Filmmaking is a creative process, and for each filmmaker, the process may be different, and the aesthetic procedure of putting the film together can vary depending on the writer and director. However, whatever style of filmmaking you may prefer or whichever genre of film you may be gearing towards, the planning of the film’s narrative is an essential part of the process – the telling of the story and its sequence of events.
Storyboarding is a crucial tool in filmmaking. It is a technique of visualizing the outline of the film through a series of images. Most storyboards are hand-drawn while tech-savvy filmmakers use specialized storyboarding software. Storyboarding can be very helpful in the preproduction process as the comic book, or graphic novel portrayal of the film narrative can make the filmmaking process easier.
Steps in Making a Storyboard
- The first step in making a storyboard for your film is to create a shot list. It is what it sounds like – a list of planned shots for your film. This can be started by using critical scenes from the movie script. In making the shot list, you can think about what moments should be impactful and which camera angles can best illustrate the narrative of your film. Characterization and film revelations can be also be made by proper framing. Your storyboard can begin by sketches of your shot list.
- After preparing the outlines of the scenes through the shot list, it is time to sketch the flow and sequence of the scenes as directed by your creative vision. Draw the characters and the background as dictated by your chosen camera angles in a series of boxes much like a comic strip. Stick figure drawings work as well; however, if you really want a well-drawn storyboard but do not have the artistic talents, you can always enlist the services of a professional artist or illustrator.
- Details are an essential element in storyboard making. One of the fine details that need to be captured in your storyboard is motion indicators such as using arrows to create direction. After all, the storyboard is to create an animation or a moving video. Props and background, which influences the setting and atmosphere of the film, are also important details to be included in the storyboard.
- Lastly, add words to the drawings to indicate what is shown on the boxes and to provide context. Writing words on the storyboard can also help for elements of a scene that could not be expressed adequately through drawing.
The Importance of Storyboarding
Why make a storyboard when you have the script already to aid you in the sequence and flow of the scenes? The benefit of creating the storyboard is that it helps filmmakers to plan the image of the scene in their minds by visualizing the scenes before preparing the site or the shooting of the film itself. It also allows highlighting of important camera angles and the critical moments in the scenes. This can be especially useful for directing complex and fast-paced action scenes. Using a storyboard can cut the effort and expense needed for editing or putting the film together in the editing room as the storyboard serves as your guide. In addition to making sure that you have all the needed shots for the film, it also lessens the need for video graphics and special effects for unshot scenes.