We would like
to recognize the best storyboards from around the world.
With certificate and world-wide promotion prize on offer
it is hardly a category to be missed out on.
Drawings in any format even by hand is welcome to be
submitted. See tips section below.
All participants or registered members please note,
that all terms and conditions outlined by Withoutabox
must be reviewed and agreed to
ENTRIES CAN BE SUBMITTED HERE:
Fees - To be eligible to participate you must register
through Withoutabox and pay the fees accordingly
Film is, after all, a visual medium, and the storyboard
is the most often used tool for getting a sense of how
an idea will work before filming takes place. Storyboarding
involves drawing still, comic book-like images of what
you want your final scenes to look like. It is used
as a guideline for smooth filming on set, as well as
a template for the pre-production editing process.
Alfred Hitchcock was well known for storyboarding every
shot of his classic films. In fact, he was so meticulous
about storyboarding that he considered the procedure
to be the most creative phase of the filmmaking process.
Shooting the actual film was just a necessary evil.
The storyboard not only determined exactly what the
film would look like, it even decided what kinds of
camera movements and shots were necessary to create
the perfect scene.
Who can forget the shower sequence from Psycho, its
every shot communicating a new terror? Or the plane
chasing Cary Grant in North by Northwest? If Hitchcock
had waited to decide how to shoot the scenes of either
of these sequences on location, there is little doubt
that they would not have ended up as well crafted and
memorable. But how can drawing a few storyboards have
such an effect on the final outcome of a film? The main
reason is time.
If you don't storyboard, you'll be spending more time
with your camera in hand, forcing your actors to wait
on the sidelines and working hard to figure out what
to shoot next. Your time is better spent planning on
your own and going over your script in detail.
Pretend you are shooting the film on paper and drawing
each shot as you go. (For beginning filmmakers, it is
helpful to have a list of possible camera shots to assist
you. This will help you visualize the difference between
close-ups and medium shots, cutaways and cut-in shots,
etc. and allow you to choose what will best help "show"
rather than tell your story.)
Review your drawings in sequence to make sure every
shot will fit together smoothly, and if they do not,
it is best to know this beforehand. That way, you can
make changes before filming begins, eliminating the
stressful need for a re-shooting.
How do I get started?
To give you some practical insight into how the storyboarding
process works, here is an exercise. First use a storyboarding
template and make additional copies as needed. Next,
grab your favorite movie and watch a short scene with
your pencil and template in hand.
Choose something short. You may be surprised how many
shots (or edits) there are in a short film sequence.
For example, the shower sequence from Psycho has 52
shots in a span of only 2 minutes and 8 seconds.
Freeze frame your scene and stop at the first shot
of the sequence. Sketch what you see on the screen as
a still representation on your storyboard. Continue
sketching each new shot (or edit) within the sequence.
If the scene includes a long pan, or moving shot, (for
example, a pan of the skyline or a zoom in on an actor's
face), you can indicate motion within your storyboard.
Use an arrow to indicate the motion the camera will
make. An arrow can eliminate the need for multiple drawings.
Under the storyboard box, write careful descriptions
to effectively communicate the movement happening within
the shot as well.
To test yourself, or if you are a teacher, to test
your class, try the American Film Institute Screen Education
handbook and Door Scene Exercise. Teams of students
must create a storyboard of a simple scene involving
a door and a number of camera angles and shots. Then,
they must film and edit their finished scene based on
To ensure that the students' storyboard is complete
and easy to follow, they must trade their storyboard
with another student team. A second film is made exactly
as this "new" storyboard instructs with no
other communications from its creators.
Will the films turn out the same? If they do, congratulations,
you have created an excellent storyboard, one that can
effectively communicate your vision without explanation.
If the two films are different, you should go back and
try to figure out where your visual communication could
have been clearer and more concise.
A storyboard is the primary communication tool for
filmmaking. It does not matter if you are creating a
work of fiction or a documentary; each benefit from
the kind of planning that storyboards provide. The dilemma
here is that a storyboard should not leave anything
to the imagination: using your imagination could be
dangerous as no two people "imagine" the same
Use your original script to create a solid and interpretable
visualization of your story. Take the time to plan,
or otherwise you will be dealing with reshoots, footage
you cannot use, scenes that are difficult to follow
and a lot of miscommunication. Follow the great directors
who went before you and grab some paper and pencils,
because storyboarding is the secret to a successful