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Weekly Video Tip: Storyboarding

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By Stephen Schweickart

RISMEDIA, May 24, 2011—Every video starts with a handful of ideas. Those ideas need to be organized in order to produce something your audience will actually understand.

That blockbuster film you overpaid to see last weekend began with a bit of inspiration that transformed itself into a major motion picture by utilizing what is called a storyboard. A storyboard is a structured series of sketched images illustrating a motion graphic.

The professionalism of your storyboard should revolve around whom you are creating it for. If you are handing off the finished product to a developer or client, make sure to create a clean final draft that is well thought out. A thorough storyboard should include precise technical detail and content, so to not leave your client with unanswered questions.

There’s a reason why the pencil is your designated writing utensil until the third grade. For as many mistakes as you will make while developing your storyboard, you will make ten times as many changes. Since this is the brainstorming step to producing your video, having a leaning tower of eraser shavings on your desk is perfectly normal.

The best way to get a feel for the flow of your storyboard is to display the rough draft up on a wall at your work place. Sure, your coworkers may poke fun at your poorly drawn stick figures, but who says you have to be Michelangelo to get the point across!

Do not hesitate to shift your focus in different directions with your storyboard. It is not set in stone until it is in your client’s hands. Sometimes you will come across a clip or two during editing that looked better on paper. Do not be apprehensive about making changes. It is always more beneficial to take a little extra time for perfection the first time around than to have to do a job twice!

Remember, be open to new ideas and changes with your storyboard and always keep your deadline in mind so that you may plan accordingly.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at http://www.vscreen.com/blog/.

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