Plans are important.
Few moments illustrate that point better than when you open a box of flatpack furniture to discover there are no instructions within.
Without them, you’re left wondering what relationship that curved piece of metal in your left hand could possibly have with the bulky bit of wood in your right.
Humankind has been building furniture for decades, you think: Who needs plans anyway?
The answer to that question arrives when you sit on the piece of furniture, despite having several spare parts and one important-looking screw left over, and it falls apart.
You do. You need plans.
Some of history’s greatest figures agree. Take founding father and prolific inventor Benjamin Franklin, who reputedly said the following:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
But the importance of planning isn’t exclusively reserved for the worlds of household DIY or state-building. When it comes to video production, a corporate video storyboard is a form of planning that can provide structure to your piece of content.
Corporate video storyboards can make the process of shooting and editing far more straightforward. This saves time that can be dedicated to other tasks, like finding those elusive instructions, or searching for other incorrectly attributed quotes.
The first stumbling block that many people encounter, however, is failing to properly understand the purpose of a storyboard, and what one might include.
Let’s start there, with the basics.
What is a corporate video storyboard?
A corporate video storyboard is a visual planning document created well before you’ve picked up a camera. Its purpose is to inform anyone who works on your project what the video should contain, what it should look like, and maybe even what will be said.
Think of your corporate video as a car journey, and your corporate video storyboard as a roadmap. Your destination is a piece of media on a screen that reflects the vision in your head.
The storyboard’s function is to offer guidance. It might change when the need to adapt presents itself – as all good directions do when there’s an obstacle – but it will always be on hand to serve as a reference point.
But it’s one thing telling you to create a corporate video storyboard with a few neat metaphors. What might the squares within your storyboard actually include?
Things your corporate video storyboard might include:
- The subject;
- The camera perspective (whether up-close or further away);
- What’s happening;
- What’s being said; and
- Any movement from the subject or their surroundings.
Your corporate video storyboard might include all of those things, or just one or two of them. Having found the flat-pack furniture instructions, you will know that even a vague plan is infinitely more useful than no plan at all.
Do I need a corporate video storyboard?
The answer to this question depends on the complexity of your project. Take a one-minute announcement video from your company’s chief executive, for example. The focus is likely to remain on one subject throughout, and lots of different camera perspectives are going to be unnecessary. In this example, a corporate video storyboard probably won’t be useful.
On the other hand, if you’re creating a four-minute product promotion, a corporate video storyboard can help you to know when to include close-up shots of a particular feature; when to cut away to some B-roll footage; and what, if any, movement is going to be included in the video.
A corporate video storyboard is also beneficial in terms of feedback.
Let’s jump to the end of your production. You’re proud of what you’ve created. It was expensive, but in your eyes, it fulfils the original brief perfectly. Other stakeholders in the project disagree, and have suggestions that can only be adopted with a costly reshoot.
Producing a corporate video storyboard is an efficient way to provide stakeholders with a concept of what the final product will look like. They can then provide feedback long before the production begins, saving both time and money.
Do I need a script for my corporate video storyboard?
Not everyone is used to speaking on camera. Your subject might feel self-conscious, stumbling over words and repeating themselves, or change what they are saying halfway through a sentence.
At best, the end result will be an editor’s nightmare. At worst, your footage could be unusable.
As part of the storyboarding process, consider creating a script for each of your subjects. As well as removing any stumbles or repetition, a script can also guide your storyboard, illustrating what’s being said while the action takes place. It can also highlight areas where B-roll is required to mask any sudden transitions between takes.
How long does my corporate video storyboard need to be?
The storyboard for the 2010 movie Inception ran to well over 180 pages. It was a scene-by-scene, shot-for-shot realisation of what the final film should look like in very specific detail.
But your corporate video is not Inception. While we hope it’s just as good, we’re confident it will be far shorter and less complex than the Christopher Nolan blockbuster. Instead, your corporate video storyboard’s length will depend on its complexity and runtime.
A video lasting less than two minutes, with minimal amounts of action and just a couple of camera angles, is unlikely to require a corporate video storyboard that is longer than two pages.
The golden rule when it comes to storyboarding is to provide enough detail that stakeholders can understand what is going on and when, without getting bogged down by the rigidity of detailing every minutiae.
I can’t draw. Can I still create a corporate video storyboard?
A picture might tell a thousand words, but a few words can often provide the same level of detail as a drawing.
What we’re trying to say is that you don’t have to be Michelangelo to create a corporate video storyboard. Words like “up-close”, “wide shot”, “subject running”, “cut to B-roll”, and “text overlay” will all provide sufficient information to explain what your corporate video should look like.
If you’re choosing to use words instead of illustrations, you should use language that everyone viewing your storyboard will understand. Substitute “cut to B-roll” and “text overlay” if you want to keep everything as simple as possible.
A corporate video storyboard doesn’t have to be a work of art or literary masterpiece. As long as it serves its purpose as an outline of the end result, it can be classed as a success.
Clarity of vision is far more important than knowing the lingo or showing off your drawing skills.
If you can’t draw and you’re lost for words too, the internet is home to a range of clever tools that can help you to create your storyboard, such as Storyboard That or Canva.
I’m still stuck. What now?
If you’re still missing your metaphorical flat-pack furniture instructions, don’t reach for the equally metaphorical screwdriver just yet.
Perhaps some of these blog posts could provide some useful inspiration:
- An Introduction to Social Media Live Streaming
- A Guide to Successful Corporate Video Production
- How To Write a Video Script for Corporate Video
Alternatively, consider speaking to a corporate video production company that has been creating video storyboards for decades. Broadcast Revolution could provide the helping hand you need to make your project a success.
To find out more, contact us today.