A storyboard is a frame by frame drawing/sketch/plan for each shot in your planned media product.  You need not be a great artist for the sketch is accompanied by other details below, to help you visualise your film and to help others understand it.

Watch this great video as a general introduction:

Here’s an example of how to complete the storyboard sheet:

Here is your challenge:

You are about to direct a short film.

The writer has sent you one page of script.  Your producer has asked you to develop six storyboards to help visualise the scene. These storyboards will be passed to your cinematographer and camera operator.
Remember to refer to the shot type worksheet to help you.

(This is not an art class, if you don’t consider yourself good at drawing, stick figures will do)

A blank storyboard page is at the bottom of this article for you to use.

And here is the script for you to storyboard:

A MAN’S EYE. EXTREME CLOSEUP. Open wide. The man’s skin wet, speckled with soil and flecks of blood. His breathing erratic. This man’s in shock. The SOUNDS of INSECTS and ANIMALS other-worldly. A blink.  

Then, the REVERSE ANGLE: staring up hundreds of BAMBOO STALKS. Sunlight almost impenetrable through the dense forest.   SLIGHTLY WIDER on the Man’s face as he stares upward, disoriented, stunned. 40-years-old. Fit. In normal circumstances, one glance would make you feel confident in him. Trusting. But here, now, he’s the one in trauma. His name is JACK.  

Then, a RUSTLING SOUND — something COMING — it gets LOUDER and Jack suddenly SNAPS his head to the side to see something appear through the thick bamboo foliage — A WHITE LABRADOR. Collar. Tags. It stops abruptly, twenty feet away from Jack, looking at him.  

And for the first time, we PULL BACK TO A WIDE SHOT of the intense, alien-looking BAMBOO FOREST. The dog just stares at Jack, who we now see wears a BUSINESS SUIT and lies on his back, caught in broken bamboo stalks. Jack turns to sit up and it’s a PAINFUL MOVE — he manages to extricate himself from the plants — and while still on his knees, he opens up his suit jacket to check out the source of his pain.  

He manages to get to his feet, feeling something in his jacket pocket. He reaches in… and pulls out a MINIATURE BOTTLE OF VODKA. And we HOLD ON his face as he looks at it… considering…

Using the blank storyboard sheet – plan your SIX storyboards which will help us visualise your ideas. How can you bring this script to life using choice of shot, shot type, camera angle?

And if you want to see how the professionals brought this script to life, watch the opening moments of the very first episode of the TV series LOST.

Additional exercise on ENIGMA CODES using the above clip from LOST.

ENIGMA CODES are those little mysteries that media creators use in narratives to “hook” the customer in.

Watch the opening scene of LOST and note down all of the questions or mysteries that are there, hoping to grab your attention, keeping you watching.

(LOST was a TV series that was brilliant at the use of mysteries, narrative technique and sometimes breathtaking cliffhangers).

The extract from episode 1 of Lost was accessed (and slightly adapted for this lesson) from here:

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