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How to Make Your Own Storyboard


Late night.

My desk is a mess right now. I've been working on a storyboard for about a week. Most service fellowships these days ask for a short video in the application. It's a great opportunity to demonstrate your creativity!

Prepping for a film takes as much time as making a film. You have to have a shot list, decide locations, lighting, sound, etc. The checklist is endless. A convenient way to organize all this is to make a storyboard. There isn't a 'correct' way to make a storyboard; you just have to practice and go through a series of trials and errors to figure out what works best for you.

Here are some basics of how I make my storyboard:

first shot

  • For each shot, I use a flash card with a grid. This helps me draw the scene in the right proportions.
  • Everything that is seen on screen (i.e., the mise-en-scene), is drawn in pencil. This way, I can erase and redraw things if I change my mind (which happens a lot during this process!).
  • Then, I use colored pencils to indicate any action/motion, such as a moving object or scene transition.
  • Beneath the card, I write down the most important aspect of the shot, such as sound, music, angle, etc.

Storyboard card

I only tape the left side of my flash card on to copying paper, so I can move the card easily. (I outlined the taped part with pencil since it's hard to see in the picture.) This helps when I decide to change shot sequences.


Moreover, I write down more details about the shot behind the flash card. Most storyboards don't have enough space for notes, so people end up scribbling everything in the margins. This makes the storyboard look messy. If you use my flash card method, there is plenty of space for extra notes and details!

Most importantly, don't spend too much time trying to make your storyboard look 'pretty.' It's okay if your handwriting isn't perfect or you draw stick figures for people. Organization and convenience are what matters the most in a storyboard.

Anyone else working on a self-made video over the summer?

l hope this helps; let me know if you need more advice on creating a storyboard!


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