Storyboards: What They Are, Why They Work, And How To Create A Great One

Storyboards: What They Are, Why They Work, And How To Create A Great One

Storyboards: What They Are, Why They Work, And How To Create A Great One

Looking for just the right sequence of shots for your storyboard? We’re here to help!

Would you invest three years in a university degree without assurance you’d ever be able to finish it? 

Would you pay $1,000 for a new coat without guarantee it would arrive in the mail?

And would you, may we ask, ever book and pay for an animation or video production services without knowing they’d ever achieve the results you’re after?

Hear us out. 

When film production companies meet clients for the first time, so many want to dive right in. We get it! Video production is exciting, and for many of our clients, it’s a chance to get creative with a team that knows and loves their work like no other.

But without proper planning and time for strategic development, there’s a high likelihood your video won’t achieve the results you’re after. Put simply, good planning increases your chance of successful outcomes. 

So it is that the storyboard is an essential part of the pre-production process. Why? Because a storyboard does, by definition, have the role of conveying to everyone involved in the creation of your video how the storyline will flow. 

With a storyboard, you’ll see how direction, narrative, human talent, CTAs and more will work together – like the perfect recipe – to achieve the impact you need. As such, you can map and fine tune every single element of the content to make sure you’re engaging your exact and intended audience. 

You might also find that film production companies often use storyboarding to help pick up, plan for and mitigate potential knowledge gaps and PR/messaging issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. 

But what is a storyboard?

Ask any video production company and they’ll tell you a storyboard can take many formats. 

However it presents, a storyboard is – at its most fundamental – a display of information or graphic organiser that depicts illustrations, text and images arranged in a particular sequence. It has the purpose of “pre-visualising” a video or animation so that it can be strategically developed.

Another way of looking at it is, quite literally, as a comic strip: every piece of the narrative sequenced, with text and images, to explain the direction of the storyline.

Check out these stills from a digital storyboard we created recently for a client. Then, stick around ‘til the end of this article to see the final animation!


Who creates a storyboard?

As a full-service video production company, we offer you a range of options when it comes to storyboarding. Either you can create one for us, or we can help you do the same. 

Often, our clients will come to us with a basic storyboard – some images, ideas or a narrative – that can be developed and reworked in partnership with our animation and video production specialists. This can work particularly well for social media video content where the client is already aware of what the video needs to depict, and achieve. 

In other scenarios, film production companies – like Pickle – can help create the storyboard for you, from scratch. You might find this to be particularly useful if you’re short on time, ideas or resources and need experts to take the reins from the get-go.

No matter where you need to begin, our Pickle Pictures teams is ready to help you create a storyboard that gets results.

What’s included in a storyboard?

At Pickle, we like to include the following elements to give you a well-rounded, comprehensive view of what your brand new video or animation is going to look like:

  • 2D images/stills of intended shots
  • Text to describe each frame
  • Character lists 
  • Information about the primary action happening in a shot
  • Slide/frame identifiers labels (numbers, text or otherwise)
  • Captions and descriptions to describe the content in each frame
  • Notes on media (e..g music) or visual treatments

…and more.

At Pickle, we like to make sure that storyboards aren’t overpacked with information; that they keep the narrative clear, focused and obvious to those who need to work with the storyboard – like script writers, directors, musicians, voiceover artists, and more. 

What makes a storyboard successful?

While a range of factors combine to determine whether or not your video achieves it intended results, a great storyboard gives you the perfect leg-up.

When creating a storyboard, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am I clear on the story arc of the video?
  • Does the video have a clear narrative?
  • What is the key message we want audiences to take away from this video?
  • What’s the tone of the video? Is it humorous, calm, persuasive, or otherwise?
  • What is the call to action (CTA)? What do I want people to do after watching the video?
  • How can we elicit our brand differentiators and tone of voice in this video?
  • Does any human talent utilised represent our brand values and identity?
  • What is the most efficient way to produce, share and develop this storyboard – on paper, or digitally?

And of course, if you’re not sure of the answer to any of these, your video production company specialists at Pickle Pictures are here to help.

Did you check out the storyboard stills from earlier in this article? Here’s the final animation!