A storyboard is a graphic organizing device which uses illustrations, images, and text displayed in sequence for the purpose of visualizing a video, presentation, interactive media sequence or other emerging idea as it might look “in motion.”
Storyboarding was used by Walt Disney to map out his animated cartoons. Disney credited animator Webb Smith with creating the idea of drawing scenes on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board to tell a story in sequence, thus creating the first storyboard.
Almost every TV commercial, show or video you have ever seen began as a storyboard. The storyboard is a sheet of paper that breaks down the elements of a production into what you see and what you hear.
Uses of Storyboards
Storyboards are used today by industry for planning ad campaigns, commercials, proposasl, or other business presentations intended to convince or compel to action. Consulting firms teach the technique to their staff to use during the development of client presentations, frequently employing the “brown paper technique” of taping mock-up presentation slides to a large piece of kraft paper which can be rolled up for easy transport.
Storyboards also exist in accounting in the ABC System (Activity Based Costing System) to develop a detailed process flowchart which visually shows all the relationships among activities. They are used to measure the cost of resources consumed, identify and eliminate non-value-added costs, determine the efficiency and effectiveness of all major activities, and identity and evaluate new activities that can improve future performance.
A “quality storyboard” may be used to help introduce a quality improvement process into an organization. Uses of storyboards are limited only by your imagination.
How To Draft Your Storyboard
Think of the storyboard as a comic strip. Each block has a picture with an action and a line of two of dialog. The initial storyboard may be as simple as slide titles on sticky notes, which are then replaced with draft presentation slides as they are created. You can draw pictures, type or handwrite a description of the action in the blocks below. For each action, write a script or summarize the action for your characters.
Your storyboard is divided into frames. Within each frame is a box shaped like a TV screen with some lines below it. Using pictures or words, use the TV shaped box to describe what one sees in your production (video, presentation, business plan, etc.). Then type or write in the words or sound effects are heard in the lines below that box. This is the Audio. It can be the spoken words of people, the words of an announcer who is not on camera, or words that appear on the screen. Sometimes it’s a combination of all three. It really depends on your idea. In the advertising industry this is called the “copy.”
As what you show on screen changes, add a simple drawing or type out or handwrite a description in the next box with the audio below.
For this purpose, assume that you only have a very short time to get your message across, so your storyboard shouldn’t be very long or complex. And don’t forget to write your name and the storyboard title at the top of each page.