Storyboarding

Storyboarding is telling a story using simple sketches. Film producers often use this method, they sketch their ideas in squares and add notes. The theme, characters, and setting are revealed, and the vision becomes a reality. It allows them to show their vision to others and ask for feedback at an early stage. It is timesaving, because they can change their script drastically. When creating a storyboard, we have to show our vision instead of adding words. Besides, the perspective is crucial; take a close-up when it is about facial expression. Take a long shot when you want to emphasize someone is lonely and in the middle of nowhere. In short, using different perspectives is key. Moreover, try not to tell a too hard story. Especially when you are a starter, start easy with six squares and try to tell a simple story. Prioritize what the main storyline is and try to express it is as clear as possible. The stories are used for visualization; pictures include color, emotion, and fast readable, which makes it easier to memorize. Telling a story helps people show empathy, they can relate to the story. And it will let people form an opinion about the story; this is engagement.

How do we create a storyboard? We start with brainstorming, come up with as many ideas for stories, there is no right or wrong idea. When you did this for ten minutes, you start over, another ten minutes of brainstorming. Most of the time, people get more creative in this second phase. Pick the five or six best stories; those do not have to be the most complex ones and develop them further. Sketch rough drafts of characters and the surroundings. At this point, you are going to decide which story attracts you the most and is most impressive. Finally, choose the best story, pay attention to different perspectives, and draw it more detailed than the first draft. The storyboard is created, we arrive at the crucial step: feedback. Giving feedback allows you to think critically and to see what mistakes others make. Sometimes it seems logical to us, but they read the story, maybe different. This will remind you to change something, because apparently something is not clear. The stories we can read without explanation are usually the best ones.  Just like the design thinking process, are we going back to step one after the feedback to improve the story.

When we reviewed our storyboards in class, we made some common mistakes. Some people tried to tell a complex story in a four-panel story while there was no storyline in others at all. For me, personally, my stories were not creative enough; I could of add a never expected switch in the story. For example, I tried to tell a story about a nervous man marrying a woman, and they lived happily ever after. I could have improved this story by replacing the woman to a man, or the woman answered ‘no’ instead of the expected ‘yes.’ By changing the script, the story gets interesting, and people want to read further, this is the goal of storyboarding.

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