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What is a Storyboard?

What is a Storyboard? A Storyboard illustrate a commercial (or scene from a film) in drawn out pictures or photographs. Each picture shows a pivotal moment in the story, which leads to the next part of the story. If there is dialogue within the scene, it will be located underneath each image (as a caption). The picture may contain arrows to show movement of the character. If the arrow has a word on it like “dolly,” the movement is for the camera.

When the Ad Agency creates a commercial, it first comes up with a concept and makes a script while drawing it out (usually using stick figures). The art director then has a professional storyboard artist draw out the commercial for the Ad Agency. The commercial storyboard usually has characters with over the top expressions. These are so the client knows exactly what is happening in the story. It’s not to get the actor to act over the top! It’s just to create a clear picture, so everyone can visualize the story.

Usually, after the storyboard is created, there are still several changes made to the copy (aka, the commercial script). If you see the storyboard stapled to your copy or hanging up at a commercial audition, it may be slightly different from the copy. The storyboard isn’t usually changed for each alteration in the script because it’s expensive to have the storyboard artist redraw pictures. If there is a difference in the copy and the storyboard, follow exactly what the copy says. But use the commercial storyboard to get an understanding of the commercial’s concept.

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