Between 1931 and 1968, Walt Disney won 32 Academy Awards and still holds the record for most individual Academy Awards won. Walt was known for pushing the envelope in storytelling and making animation an entertainment for both children and adults.
The storyboards that were created by Disney artists were more than just good artwork, they served another special purpose. Walt used his storyboards to tell his story to his artists. He used voices and body gestures to act out the whole story as it appeared on the storyboard.
You might be thinking, okay that sounds good, but I’m not making a movie or animation. True, but you are telling a story and digital storytelling opens up a multitude of digital multimedia choices. But it all starts with the storyboard.
A storyboard is a pre-production map showing your story beginning, middle and ending. Steven Spielberg is known as being a great storyteller. All you have to do is see any of his movies from E.T. to Jurassic Park. Spielberg even has his storyboards out on location so that he can prepare and direct his shots.
As I stated in yesterday’s blog, a storyboard is like a cartoon strip showing a quick shot of a scene, its action, dialog, and what music or sound effects are going on.
Here is a simple student’s storyboard. You can follow the story as you work through each frame from 1 – 14.
Putting these image together creates the story in action. Like below.
You can draw your own storyboard or pick up a template like the one above online.
To learn how a storyboard works study this 30-second commercial.
This 30-second commercial has only four scenes. Sometimes it helps to turn off the sound and just watch the visual action. What’s the message?
The message is water is essential for your health. The majority of the commercial is on a young male who appears to quenching his thirst after a workout. The commercial ends with a bottle of water. This commercial does not sponsor any particular water company.
A storyboard is absolutely necessary if you want to make a good digital story. A storyboard helps in the post-production stage; making sure the images have continuity; deciding which music selection best works; if any sound effect needs to be added; choosing the best text font to communicate the story’s theme; and making sure your message is clear.
Every image must be able to tell the story without the help of words or sound. Remember a good story is passed on while a poor story is passed by. What changes would you make in the above water commercial? Which image needs to be changed to drive the point that power drinks and sodas are not helping the body to quench its thirst?
Tomorrow and the next few days, we will discuss Timing in regards to how long each scene should be, and the supporting actors like color, music, and sound effects choices. If you have any questions send me an email.