard method works well for you and your video or merge them into your own style that helps you best.

If you’re interested in learning more specifics on how to add style to your storyboards or if you’ve ever been interested in becoming a storyboard maker, check out this article written by our animator/storyboard artist Doug Morris.

Hopefully this helps with planning your next video production. Let us know if you have any other tips to create storyboards or using storyboards for your videos.