There’s no doubt that video content is on the rise.
If you want to get into video marketing or step up your video marketing game you should get used to creating a storyboard for all your videos.
Everyone watches videos online. Yeah, a big chunk of all the video traffic on the Internet is coming from people who are just trying to kill some time and distract themselves from work.
But studies show that half of the professionals are watching videos that are related to their work.
On top of that, everyone from a stay at home mom to a CEO is more likely to buy a product after watching a video review or presentation of that product.
So you want to make your business videos as good, clear and concise as possible.
Let me ask you a question. Did you ever had this idea for a video in mind and then when your team put it all together it didn’t look as you imagine it at all?
If you are like most people, the answer would be Yes.
That’s when video storyboarding comes into the picture.
But let’s start with the beginning, shall we?
What is a video storyboard?
Let me just show you.
This is how a video storyboard looks:
I like to think of a storyboard as a comic book version of the video.
For each shot, you have a little box with a drawing of the scene. Underneath each box, you have some text which describes what happens and what is being said in that shot but also gives information about the camera movement, angles, or other filming related details.
So, a video storyboard is a drawing which explains what happens in the video, shoot by shoot. It’s like a script which is taken one step forward.
The more detailed the storyboard, the better chance the video will look exactly as you pictured it in your mind.
Why do you need a video storyboard?
Putting together a video can take a lot of time.
There’s the script, then there’s the filming and then there’s the video editing. So putting together the storyboard will be another stop in an already long and time-consuming process.
Hence the question – do you really need it?
I’ll be honest and say – sure, it is a step which you can skip if you want.
But if you are serious about your videos and you have a team of people handling the video production, a storyboard will help a lot.
In fact, almost all the corporate video editing inquiries we are handling, come with some kind of script or storyboard attached.
Here are my top reasons for which you should make a storyboard.
You need a storyline anyway
People relate to stories. Especially to those that are either funny or emotional. Or maybe both if you can do the two at the same time.
A storyline will make your video more engaging, people will be more likely to take action, to share it. And you will be more likely to achieve your goals with a video that tells a story.
YouTube did a little research a while back and they reached the conclusion that the storyline is the most important factor that determines if a video is going to be successful or not.
It makes video production easier
With a storyboard, each scene will be shot exactly the way you intend it.
Everybody knows what to do and what to say. When there are clear noted behind each box/scene there’s very little room for error or misinterpretation of the storyboard.
It saves time and money
Even if at first creating the storyboard may seem like just an extra step in the video production process, it will actually save you time and money.
There’s rarely the need to re-shoot any scenes when you’re using storyboards. And there will be way fewer questions coming from your production team.
How to make a video storyboard
There are many ways to create a storyboard for your videos, some more elaborate than others.
I like to keep things simple and I’m going to outline a 2-step process.
Sure, this is an oversimplified method, but unless you are doing a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie, it will work out great.
So here it goes.
Step #1 Get a storyboard template
The first thing you want to do is to download a template for your storyboard.
You can find a bunch of these online by doing a Google search on “storyboard template” or you can download ours which works out great for most types of corporate videos.
If you want the PDF version you can get it here.
Alternatively, you can also create your own, there’s nothing fancy about it – just draw a bunch of boxes on a piece of paper or in a PowerPoint presentation and that’s it.
Step #2 Filling in the storyboard template
You want to make sure you have all the boxes numbered, so everyone knows the correct order of the shots.
Then you want to include as many details as possible. And here I’m talking about stuff such as camera movement, angles, framing, audio, voice-overs, text overlays and so on and so forth.
You want to include everything in there so that your production and post-production teams know what they need to do.
If you have lengthy dialogues in each shot, don’t write them underneath each box. Reference the right paragraph from your scrips instead.
Here’s what information you should include in your storyboard.
The shoot pretty much refers to the way your videographer should frame it. So you basically have 3 options here: wide, medium and tight/close-up shots.
Ideally, you want to use all 3 types of shots, depending on the situation and on what you want to achieve.
For example, wide shots work great if you want to give your viewers an overview of where the action is happening. Wide shots work really well for the opening of a scene or sequence.
Medium shots are basically shots in which your subject is not too far out and not to close to the camera. Think of it as the distance between two people who are talking to each other.
Then you have the close-up shots which are used to capture the details. With a close-up shot you are basically telling the viewer “hey, this is important”. So they are used to emphasize something that you give more importance to.
If you will be filming at different locations, make sure to clearly specify that in your storyboard, underneath each box.
You may have scenes filmed at your customer premises, in the studio using a green screen setup or outside.
The angle of the camera is equally important. There might be a point of view scenes or scenes where the camera is looking up or looking down.
You can have low angles, eye level angles, waist level angles and so on and so forth. You will use each of these different angles for different purposes when you put together the video edit.
Describing the way the camera is moving is super important for giving your video the flow and feel you are after.
You can have no movement at all, you can have panning shots, zoom in or zoom out shots, pedestal and so on and so forth.
Will there be any music playing in the background?
Is there a voice over? Maybe some audio effects?
Here you need to include all the information about what you want the viewers to hear.
How would you like to transition from one shot to the other?
You can simply cut away to the next shot or you can fade out and then fade in or you can have the next shot sliding in from the side. There are countless options.
Your video editing guy will need this information.
Text overlays & banners
Do you want to display a call to action or a banner?
Or maybe just the name & title of a person you are interviewing. Add this information to the storyboard.
The list could go on and on, but I’d recommend sticking to the basics.
Keep it as short, concise and as easy to understand as possible.
So at the end of the day, have a video storyboard will benefit your video marketing campaign. Especially if you are working with teams that are larger than 3-4 people.
Even though it is one more step in the already lengthy video production process, it will help you organize your videos better and it will actually save you time and money in the long run.
To get started with video storyboarding, simply get your storyboard template and start filling in the blanks.
Be as detailed as you need to be in order to get your instructions understood, but don’t pack it with too many information. It can get too complicated and it will only confuse everybody instead of helping them understand your requirements.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.