Build Your Storyboard - Digital Promise

Build Your Storyboard

Storyboarding is a sequence of images, with some directions and dialogue, that represent the shots you plan to film. The purpose is to previsualize the story and the shots before going into production and to communicate your vision to the crew as clearly as possible.

For example if the script calls for “an elephant to walk into the room,” everyone involved will have their own vision of what that looks like. If there are 10 people on the crew, you would have 10 different elephants, 10 different doorways, 10 different room descriptions and 10 different camera angles of that moment. Storyboards allow the director (or directing team) to present THEIR vision of what that moment looks like to the crew to start collaborating on how to construct that moment from the same blueprint.

Traditional Storyboarding

In traditional storyboarding you would use a template like this: Each box would represent a specific moment in the story that would play out in front of the camera.

A sequence of images showing a motorcyclist riding

360° Storyboarding

With 360° video you have multiple options as you need to determine what happens in front, back, left right, above and below the viewer. First let’s envision a scene that you would want the viewer to experience:

Students around a women with a VR headset

To storyboard for 360° video, you would have to breakdown that single moment into multiple frames from the viewer’s perspective and sketch them out:

storyboard frames of each angle in 360 video

And, then you can use those sketches to position your actors on set (known as “blocking”). With your storyboards in hand, you will be able to place the 360° camera (and the audience) inside the action now that your cast and crew fully understand your vision.

Students around a 360 camera on a tripod.

Ways to Storyboard

There are many ways you can design a storyboard. Here are three examples. You can use any way you feel comfortable with as long as you accurately communicate your vision to your cast and crew.

  • Stick figures and sketches
stick figure drawings
More detailed storyboard sketch
  • Photos (use your 360° camera, or capture many perspectives with a normal camera)

Full color photo of man on left, woman on right

Tips from Mentors:

  • According to one of our 360° Mentors, Lex Halaby: “I take my Gear 360 or Theta S and snap photos from all the angles I want to shoot during a tech scout and cut them together in Premiere to determine timing, camera height, etc before the shoot day. It helps a lot on the day.”
  • Another 360° Mentor, Stephanie Riggs, storyboards this way: “Early sketches for flow ideas for Kanju, which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. It’s a linear 360 documentary. Note the extra horizontal length and the 1/3 and 1/5 lines demarcating the front-­facing view. With these boards, the left and right sides would touch and center is facing forward.”

Stephanie Riggs' sample storyboard

  • Lastly our 360° Mentor, Jessica Kantor, storyboards this sequence as if the camera is the TRex and then she adds in the actors, props and the set as well as descriptions underneath the frame.

Jessica Kantor's sample storyboards

Additional resources:

Download this Practice

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