top of page

Stick Figures

It's all about the board :)




noun: storyboard; plural noun: storyboards

  1. a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production.

This is a part of prep that I struggle with so I thought to share what I've learned. YOU DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO DRAW TO STORYBOARD. How cool is that? And, you don't necessarily have to spend tons of money on hiring a storyboard pro to make one for you. I believe I heard or read somewhere that Scorsese uses stick figures to storyboard. He's Scorsese...

So, if you are photographically inclined and unlike me have a few friends around, make it a fun affair. Place your friends in the positions you envision your actor(s) in and snap, snap away: wides, mediums, close ups, over the shoulders, etc

If you're Scorsese inclined, or even better: you're totally cool friends with him, then imitate him, it's flattering :) Use stick figures to make the best possible representation of your vision in terms of shots, and use lots of arrows and notes to explain yourself to yourself! I need to that more often than I care to admit.

If you've got the dough, or you are awesome friends with the likes of Hayao Miyazaki, then by all means be fierce, run amok, let your flair flag fly! (not sure if that's a thing, but you get the picture) Go for it. A good storyboard will certainly make your life less eewy ;)

Now, if you ARE Hayao Miyazaki, why are we having this conversation??

Here's the thing: you may find yourself in a situation where you really need a clean and detailed storyboard, either for you to see the shots you've envisioned in your mind's eye clearly, to work out a complex scene(s), or to create a look-book for fundraising and/or pulling in the people you hope to work with, etc, etc. If that's the case, and you know your abilities won't cut it, call in a pro. A good storyboard artist can really bring your scene(s)/shots to life.

I've also stumbled upon a few storyboarding apps/software that can do the job well enough. Along with stand alone storyboadring apps that you can subscribe to, writing apps like celtx have that option available with a subscription. Simply do a google search for storyboard(ing) apps and try a few. See which works best for you, which allows for more flexibility, gives you more tools to work with. Use the free trial (if one is offered) to make sure they are "good enough" for what you need before you hand over your hard earned cash while joggling an ultra low production budget!

Hah... I think I've yelled enough for one evening. Now on to finding myself a storyboard artist for my next short: Utopia. As it turns out, I need one :)

Thanks for stopping by, and as always: sharing is caring, so if you have any tips, tricks, etc, hit me up or simply throw them in comments section below.


Aimi (writer - director)

bottom of page