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Storyboard Tips for Short Films

Did you know that storyboards are one of the most effective ways to narrate a short film? In fact, only a storyboard can help you visually communicate the action, the timing of the dialogue, the camera movement and the voice over in a particular scene. Planning and sorting things before the actual shooting of your short film is extremely important. Creating a simple storyboard for your short film can help you successfully complete your short film on time.

So before you get down to saying "Lights, Camera, Action", read through the following tips for storyboarding and get some first-hand filmmaking advice. We are sure that our 'how to storyboard' guide and storyboard techniques can put your short film on the road to success.

3 Key Reasons Why You Need Film Storyboarding

Creating a storyboard for your short film might sound like an additional step in the film making process, but it's a step that you definitely don't want to ignore. Here are three reasons why film storyboarding is a must:

  • A storyboard makes it easier for you to share and explain the vision of your short film to others
  • A storyboard makes production simpler as you would be listing out all the scenes, the order of the shots and the camera movements
  • A storyboard can help you save time and money. You can also ensure that the creation process is smooth with a storyboard

7 Techniques to Create a Storyboard

Wondering how to create a storyboard? It is actually not that difficult, though it does take up a lot of time and effort. Storyboard secrets that no one will tell you are to include camera angles and positions in the storyboard, so that you can be sure of how you are going to shoot a particular scene.

Here are 7 most important storyboard techniques that you can use to come up with an effective storyboard:

  1. The first step is to draw out your storyboard. You can use thumbnail sheets to include a basic sketch and a short description of what the shot is going to look like
  2. Meet up with your crew and go over the script of your short film. Check if you have covered each and every scene in the storyboard. If there is anything that you have missed out, then you can add it as a note in the script
  3. Take into account the point of view of the camera, and include the camera movement for each shot. Tracking shots, close-up shots, over-the-shoulder shots, and close-up shots are some examples. Including the motion of the camera will help your cinematographer map out the filming of your short film. If need be, add color into the storyboard. You can use different colors to define the mood or the theme of a particular scene. Adding color also makes your storyboard more impressive
  4. Take into account the motion of your actors, the props to be used, and the dialogues that need to be spoken during each scene
  5. Once you are done with your drawings, you can scan them into an image editing software and make changes
  6. Remember to use clear and simple images in your storyboard, so that everyone can easily understand and use the storyboard
  7. Finally place your drawings in the right order and create a single file which has the storyboard for the entire film. Now you can easily send your storyboard video to your crew or share it on your computer screen
  8. Now that you understand these storyboard techniques, do remember to use them while you storyboard short film

9 Useful Tips to Remember While Storyboarding

Here are nine useful tips that can help you with film storyboarding:

  1. Create your storyboard by drawing a series of squares on a piece of paper or you could use a storyboard template. Think of each square as a video frame and add details about each scene/shot into the squares
  2. If you good at drawing, you can draw out the scenes by hand. If you are not comfortable with drawing, you can create your storyboard on the computer, take photographs or use cut-out images from magazines
  3. Make sure to leave enough space underneath each square. This is where you will have to write in notes and the camera movements
  4. People should be able to read your storyboard and understand what will happen in your video, so make sure that you don't forget to add the dialogue that will be spoken for each scene
  5. Remember that your storyboard does not have to incredibly detailed. You need not draw in all the props that you will need or even use color in the images. Just make sure that the storyboard gives a good impression of what is going to happen in your short film
  6. The notes in your storyboard should include camera angles and movements, the type of transition between each shot and other such details which will be useful to you during the production stage
  7. Keep the storyboard simple by trying to use stick figures, basic shapes and uncomplicated backgrounds
  8. If need be, draw out your storyboard frames onto index cards. This way, you can easily rearrange and move around the parts of your short film
  9. With a detailed storyboard, you can make sure that your entire crew is on the same page and you can prevent any major pitfalls that may affect your cost or production

If you still need a little help with storyboarding or have no clue on how to storyboard, then you can opt for an online storyboard e-Learning course, or can contact an expert storyboarding company.

Filmmaking Advice & Short Film Making Tips

Do you need help with 'how to short film'? Use our film making advice and short film making tips, to come up with a successful short film:

  • Based on your story, select the location of your short film, and decide on the time when you will be shooting, and your budget
  • Organize the transportation, the lodging and the schedule for your cast and crew
  • Map out a shooting schedule based on the scope of your storyboard
  • Identify which scenes need to be captured well and allot more time for difficult scenes
  • During filming, remember to focus on the performance of your cast
  • Do make it a point to consider the viewpoints offered by your cast and crew
  • Remember to pitch in and do whatever it takes to keep your film on schedule
  • Enthusiastically believe in your short film and make others believe in the story of your film

We hope the above storyboarding tips and techniques will be useful to you when you create the storyboard for your short film. If you need any help with explainer video creation or compiling a storyboard for your short film, get in touch with our storyboarding team, now.

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