Thursday, August 22, 2013

Adventures with Storyboarding

Storyboards have traditionally been used by the film industry as a way to map out cinematography, such as camera angles and acting positions, for many years. Storyboard was introduced by Walt Disney, who used the technique with his creative team to work through stories prior to committing thousands of man-hours to handdrawn panels for animated cartoons.

The film industry continues to use storyboarding as a planning tool. There are several books available that contain the storyboard drawings from popular movies such as Star Wars and Titanic.

Presentation Planning
Storyboarding is also useful as a planning tool for presentation planning. A tip I picked up along the way is to print PowerPoint slides at the small size of nine per page. When you cut these miniature slides out, they are the same size as the 1.5x2 inch sticky notes. Once all of your slides and stickies are together you can tape them on to a whiteboard or wall to easily organize into a presentation. I have done this many times.

Revealing Revelation's Hope
My church is conducting a series of meetings in a month entitled "Revealing Revelation's Hope." The series focuses end-time events as prophesied in the Bible. I was asked to work up an ad for the local Christian radio station. After reviewing the printed brochures for the series, I developed this script that is approximately one minute in length.

Tornadoes, war, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks. There are signs everywhere that we are living in unusual times. People realize that we are on the verge of something big. History’s hourglass is almost empty; but, there is a bright future!
Revealing Revelation’s Hope is a dynamic end-time prophecy series coming to Nashville beginning September 6.

During this live series you will learn about the battle of Armageddon, the seven last plagues, the Mark of the Beast, six, six, six, and much, much more.
Revealing Revelation’s Hope will be held at West End Middle School beginning Friday, September 6 at 7:00PM and continue every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday through October 5.

Admission and all study materials are free.

Visit Revealing Revelations Hope dot com for more info. That’s, Revealing Revelations Hope dot com.
Video Ideas
After creating the script, I made a quick recording using my iPhone. My original intention was to send this to the radio station as an example of the pauses and emphasis needed by their professional voice talent. However, while listening back to the recording, I was inspired to create a video that corresponded and illustrated the script.

Storyboard for Revealing Revelation's Hope
In thinking about the video, I decided that an outline was needed to determine which "scenes" would need to be illustrated and what ideas would be best for each scene. My storyboard is pictured below.

Simple Storyboards
A storyboard does not have to be fancy. There are some applications and software for storyboarding, but I have also used 4x6 and 3x5 cards for storyboarding. Moleskine produces a storyboarding journal.

However, the template for storyboarding is simple: draw a series of rectangles.
Originally, my intention was to find video clips for each of the disasters at the beginning, but ultimately decided to use photos instead. Since I had a clear concept of what I envisioned for each scene, and because I was working alone, I did not need elaborate or large storyboards.

Video Process
Initially, I created a test video using the original quick recording made with my iPhone. After sharing the video with the planning team, I realized that I wanted a higher quality recording for the narration and needed more "hopeful" music than the "X-Files" genre soundtrack used throughout the entire video.

I was satisfied after re-recording the narration and contrasting the somber "X-Files" soundtrack at the beginning - during the disasters - and a brighter soundtrack during the second part of the video.
The resulting video is available on my YouTube channel and embedded here.

Whether you are planning a presentation, creating a one-minute video, or a feature-length film, I encourage you to utilize the storyboarding technique to plan your key points and illustrations. Even if you are not using visuals as part of the presentation, adding a visual element to the planning process will be beneficial.