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Story Boards

Storyboards are tiny drawings that show each scene of your film creating 
a blueprint for your movie.

They can help you keep your budget down by knowing exactly what you need to shoot and help translate to your vision to the rest of your crew. In the following video you will see some of the basic tips and rules for storyboarding. You'll learn ways to draw motion, number your boards, and how to frame your actors.

It’s important when drawing your boards to number each scene. It’s a good idea to number your shots so you don’t get confused later. When a shot is one motion that requires multiple boards, create a secondary numbering system. For example if your first shot requires three boards of motion label them 1a, 1b, and 1c.

There are several reasons to create storyboards. 


  1. provide a means for brainstorming ideas.

  2. help the students visualize what the finished product will look like.

  3. help the students use their time and resources to the best advantage.

  4. make it easier to plan how and what to edit for the final project. [Always remember, it is easier to change the storyboard than to edit the videotape.]

  5. cut down on the amount of time needed to edit a project.

  6. keep everyone on the “same page” during the production process.

  7. help avoid missed opportunities for camera shots that should have been taken. 

Here is a typical storyboard that we would use in our PTV class:   Storyboard Template

Remember: Storyboarding is one of the most important steps in the videotaping process. As part of the process, students may want to include notes about (1) the approximate time for each scene, (2) movement or transition from one scene to another, (3) special camera angles, and (4) any special effects. 

  • Always remember that the storyboard is not the end product itself. Students should not waste time making the storyboard perfect. Stick figures, circles, boxes, and other substitutes for figures or objects are fine for storyboards.

  • It is important to note also that everything should be done in pencil for ease of editing the storyboard.

  • Every scene contained in the storyboard should somehow contribute to the message/purpose of the video. It the scene doesn’t contribute anything, omit it.

  • Storyboards depict major scenes. They are not a frame-by-frame recreation of the videotape

    Once the students have selected the scenes they felt were representative, they will have to decide the following:

      • Who will appear in each scene?

      • Which camera angles will be best to use for each scene?

      • What size frame will be best for each scene: long shot, medium-range shot, close-up, or extreme close-up?

      • Will any special lighting or other techniques help make the message clearer?

      • What transitions will work best between scenes?

      • Should music or other sound effects be used to enhance particular scenes?