Why and how to create a video storyboard | Step by step tips

A step by step guide on why and how to create a video storyboard. Doing this will save you time and money but also produce the video you really want.

Why and how to create a video storyboard | Step by step tips
Written by Mark Byrne
Inbound video, Video  |   3 minute read

Preparing to create a video storyboard? Then here is a step by step guide.


Here's an example we did for the New Media Company (top) and an extract from one we did for another client, TES:

short film storyboard

200915 TES 2x corporate video storyboard with script v3.0 (1)

What is a video storyboard?

Storyboarding is putting your ideas and visuals into a video script, in simple terms being able to write a “book of the video”. However it is worth it, it can in fact save you time.

Why storyboard?

If we have a well worked out storyboard, it can save us time in editing later. If we know exactly how many shots and what the shots are meant to look like, we wont have to add anything last minute.

Measure twice cut once applies to video production as well as construction, and that's why pre-production and storyboarding is the key to actually finishing a video on time and within budget.

And also making sure the video ends up being made as you actually want it.

It is human nature to jump straight into a project without spending the necessary preparation time to ensure success of the video being produced.

They say that 70% of the effort decorating a room is the preparation (cleaning the walls, laying the tarps, taping the trim, covering with dust sheets etc.). Think of a storyboard in the same way.

It prepares you for exactly what your video is going to look like.

With a storyboard you will know what each scene will look like and it will give you a clear idea of how it's all going to work out. You can practically see your film just by looking at your storyboard.

How we work as a video agency:

Once we have an approved plan and strategy, we sit together as a production team and creatively brainstorm the images to go with every single phrase, every sentence, every chapter, and every section in the video script and storyboard.

This is what a storyboard is. It's everything about your corporate or inbound video, documented down on paper.

You have several elements to consider when preparing your storyboards. You first need to evaluate your script and break it down into shots.

Then, as you plan each shot panel, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the location setting?
  • How many actors are needed in the shot?
  • Will your video have Motion Graphics?
  • Do you need any special effects?
  • Do you need any important props in the shot? (company vehicles, machinery)?
  • What is the shots angle (where the camera is shooting from)? Is it a high angle? A low angle?
  • Do you need any special lighting? (for example, candlelight, sunrise, infrared, or a bright sunny day).
  • What type of shot (close-up, wide-shot, jump cuts, fades etc.) See below for more descriptions:

Storyboard language

  • ZOOM: Use of the camera lens to move closely towards the subject.
  • TILT: Using a camera on a tripod, the camera moves up or down to follow the action.
  • PAN: A steady, sweeping movement from one point in a scene to another.
  • CLOSE-UP SHOT: A close range of distance between the camera and the subject.
  • DISSOLVE: A transition between two shots, where one shot fades away and simultaneously another shot fades in.
  • FADE: A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually Fades Out or Fade In.
  • HIGH CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks down on its subject making it look small, weak or unimportant.
  • JUMP CUT: A rapid, jerky transition from one frame to the next or abrupt transition from one scene to another.
  • LEVEL CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which is even with the subject; it may be used as a neutral shot.
  • LONG SHOT: A long range of distance between the camera and the subject, often providing a broader range of the setting.
  • LOW CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks up at its subject; it makes the subject seem important and powerful.
  • POV: (point of view shot): A shot which is understood to be seen from the point of view of a character within the scene. We storyboard your script with video, stills, captions, motion graphics, animation, music & voice over – to produce a Book of the Movie that you and your colleagues will understand. Please contact us to discuss your video planning in further detail.


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