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Basic Aspects of Storyboarding – 2: What Is A Storyboard?

So what’s a storyboard? And why  has this artistic medium been referred as ‘hidden’ in the previous chapter?

Storyboards are simply the illustrations, visualizing how the video will be shot frame by frame – or more accurately – action by action. Basically, it is a piece of paper with boxes drawn on it, that shows how every shot in the video will be visually represented. The illustrated boxes are called panels. Each panel should picture the action from its beginning to its end : both the actions of the components (actors and props) and the actions of the camera (pan, zoom in, zoom out etc.). These illustrations – of course there isn’t any top limit of elaborateness – are generally rough and sketchy pieces. Rather than having a fine art masterpiece, the director would prefer to receive his panels as fast as he can. As long as the basic information is contained in the panels – which we’ll sort of breakdown these key elements under ‘5 C’s Of Cinematography’ in the upcoming chapter – your storyboards are doing their job.

1415865_10151993757061178_2133199402_nBlank storyboard panels – What information a complete storyboard should contain

The aspect ratios of the panels should be same with the aspect ratio of the video you’re going to shoot (see the chart below).

1396660_10151993757206178_1754307117_nDifferent aspect ratios

This kinda will help explain the ‘hidden’ thing : Storyboards are not the final pieces that are presented to the audience. Mostly, they are highly confidential pieces, only within the reach of the production team, other than the excerpts that are officially released by the studio for in the art books, production art promotions etc. (So fellow artists, if you ever dream of showing off to your friends with your badass storyboards of a big blockbuster someday, chances are you’ve got another thing coming.)

akira-storyboards (1)Excerpts from the cancelled live action Akira remake project of the legendary anime – Looks like wasn’t that confidential was it?

Even though you’re not going to be a filmmaker or the video you’re going to shoot won’t necessarily be cinematographically assertive, still having a basic knowledge about some essential rules and theories in motion pictures will help you a lot. To begin with, we’re going take a rough look at the 5 C’s of Cinematography and how they are in relationship with storyboarding.

Yiğit Işık

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