Storyboard Development

What is a Storyboard?

A storyboard is one way of effectively planning out your video. It’s a visual outline of the all the shots that will need to be taken. It can be done with a pencil and paper or a whiteboard, so it can be easily updated or changed if needed. Some scripting software companies, like, offer storyboarding features with a free iPad app.

Whichever way you choose to create your video storyboard, it should be made to show your crew exactly what you have in mind, before the shoot begins. Visualizing your shots and putting them down on paper (or white board) provides an easier way of getting across your ideas to the video production and crew.

How To Create a Video Storyboard

Before beginning your storyboard, first determine the following:

  • Decide which medium you will use to create your storyboard.
  • Figure out how detailed you need your storyboard to be.
  • Write out a description of what each cell will show.
  • Determine your timeline.

Your storyboard could contain some or all of the following elements:

  • Your story line broken up into cells (can be simply drawn squares for each shot)
  • The timeline (how long each shot should last)
  • Key scenes in your story (visually depicted as one cell each)
  • Clearly defined types of camera angles for each shot (i.e. zoom, long shot, close-up or reveal)
  • Additional information relating to the shoot (actors’ names, props needed, music types desired, etc.)
  • Graphics or voiceovers (in a sub-cell to indicate where they should go)
  • Arrows to indicate action
  • Placement of actors or props within each shot.
  • Keep in mind the three-point perspective when planning out each cell’s shots.
  • Develop motivations for each cut.

What goes into a Video Production Brief?

Company background: Including information about the vision, the mission, and the goals of your company is important to a successful video brief document. Usually located at the beginning of the brief, this information will help you clarify the purpose of your video and the needs of your company in making this video.
Your video’s purpose: This goes hand in hand with your purpose. Who do you intend to reach? Research your target audience so you can get your message to them.
How do you reach your target audience? Once you know who your target market is, now it’s time to find out where they view videos and what might their expectations be. Are they looking for a short, inspiring video, a quick and easy answer, or a product that solves a problem for them? Including this information in your brief helps you develop a video that responds directly to their needs or wishes.
Who is your competition? What marketing strategies do they use? How have your competitors successfully engaged their audience using video? Find several examples to see what is working. This type of research is also helpful in inspiring new ideas for your video production.
What are you promoting? Brainstorm what exactly it is that you are promoting. For instance, is it your brand, a particular product, or a service that you are marketing?
Core content: Establish one to two key messages in your video and focus on these elements throughout the video. Introduce the core messages, tell about their benefits to the viewer, and include them in your call to action towards the end of your video.
Type of video Since there are many kinds of videos to use in marketing, determine which type works best for your company and for this particular message. Will your video be a promotional video, a tutorial, a testimonial?
Motion graphics or animation? What do you want to show your audience and what’s the best way to get your message across? Determine whether you will use motion graphics or animation (or both) so your brief will clearly state what equipment and staff will be needed to shoot the video.
Will there be narration or text titles? Many videos have narration – will you need a professional voice over, do you have a voice in mind, what type of voice is your target audience expecting? Who will be in charge of creating and formatting text files and where will all this be situated within your video?
What is the video style? Determine the style that will most appeal to your viewers – are they millennials looking for a quick and entertaining message about a product? Are they proven business owners in need of a descriptive tutorial? Are they looking for ways to create authenticity for your brand?
How will the video be distributed? What social media platforms will be used to spread your video message and how often should it be shared? Will it be used to orient new employees and included in a new employee packet? Will it be played as part of a presentation or at a conference? Will it be available at your website? How can you maximize its reach?
Include the video budget: Break down each key element and determine how much money and time will be needed to complete each task.
Deadline: Include a timeline for each key phase; When does the planning start to create the Video Production Brief? When will production begin and how long approximately should each shoot take? How long will post production last? What day do you want to release your video? Create your deadline by determining when you need the completed video and take into consideration the work needed to be done.
Pre-production: This initial period starts with the creation of the Video Production Brief. It continues until you have established the ways and means to plan, script and storyboard your video.
Production: Who will need to be at the shoot, what equipment and/or props will be necessary, and how much time are you allowed? Are there special considerations, such as weather or lighting that need to be taken into account?
Post production: This process will take your video, and by using graphics, voice overs, b-roll footage, music and other video editing strategies, will create the finished product. Do you have your own staff to do the video editing or will you be hiring out?

It’s Time To Create Your Own Video Production Brief

Having a creative brief for video production will not only help make the video production process run more smoothly, but it will also ensure that your business and marketing objectives are met. You can learn more about creative brief templates at Valoso or check out the following two resources that provide a free video brief template:

About the Author

Mary Thibodeau

Mary Thibodeau is a freelance editor for, Craig Smalley, EA/PA, Nearshore Systems, and Boondocks Botanicals. She is also the Best Selling Author of natural wellness books on Mary has enjoyed the freelance lifestyle since 2014 and has a passion for digital wellness and authentic marketing strategies.