The importance of storyboarding

Do you like to live dangerously? Then by erialll means, tell your video production company to skip the storyboarding step. You love surprises. And you’re likely to get one. Just remember, earthquakes are as surprising to most people as an unexpected birthday party.

The purpose of a storyboard isn’t to bore you with minutiae. Storyboards ensure you get exactly what you want. Think about it this way: Would you buy a car, sight unseen, without giving it a test drive? If it’s a used car, would you buy it without enquiring about issues like whether it had been in an accident or needed major repairs, or without checking the odometer?

Sure, it runs like a dream. If Freddy Kruger is driving.

Sure, it runs like a dream. If Freddy Kruger is driving.

You should approach your video project with the same inquisitiveness. There are some factors you can control, so you know what to expect. For example, if you want the video shot in your place of business, you already know what the setting looks like. But do you know how the company plans to frame the shots? You might be on different wavelengths when it comes to what you want to highlight. If you only have a general setting in mind, then it becomes an open-ended factor in the project. Storyboarding will give you a crucial heads-up if the video company chooses a location you don’t like.

Storyboarding also lets you see the progression of events in a video. Perhaps you want to do a corporate or industrial video about a specific process that’s your company’s specialty. The production company can do some basic research into the process, but what if they don’t understand the exact order of steps? You can catch a potentially embarrassing mistake before the video is even shot, much less edited, if you participate in the storyboarding process.

This phase also allows you and the production company to bounce ideas off each other. In the above scenario, you may think that showing the various steps in your proprietary process will be sufficient. That’s because you thoroughly understand the process. You’ve been working with it every day for the past 30 years. But someone who has no exposure to it could easily get confused. The production company may want to insert some explanatory graphics at key points to help reinforce the information. With the storyboard, they can show you exactly when those graphics will appear. You may agree with the need for graphics, but, as the expert in your company’s process, you think they would be better used in a different part of the video. The storyboard is adjusted accordingly, and everyone is happy.

The storyboard can also help you catch things you weren’t prepared for, such as unexpected expenses. If one part of the storyboard shows a crowd of people gazing in admiration at one of your products, you should ask questions, like: “Who are all those people?” The company may want to use some of your satisfied customers, or maybe fudge it a bit and use friends and family of you and your staff. You may not like either option. But if the company says: “We were just going to hire some extras,” you’re really not going to like it, because actors cost money, and guess who’ll be paying for them?

There are a few different ways to say : OMG! Storyboarding makes sure yours is the good way

There are a few different ways to say : OMG! Storyboarding makes sure yours is the good way

With the storyboard it’s also possible to get a good sense of the pacing, especially in shorter projects. If there are a lot of different shots on the storyboard, but the video is only going to be 30 seconds, you know the pacing will be fairly fast. If you want a slower pace, this is the time to speak up.

The storyboard is also essential for the production company, because it helps them come up with the most efficient way to shoot the video. If there are different locations, it helps them schedule everything that needs to be shot in each place to ensure that nothing is omitted. It also helps them schedule everyone who’ll be involved. Obviously the director of photography, director, and audio operator will be there for each day of the shoot, but maybe the makeup artist isn’t needed on a certain day, while the actors may only be needed for the third day of the shoot. So even if you decide you don’t want to be part of the storyboarding process, you can bet the video company will create one anyway, just for their own peace of mind.

There’s an old saying: Measure twice, cut once. This is really what storyboarding is about. You’re getting everything lined up in order before doing the actual shoot, which saves everyone a lot of time, and potentially saves you a lot of money. Do-overs can be costly as well as bogging down the post-production process. Hencar considers storyboarding an essential part of any video project, and we’ll make sure the process is as enlightening as possible for you. If you decide to work with another company, and they don’t offer this critical process, it’s time to rethink your choice. You’ll be glad you did.