I love being a storyboard artist. Telling a story via a collection of picture panels very much like a comic book is one of the purest ways to convey information. Whether it be for a TV commercial, a videogame sequence, a pop video, a movie, an animation feature or short, or a corporate promotional film, being a storyboarder is one of the most interesting disciplines in commercial art.
My approach to storyboarding is that my work has to service the needs of the client, otherwise I am not doing my job. It’s not about pretty pictures (well, sometimes it can be) it’s about communicating an idea, a story, so that the client has a visual roadmap for their footage.
Storyboards have a variety of uses. Some may be used as key art frames for pitching a TV commercial or possibly a movie. Sometimes the storyboards require intricate detail, especially for film scenes such as fight choreography, car chases or any other situation that requires thorough planning. The storyboard is the tool that enables the production team to carry out the shoot effectively and economically. Likewise, TV advertising can require precise storyboarding so that every precious moment of screen time is well used.
For presenting/pitching grand concepts finely drawn storyboards are often required. If they’re to be used purely as a shoot guide, however, whether that be for a film, TV ad, pop video, cartoon (or just about any other kind of moving image), quick rough black and white frames are often all that is required.
Time is money, and often the budget or the deadline dictates the style and execution of the frames. If you know your budget and deadline then this will help determine the standard and type of storyboards you need. What are your boards going to be used for? Do they really need to be all-singing and all-dancing?
In the gallery above, you’ll find a variety of treatments. They range from small, rough, black and white frames, about six to an A4 sheet, to full colour A4 frames. Rough black and white frames are quick and economical. Finely-drawn full colour frames at A4 or A5 size take longer per frame. Knowing what service your storyboards will be providing will enable me to give a more accurate price and time schedule for delivery.
I’m not precious about my work – being a storyboard artist is about servicing the client’s vision and providing you with the tools you need to create great footage.