Chapter 11: Storyboarding

Planning Visual Storytelling

Storyboarding | White Space is Not Your Enemy Chapter 11

Chapter Outline

  • Getting started
  • Framing the shot
  • Perspective
  • POV
  • Camera angle
  • Movement
  • Continuity
  • Transitions
  • Lighting
  • Type
  • Audio
  • After the storyboard
  • Try this

Keywords | Vocabulary

  • 30-degree rule
  • 180-degree line of action
  • Announcer (ANNCR)
  • Backlight
  • Beauty shot
  • Close-up shot
  • Crawl
  • Cut
  • Cutaway
  • Cut-in
  • Depth of field
  • Dissolve
  • Dolly
  • Establishing shot
  • Fade
  • Fill light
  • Framing
  • Full shot
  • FX
  • Handheld
  • Hard light
  • High key
  • Insert
  • Key light
  • Long shot
  • Low key
  • Lower third
  • Medium shot
  • Montage
  • Over-lighting
  • Pan
  • Perspective
  • Point of view (POV)
  • Push
  • SFX
  • Side lighting
  • Soft light
  • Split screen
  • Steadicam
  • Super
  • Tracking shot
  • Truck
  • Under-lighting
  • Voiceover (VO)
  • Wipe
  • Zoom

Related Assets

This little chapter on storyboarding gives students a quick lesson in planning for moving pictures, as in video, animation or even perhaps film. In our experience, teaching storyboarding is really about giving students the vocabulary to talk about what they already know from growing up immersed in popular culture.

Key Student Takeaways

  1. Framing the shot refers to how the scene is framed within the four corners of the screen, as in variations on the close-up, medium, full and long shot.
  2. Perspective refers to how deeply viewers see into the shot/screen, including depth of field.
  3. Point of view or POV refers to how the audience identifies with the same seeing eye as the camera’s, whether third-person omniscient observer or first-person protagonist, etc.
  4. Camera angle refers to the angle from which the camera shoots the scene—level, canted, from above, from below, from the side, from behind, etc.
  5. Just like the design principle of the same name, movement refers to how the camera establishes the scene’s motion, including the pan, truck, tracking, push and zoom shots.
  6. Transitions refer to how the shots and scenes segue, including a cut, cutaway, cut-in/insert, wipe, dissolve and fade, etc.
  7. The key or main light source plus fill light to fill in shadows and backlight to highlight the focal point generally all work together to produce what audiences perceive as natural lighting on screen.
  8. Onscreen type superimposed over the video/film is called a super, while moving type is said to crawl.
  9. Beyond audio captured on video or film, other audio effects include an off-screen announcer (ANNCR) called a voiceover (VO) as well as music scores called beds or tracks.

Quiz Questions

The 5-minute Motivation to Read Quiz

Share three things you learned from the reading. Be specific.

Short Answer Quiz Questions

Describe and give examples of different points of view or POVs.

Describe an example of using light to achieve dramatic effect.

Define and give examples of two techniques for segueing between shots or scenes.

Multiple Choice Quiz Questions

Framing the shot refers to

  1. Transitioning between scenes to maintain continuity
  2. Using a loupe to imagine the final cut
  3. How the scene is framed within the four corners of the screen
  4. Establishing the storyboard in a grid-like format

The difference between a push and zoom is

  1. In a push the whole camera moves, and in a zoom the camera remains stationary
  2. A push is like rubbernecking, and a zoom is like a drive by
  3. In a push the focal point is front lit, and in a zoom the focal point is backlit
  4. A push is accomplished via handheld, and a zoom is accomplished via steadicam

Which camera angle symbolically can diminish the subject’s power?

  1. Shooting the subject from below
  2. Shooting the subject from above
  3. Shooting the subject on a canted horizon line
  4. Shooting the subject at a 45-degree angle