What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is an outline, generally illustrated, that is used in the planning of a television show, movie, commercial, or play. In more recent years, the word has also been applied to video games and web pages. You could think of a storyboard as an illustrated flow chart. The illustrations are somewhat similar to the art in comic books.

Artists create storyboards using either pen and paper or computer software. A storyboard consists of many "frames," with each frame representing a particular scene in the production.

The artist might draw a close-up shot of a damsel in distress, crying for help inside of a burning building. The next storyboard frame might show a firefighter rushing through a blazing door that is about to collapse. And in the next frame, of course, the firefighting hero picks up the woman, who has just fainted, and begins his journey back outside the building to safety.

These illustrations help the creators and directors of a production decide if an idea works or if it needs changes. For example, a director may change the camera angle of a particular shot if it does not seem to fit in the storyboard. Storyboards also help ensure that the appropriate props and materials are available to create the set of a production, (i.e. the firefighter's suit and the burning building from our example).

Check out the links below to learn more about storyboards.