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Storyboards in Filmmaking

A Storyboard is like comics; a collection of images telling a story. It is a part of the Pre-production process in the filmmaking, where the Director and his team visualize the scenes and shots as per the script, and draws them on a paper or computer. Storyboard then helps everyone in the film team like Cinematographer, Gaffer, Makeup Artists, Costumes, Art Director, Producer, Location managers etc to exactly know what the scene is going to be like and what are the things required in that scene.

When we come across an intriguing narrative, we begin imagining the scenario in vivid colors and moving images. A simple idea can turn into an elaborate output of various elements combined to form an illustration. Nowadays, novels and essays written by classical writers and modern authors are molded by directors to become motion pictures—The Hunger Games, Romeo and Juliet, and Murder on the Orient Express and much more. In achieving the goal of delivering a decent film for viewers, directors and producers have different tools at their disposal. Besides Shot Lists, scripts, and artists, they also need a storyboard.

‘Storyboard your film for better execution’

How relevant is storyboarding your film for Pre-Production is one of the many subjects being taught at the Discover Cinema Programme of the Indian Film Institute in its online Film Production Course.

How do storyboards help?

The most important thing for Cinematographers is to follow the Director’s vision, to understand the story, the dramatic elements, requirements, pace, texture, canvas and create lighting, camera angles, and movements in sync with the briefings. Storyboards are a big help in the process. The Cinematographer, however, must also watch rehearsals with actors to get clarity.

What is a Storyboard?

The classic definition of the storyboard is that it is a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a film or television production.

This is a Storyboard from the film 'ALI' based on the life of Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali. The image has been take from Directors Guild of America (DGA) who owns the copyright.

How does it help the crew?

The Storyboard generally clarifies the placement of characters, their expressions, camera angles, setting, and properties on set, costumes, and special requirements like a cigarette, glass, mug, pen or just anything. This helps the concerned crew member to know exactly what is expected of them or from their department. For example, the Costume Department would immediately know the kind of costumes required on the set on a particular day at a particular moment.

This saves time, energy and hence money but the storyboards are finally sketching and shooting a film requires far greater detailing and depth. Still one must insist on storyboarding as far as possible.

What are Story Boards and how to make these?

For better clarity, have a look at this film.

Example from the movie 'Jurrasic Park'.

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