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Video • August 2016

The Art of Storyboarding

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The Art of Storyboarding

Basil Shadid
This article was contributed by
Basil Shadid

Good storyboards can bridge the gap between concept and execution.

Great film directors often comment about the ability to picture an entire movie in their head before it’s captured on camera. To ensure continuity of vision, these directors often employ a storyboard artist to draw those images and create the first visual reference for a project.

Why Storyboard?

Storyboarding is a great tool for ensuring that the visual idea of a concept is communicated properly. It’s a valuable method for making sure that everyone is on the same page with a creative idea.

Often, when we’re creating video, we start with a conceptualization phase. We sit in a room and ideate on the possible characters and narratives that create the story for the project.

Communicating a visual idea verbally can prove to be challenging, especially when subjectivity comes into play and skews our visual interpretation of someone else’s ideas. Say someone wanted an image to look “sleek.” You can picture what “sleek” means to you. But it’s pretty unlikely everyone else in the room will have that same picture in their brains.

Plus, production (filming) is often the most expensive part of the video creation process. So if the entire team — camera operators, wardrobe, actors, directors, art department, etc. — have different visual reference points for the same idea, it can get expensive fast. That’s why we use storyboarding to ensure that a consistent reference point is established before filming.

How it’s done

The first step to any video project is development. In this process, we hone the idea and figure out the best way to execute it. During this process, we move from a wider concept to a specific shot list and script. When we’ve created these assets, we work with our talented storyboard artists to draw key frames from the script.

Once we’ve created these, they go through a review process to make sure that each element is in line with the visual idea for the process.

Once the concepts are approved, we move into the pre-production phase. In this phase, each of our team members works from the same storyboards to create what we see. The boards become a part of the visual reference for the entire production plan for the project.

The Final Product

To see how this relates to the end product, check out the final piece that originated from the storyboarding process.