Here at Skylark we love a bit of drawing, and a good job too because we like to offer storyboards to all our clients as part of the pre-production process. This stage is often overlooked in corporate video production, but here are a few perks of putting pencil to paper:
Visualizing your concept
We find that a storyboard is not only a great way for us to work out the visuals of a video ahead of the shoot, but also a great visual aid for the client. It can sometimes be hard to imagine what your finished video is going to look like, so a storyboard is essentially giving you an illustrated preview. At this stage in the process there’s no pressure, so if you decide you don’t like a shot you can just pick up the eraser. It becomes a little bit more complicated if you reach the same conclusion in post!
Live action vs. animation
If you are concerned about the unpredictable nature of location filming, an animation seems like the safer option. It’s encouraging to know that you have control over every element of the video; from the camera angles to the colour scheme. However animation comes at a cost. If you’re on a tight budget then location filming can be a cheaper option and a storyboard can give you that sense of control over what’s to be filmed.
When producing a video it’s imperative to have a good flow of communication. The storyboard facilitates discussion about the video and ensures that you and your production company are on the same page. This is even more important on set when time is of the essence. You will probably want to be there for filming, and having the storyboard on hand will save a lot of precious time when setting up shots. Our Welcome Video for Oasis Dental Care was a complex shoot consisting of a series of long takes using steadicam. Planning was essential, and our detailed storyboard illustrated exactly how the filming and motion-tracked text would be achieved ahead of the shoot.
No good at drawing? Never mind, using still images can work just as well to convey a sense of your shot choices. There’s an image for almost everything you can imagine online, it’s all just a click away. This was particularly useful when we planned a stock footage promo for ICheme. The finished video would consist entirely of third party images, so a quick Google search allowed us to identify the kind of footage we’d be looking for, sourced from around the world.
Shot Lists and Mood Boards
A storyboard isn’t right for every project, some videos benefit from a more flexible documentary approach. It’s particularly tricky to draw up a plan when you haven’t had an opportunity to recce the location in advance. In this situation it’s good to have a rough shot-list that acts as a checklist for the shoot. Another great visual aid is a ‘mood board’. If you have a particular visual style in mind for the video putting together a collage of different images can give a dramatic sense of the look and feel of your video.