Storyboarding: Too Useful and Too Easy Not to Do

Filmmaking requires a lot of forethought and discipline to stay organized. For those of us interested in recording our toes dipping into the proverbial water, it's a good idea to learn to storyboard. In this video, photographer Iz Harris breaks down her simple process for those new to the concept.

It's easy to be intimidated by storyboards. That word tends to conjure up images of multiple white poster boards filled with detailed, well-drawn, and highly descriptive boxes detailing every variable to the nth degree in a scene. For Hollywood films, that may not be far from the truth, but for most other video work, taking a little time to plan out your video via a storyboard can help you stay on track during the shooting process.

Perhaps one of the most important points Iz make is that it doesn't have to look good. Unless you're going to be publishing a YouTube video about how to storyboard, no one is going to see your sketches except for you and your team, if applicable. Therefore, your drawings and penmanship only have to be as good as they have to be to remain useful.

I've gone on shooting sprees without direction and then pulled a video from seemingly out of thin air, and while it may be possible, editing a video without a predetermined direction like that causes a lot more stress and can take a great deal more time than a thought out and even poorly storyboarded concept. Plus there's something really satisfying about seeing your storyboard come to fruition.

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Wouter du Toit's picture

Thanks for sharing the article and the video! If someone would like to use a desktop app to collect all the storyboards, there is a free one here: I am looking forward, and have asked for, an iPad Pro app, but the desktop one does the job well, especially if, like most photographers, you already have a tablet for retouching.

D L Post's picture

Thank you for the video - very nicely done!