4 March 2017

Collecting the scenes

A storyboard is a collection of notes and drawings that represent the scenes you’ve planned for your video story. You draw, sketch, or describe the visual part of the scene on one part of the story board page or cell, and you write down the narration and production notes in another part of the page or cell.

A map for you

My storyboard notebooksThere are many good, free templates you can use. My preference, however, is to use simple composition notebooks, such as the kind used by children for handwriting practice. They have a blank top section for drawings and sketches, and a set of ruled lines in the bottom section.

In the top section, I sketch idea and make notes about what I want to happen visually at this point in the story.

  • If a relevant photo or video clip already exists, I just note the file name and path here.
  • If the media does not already exist, I sketch out my intention here

In the bottom section, I write out the narration itself, and I sometimes use this storyboard as a script to read while recording the narration. Other information I put here:

  • Any planned text overlay
  • Any planned transition effects, such as pan/zoom, etc.
  • Any planned photo edits
  • Other visual items needed to complete this particular scene in the story:
    • Photos I need to go take
    • Graphics files I need to make
    • Website screenshots
  • Planned music files for this pane in the storyboard if I have that already
  • A note indicating what content needs to be credited to another person. I write out the credits themselves on the last page of the storyboard.

Storyboard page

Don’t overthink it

Just lke many other steps in the digital video storytelling process, it’s easy to over-think this step. It’s just a simple guide to help you organize the production process.

Free storyboard templates

TES teaching resources

From TES teaching resources. Google login required, and you might get some marketing emails, but the resource is free.

Education World storyboard template

Education World also has templates to download. The one above is in .doc format. has many templates, including a 1×1 grid similar to the handwriting practice notepad I use.

IndieFilmHustle has templates and a tutorial