How to create a Storyboard

Jen Buchanan (Banned)
By Jen Buchanan 1259 days ago



When you’re planning a video, the first step in the process is to make a storyboard so you can bring your script to life and present it to other people. A storyboard is a series of thumbnails that show the breakdown of the video, illustrating the key scenes — how the setting will look, who will be present, and what actions will take place. It’s often used as a mock-up for movie scenes, music videos, TV production, and more, and can be created by hand or using a digital medium. Read on to learn how to map your story, illustrate the key frames and fine tune your storyboard.



STEP ONE: Establish a timeline

  • Make a list of the main events of the story in the order they will be told. This is how they will appear on screen.

  • For your documentary, establish beforehand what scenes will occur and in what order.

STEP TWO: Decide how detailed to get. 


  • Before you begin storyboarding your documentary, look at your shot list. For each shot on the list, you'll need to think about the shot's composition and other details involving how it will actually be filmed.

  • Remember that the point of the storyboard is to provide visual clarity and keep everyone on the same page. It’s not supposed to be a work of art in and of itself. Take a practical view when it comes to the level of detail you choose for your storyboard. 

  • STEP THREE: Write a description of what each cell will show. 

  • For example, you might want to have a cell that depicts a conversation between two main characters. What needs to be conveyed in this image? Are the characters fighting, smiling, or moving toward a destination? Some sort of action should take place in each drawing.

  • Take the setting into account as well. Is it important to have a certain view in the background behind the characters?