Step 1: The purpose of the storyboard
Ask for a volunteer to read about storyboarding in the Production Notebook:
The purpose of the storyboard is to help you organize your ideas for your film in a visual way before you start filming. Think of the storyboard as a visual outline of your film. Each card on your storyboard has basic information that help you to keep track of how your film is going to be made. And you will use your storyboard as a reference while you film to help keep track of what you have filmed and what needs to be filmed. Each card of your storyboard needs to have a sketch of what you want to film in the shot, what kind of shot it is, who is in the shot, what are they doing (what is the action happening?) and any dialogue that might be happening in that shot (what are people saying?).
Step 2: Storyboard checklist
Discuss the storyboard information and the accompanying checklist, in the PN.
Each card on my storyboard has:
- A sketch of the what is happening in the shot.
- What kind of shot it is (wide, pan, action etc).
- Who is in the shot.
- What are the people in the shot doing.
- Any dialogue that is happening.
- Location of the shot.
- List of props needed for the shot.
Step 3: Practice with storyboarding
Walk the students through the process of creating a storyboard by creating one together on the whiteboard.
Using an event from the American Revolution that they are familiar with, ask what the establishing shot should be and why. For example, if it was the Boston Tea Party, an opening shot of the harbor would be a good choice because it establishes the location of event; additionally a title card would help to establish the timeframe of the film.
Draw a simple sketch to show the harbor and label it with Boston Harbor, establishing shot: wide shot. Go through the rest of the event (Boston Tea Party) with the class using 6–10 shots to break down the event for the storyboard. Emphasize the key moments of the event; why is it important, what are you trying to show the audience about this moment in history?
Step 4: Creating a storyboard
Each film group gets a piece of poster board and index cards (color coded per group) before beginning their storyboarding.
Remind students they must use a variety of shots. Using the index cards, create one sketch per card. Place the cards in the order of the story using tape.
*Students should keep in mind what kind of shot they will use and who will be in it; the script; and if it is a title card or illustrated still.
Closing Activity: Students should create a list of the props they may need to bring in from home or create in class. Next class, students will finish their storyboards and create their props.
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