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How to Make a Storyboard

Making a storyboard before shooting a movie is like drawing a blueprint before grabbing a hammer and nails. Do it well, and make sure your film is structurally sound.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Pick aspect ratio Pick an aspect ratio for shooting.
  • TIP: The aspect ratio is the physical proportion of the image you’re capturing, measured horizontally then vertically. Most television is 4:3 and film is typically 16:9.
  • Step 2: Multiply the ratio by ¼ inch Multiply the dimensions of your aspect ratio by a ¼ inch.
  • Step 3: Draw frames With a pencil and a ruler, draw out boxes, called frames, on 11-by-17-inch paper. They should match the dimensions from Step 2, and there should be at least four frames on each sheet of paper with a fair amount of space under each for script, directions, and notes.
  • TIP: You can also draw these boxes using a computer layout program.
  • Step 4: Make enough sheets for the project Reproduce as many storyboard sheets as you will need for your project.
  • Step 5: Start drawing Using your script as a guide, start drawing. Use one frame for every cut, or in animation, one frame per specific gesture or motion.
  • TIP: Add notes for scenes that require extra attention, such as pans, tilts, crane movements, or zooms.
  • Step 6: Draw important scenes first on separate sheets Draw key scenes first on separate sheets, making it easier to rearrange them.
  • Step 7: Check your script Continuously check your script. Rearrange parts of the storyboard as you go if you need to make edits.
  • Step 8: Show it off Use your completed storyboard to show people how you envision your script coming to life.
  • FACT: The storyboarding process was first developed by the Walt Disney Studios in the early 1930s.

You Will Need

  • Several loose sheets of blank 11-by-17-inch paper
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • And a shooting script
  • Computer with layout program

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