Story Beats: These are panels that convey only the key events in your story. What the plot turns on. The number of panels can range from 8-12 for a 2 minute film to well over 50 for longer films. Story artists will use these limited number of panels to work and rework a story until it gels. From there the Story team moves into Rough Storyboards focusing on individual scenes.
Clues to creating strong Story Beats:
- Work small to save time, expand on creative possibilities and focus on composition.
- Draw as many panels as you need for your story to make sense to you and don't be afraid to draw multiple versions of your beats.
- Edit the images down to key moments that best convey the arc of your story.
- Each image should be framed in such a way that it carries the emotional weight of the moment you want to convey
The beats below are for what's shaping up to be a 3-5 minute short film. Each beat conveys only the major plot points of the scene. The combined effect of your Story Beats should be a fairly cohesive plot with a beginning, middle and end.