...but you'll only use one

A storyboard is a visual plan or a roadmap for your project. It's done by creating a series of frames that will represent each shot or sequence of your script. When done, it will show you where you are in the story and where you're going next. It will look something like a comic once you're finished and can be used during the shoot to track the progress of finished shots. Pre-production is the time to refine ideas before you start to shoot. As a filmmaker, your footage is your canvas and to use it creatively takes planning. That's where the storyboard process comes in. But where to start? Who will see these boards? Are they only for you? or do you need to show your crew or teacher?


Who will see your storyboards?

Determining who will view your boards will help you choose the amount of detail needed in each shot. Here are the two basic types of storyboards and how they're used:

Shooting Boards (Film/DV): Visually scripting a story and creating a shot guide for the crew to use on the set. They're called "shooting boards" because images are rough sketches that communicate the setups and main elements of each scene. This type of board can be made by the director and shared with the crew. Shooting boards cut down the setup time for each shot and preempts questions from crew members. Captions can hold slug lines and dialogue text; camera and lighting notes; or prop and scenery notes.

Presentation Boards (Film/DV/Animation): Used to communicate an idea or concept to clients, producers, a director or studio execs. These boards are "more polished" than shooting boards and are meant to impress and persuade; to sell the concept. Use digital photos of actual locations and layer characters, props and other elements over the background. Storyboard software captions can hold character dialogue or use Timeline sound tracks to place voice over along with music and/or special effects. Actual production notes don't necessarily need to be presented in these type of boards. Many animation projects lay down sound tracks first and build their animation (key-frame style) around the sound.

Can you guess which one most students use?

Stay Tuned for more Storyboarding Tips and Techniques by the makers of StoryBoard Quick

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