Storyboarding is creating pictures that show the unfolding scene, thus enabling the actors and director to avoid ‘telling’ in too much expository detail. This helps also in avoiding overuse of dialogue. Universal acclaim for storyboarding techniques suggests their significance as an important tool in film making.
A bonus in storyboarding is that the onus is not on great artistic skill, but rather as a tool facilitating harmonious blending of filmic elements. Storyboard techniques save time and money in the long run by situating the cast and crew on the same page, avoiding wasteful filming and discussion. This is a great aid in budgetary considerations, which can be realistically ascertained even before filming begins. A storyboard provides overall sense of direction, broken down into scenes or shots, and is especially useful in attaining consistency in complex scenes.
Soundtrack recording artists are assisted by these visual triggers for synchronization. Camera operators are also able to envisage expected angles and techinques required to catch the action. Storyboards are traditionally comic book in style, telling all or some of the story in visual form; a device wholly suited to visual media. Computer programes provide a variety of storyboard creation utilities, although it is reassuring to know that a pen and paper will suffice.
Storyboard is a simple and low budget method of advancing the production as far as possible before filming and effects are involved. The makers of ‘South Park’ go a step forward, as storyboard and finished product become almost one and the same in methods as simple as moving cut out figures over an established background.
Storyboarding is valuable in synchronization of timing within, and between scenes. An entire film can be envisaged by reading the scenes in each storyboard. This will also give an indication of the flow or heartbeat of a story, with any adjustment in film angles, tempo, or character position easily understood. The storyboard itself can be filmed with accompanying voice over, in a kind of first draft of the film making process. Storyboards may also be used sparingly to understand more complex scenes, as in dramaturgical fashion the director sees with peripheral and spatial vision, the major and secondary characters, plus overall setting.
Storyboard is a concrete example of clear thinking about film making concepts and practice. When coupled with genuine talent, storyboard provides a richer, more believable finished product. This end product is a result of the steps taken along the way, where many divergent applications converge on the finished reel. Storyboarding is a way to separate individual components, yet still see them working together towards a quality result.