STORY DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW IN 7 STEPS

 

01. STORY BEATS (Key Images/Story Arc)

Story Beats are panels that convey only the key events in your story.  What the plot turns on.  There will be plenty of time to work out your acting queues, transitions, and other storytelling subtleties in the Action Beats/Revisions.  Right now use the limited number of panels provided to work out the larger story

02. STORY THUMBNAILS (Action Beats and Transitions)

Story Thumbnails are a direct expansion of the Story Beats.  Once your major Story points are in place Thumbnails can help to work out key acting moments (or Action Beats) and transitions.   It's essential at this point that the story panels flow from one moment to the next. 

03. ROUGH BOARDS (Staging and Cinematography)

Rough Boards: Once your story is firmly established it's time to construct each shot through the lens of your camera. This means staging your characters, setting up cameras and making clear deliniations between foreground, midground and background planes.  Composition, camera placement, editorial transitions (dissolves, cuts, and fades) should all be taking shape. Most likely this means a number of revisions. 

04. CLEAN-UP STAGE (Refine Drawings/Tone)

Clean-up/Tonal Pass: Once you have worked out any story kinks in your Rough Board Revisions use the Clean-up pass to refine your drawings, add tone to strengthen compositions and fill in any needed panels to communicate story flow and camera moves.  This is also where all camera notations are clearly communicated. 

05. STORY REEL (Timing and Scratch Audio)

Story Reel by Kayla Mitchell

 

The Story Reel is simply and edited version of your Final Storyboards using stand-in sound effects, a scratch version of your final musical score to help establish pacing and emotional tone.  You will also be using sound beeps to indicate hard transitions between shots. 

 

06. FORMATTING PRODUCTION BOARDS (Shot Notes and Renumbering)

 

Production Boards help to accurately communicate story decisions into the production pipeline.  This step has more to do with formatting than anything else.  At this point your main concern will be to renumbering shots and panels, labeling production queues such as dissolves, fades, and camera moves, and inserting dialogue and production notes.  

 

07. FINAL THUMBNAIL PAGES (Context for Production Artists)

 

Thumbnail Pages are a reduced/simplified version of the Production Boards without any production notes. The Thumbnail Pages are laid out somewhere between with up to 16 to 42 panels per page.  These are very valuable for the Layout Artists and scene Planners to help them view each shot within a larger context.