How To Visualise Your Film Effectively With A Storyboard Even If You Can’t Draw

posted in: Filmmaking 101 Tips | 0

A storyboard is a sequence of drawings that represents the shots planned in a film. This visual is key to make sure your story makes sense, you know how your film will look like and most importantly, the ability to communicate your story effectively to your team. You can download the storyboard template I personally use show below. Here are a few tips to storyboard effectively even if you can't draw.

 

DRAW EVEN IF YOU CAN’T
Even drawing stickmen is better than nothing. The point is you need to store what’s in your head on paper so you don’t forget about it and expand your thinking. As long as you can understand your own drawing then that’s all that matters.

 

Alone In The House Storyboard

 

ANNOTATE THE DRAWINGS
When you need to communicate your storyboard to people who are working remotely then they need to understand your drawings. Labelling the different things that make up your mis-en-scene can help.

 

USE PROFESSIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY AS REFERENCE
The best thing about this approach is that it requires no drawings at all! Here are some examples below from the Alone In The House storyboard. I have taken inspiration from The Babadook, Conjuring 2 and Scream. You are highly likely to be making a film with scenes that has a similar scene set up to those you have previously seen in movies. Save yourself the hassle and use cinematography stills from movies as inspiration. Check out Evan Richards blog which is an online ‘Art Museum’ of cinematography stills from blockbuster movies. Find a movie related to your film, take a screenshot and deconstruct the scene. Use what you learnt from the screenshot to make your own scene.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The storyboard is a great visual for communication. Each shot depicted on the storyboard is a goal you are aiming for. When you are under pressure by limited time on a shoot you can point to the picture you are trying to achieve so everyone understands your vision.