I want you to think of one of the best videos you've ever seen. It could be a full-length movie, an episode of a TV series, or even a commercial. Now, once you have one I want you to try to remember what the background looked like. Chances are that most of you won't be able to, but that doesn't mean that it isn't important! Many hours of planning go into making any successful cinematic piece, and an integral part of that process is storyboarding.
This week, Stephen walks through the importance of storyboards and pre-planning for video production as well as provides some basic rules and tips for how to get started.
Pre-Production Planning: Storyboards as Blueprints
Storyboarding is a visual representation, using drawings and illustrations to map out the flow of your video. This should always be done before you film anything. This is your chance to create a blueprint, a solid plan that everyone on your development team can follow and agree on. This is also the chance to hash out details, specific shots, and get rid of any ideas that will end up being horrible on film. If you don't do this first, any mistakes or changes to the continuity of the film have to be edited out. That will lower the quality of the film, possibly drastically, as well as make your editor your worst enemy. Do the storyboard first.
Don't Worry About Being Artistic
If you're worried that you don't have a real artistic talent, don't be. Big studios may be rich enough to hire professional illustrators for their storyboards, but it's really not necessary. Outside of your production team no one needs to see the storyboards, so if you can draw a stick figure you can do this. If you can't draw well enough to even outline the concept of your video, then you might want to just let someone else do it for you. There are also apps available that can help you complete your storyboard.
As I said before, this is the time to hash out all of your ideas. The storyboard will change, probably drastically, as the process goes on. This is a good thing. You want to get a consensus on any possible changes before you start filming, or things will start to degrade really fast. You will not be pleased with the results if you try to make these changes later in the process.
Once you finally get a final draft completed, it should contain several components. The following are ll fairly basic things that are always useful to include:
- Technical details
- Verbal delivery
- Set location
- Time of day
Think of a storyboard as your grocery list/dinner plan for the film. Forgetting one ingredient can ruin the whole thing, and though it's wise to have a backup plan, we both know it won't be as good.
Question: Do you plan out and storyboard your videos in advance?