Storyboards 2

A Litter Storyboard

Sboard

There are all sorts of formats for storyboards.

Traditionally, those for advertisements read from left to right, then downwards, each shot with the script and stage directions underneath.

Simple films often use a two-column design - the shot on the left, remarks, script, etc on the right.

A feature film is almost certain to use a separate card for each shot, maybe with lines, etc, on the reverse. The cards will probably be in colour, show ideas for costume and lighting, and contain much more information.

Mine are in black and white - simple sketches. Very bad sketches. But they show enough. Three main bits of information:

Who or what is in the shot
How close the shot is
Which way that person is looking or walking (remember crossing the line?)
For variety, I'll try the left to right format.

Banana-1

1. CU Man's hands

Peeling banana

Banana-2

2. Man

Starts to eat and walks off left

Banana-3

3. LS man

Enters shot from right, walks towards camera and right

Banana-4

4. Cont. to MS

Finishes banana, throws skin, exits right

Banana-5

5. CU banana skin

Drops into shot

Banana-6

6. LS girl

Appears round corner, walks right

Banana-7

7. Cont. closer

She sees litter

Banana-8

8. Skin

What she sees

Banana-7

9. MCU girl

She sees man

Banana-10

10. LS man O/S

She calls out, "Hey!"

Banana-11

11. Man

His turn, continued

Banana-7

12. What he sees

He mistakes her meaning

Banana-13

13. Man happy

He starts to walk left towards her

Banana-14

14. Skin and foot

He slips and falls

Banana-30

15. Man closer

Fall continued

Banana-15

16. Girl's reaction

She moves right towards him

Banana-19

17. LS him on ground

She enters shot, picks up skin, exits

Banana-20

18. CU bin

She throws skin, shuts lid, revealing...

Banana-21

19. Sign

Narration: "Don't litter..."

Banana-22

20. CU man

Narration continues: "... it's a real headache."

Terrible rough sketches! And nineteen shots - all for thirty seconds or so of story.

But the quality of the drawing isn't relevant. What is important is how little actual work is involved during the filming.

For a start, shots 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, and 18 are all the same shot!

The camera position for shot 10 is the same as 11, 13 and 15.

5, 8, and 14 are the same. 18 and 19 are continuous.

For 1 and 2, the camera needn't move; just zoom out.

Similarly 16 and 19 don't require the camera to move.

So there are really five 'set-ups' for the nineteen shots

I'd probably start with the main action with shot 10 as a 'master'.

11, 13 and 15 next, to save a camera move.

3 to 16 after that. This shot, and all the other 'similars', do as continuous action, not little snippets. Then you've got lots of coverage.

17 and 20.

18 and 19, after which the girl can be released. (People don't like to hang around.)

And finish off with shot 2, then 1.

Odd, that the first shot on screen is the last to be photographed.

But not all that odd. The sequence could stand without shots 1 and 2. So do them last, just in case of rain or whatever.

The other one that could be dropped is 20. Not very important.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Doing a storyboard only takes a few minutes - but it can save hours on location, when you've got so many other things to worry about.