If you want to create engaging, high-quality videos, you need a strategy. By the way, winging it doesn’t count as a strategy. You’re going to need to put in some effort. But how can you prepare? Experienced Creators know that a good storyboard template is the first step to success. In this article, you’ll learn what storyboarding is, why storyboarding is important, and some tips to help you craft eye-catching videos.
What’s a storyboard template?
A storyboard template is a graphic representation of each shot or scene in your video. You’ll divide your planned video into distinct frames, each with an illustration of how the shot might appear. A typical storyboard looks a bit like a comic book.
Your storyboard can be as simple or detailed as you wish. Try to find a balance—too few images might not represent the main idea of your video, while too many frames could be time-consuming and unproductive. Your storyboard will serve as your video’s blueprint, which you will share with all team members involved in the video production process.
Why should you storyboard?
Why would you take the time to storyboard your idea? Let’s dive in.
Storyboarding saves you time
When you create a storyboard and share your vision with your team, you immediately enable communication about your idea. Storyboarding gets everyone on the same page. Have you ever turned in an assignment, spending hours making it perfect, only for your boss to tell you they were looking for something different? No fun. No fun at all. Storyboarding helps minimize these situations by creating a baseline level of understanding between the entire creative team.
Storyboarding saves you money
When everyone’s on the same page, people don’t spend money on unnecessary materials, drafts, or staff. Storyboarding enables you to complete your video in fewer drafts, which can save you money.
Storyboarding helps you get buy-in from stakeholders
If you need to pitch a boss, an investor, or a co-Creator, walking into a meeting armed with a storyboard is much more compelling than relying on a written script. A storyboard’s images help you convey your ideas in a more exciting and engaging way.
5 storyboard template tips
Now that you’re convinced storyboarding is worth it, let’s dive into some best practices.
1. Create your blank slate
Your storyboard template is where it all begins. Include basic information like the name of the video and the scene you’re shooting. For each frame, consider having four different elements:
- Shot (your visual representation)
- Action (what the characters are doing)
- Dialogue (what the characters are saying)
- Special effects (music, visual effects, etc.)
Don’t stress out too much about making your drawings perfect. Agonizing over flawless visual representations is unproductive. Just make sure to include enough detail to convey the main idea.
2. Make sure your storyboard flows
Someone reviewing your storyboard should get a good idea of how the video should unfold. Be sure to include enough detail so someone unfamiliar with your story can understand the plot. If someone reads your storyboard and is left confused and disinterested, other members of your team are likely to feel the same way. Taking the time to ensure your storyboard has natural flow will pay off in the long run.
3. Draw frames in 16:9
Assuming you plan to shoot your video in standard widescreen, use rectangles of the same aspect ratio when creating your storyboard template. You don’t want to labor for hours only to realize that something you drew in your storyboard won’t fit in the shot when you record your video.
4. Cut up your first draft
Now don’t freak out. Your first draft might be great, but cutting up the storyboard into separate shots is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Try moving the shots around to see if a different order might be more engaging. In some cases, you may decide to cut or add new frames to help the flow of your video.
5. Don’t forget the music
When storyboarding your video, don’t forget that some aspects, like music, will likely span multiple frames. Start thinking about what songs you might want to use early in your process. Music can help set the tone for your video and engage your audience, so you shouldn’t leave audio as an afterthought. For high-quality music designed to add some flavor to your content, check out Lickd. Unlike some of the drab music libraries out there, Lickd has attention-grabbing songs from popular artists that will help take your video to the next level. Plus, the licenses give you legal permission to use the music, so you’ll never have to worry about copyright claims or demonetization. Take a look around the catalog or if you need inspiration, check out this list of the best songs for YouTube videos.
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