Story Boards

by Michael Neel & Greg Ansin

Once you have decided on your story, storyboard it in as much detail as possible (SEE EXAMPLE BELOW of what a storyboard can look like). Storyboarding also means including notes and the specific part of the script you will be filming. A binder is a good way to organize your storyboards, and there are many computer programs that can help you.

Storyboard for the Drive-In Horrorshow’s “The Meat Man”.

Don’t worry if you can’t draw. Stick figures are fine (sometimes different colors are useful to tell characters apart). The most important thing is that you can tell how many people are in the shot, where they are in relation to each other, and how big the shot is.

The main things a story board should tell us:
-What we are going to film.
-Where we are going to be shooting (locations).
-Who we are going to be filming (Actors).
-What props, special FX or equipment are needed for the scene.

Story boards give us the opportunity to say “what if we filmed it like this?”, “ what if it was done in long shots?”, or “could this actor be here?”. The more you figure out here, the less will have to be done on set.

Storyboard for the Drive-In Horrorshow’s “The Meat Man”.

If you want to go all out on your storyboards and have some acting skill, record a reading of your script and make a quick storyboard edit our your film. See if it works. We have seen a few of our stories fall apart at this point — better here than after filming, when you have spent a bunch of time and money. Likewise, seeing a storyboard edit work well can give you new ideas about how to improve a scene.

Storyboard for the Drive-In Horrorshow’s “The Meat Man”.

When you look at all your storyboards in sequence you should be able to see how you will build your film from start to finish. Do you have too many shots? Not enough? The more work you do now the better your experience will be on set.

From this we can make our shooting break downs, figure out locations and start casting.


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