What Exactly is a Professional Storyboard?

When you’re creating a script for a play or movie, your sole purpose is to bring the story to life. But in order to do that, you have to visualize the story.

Unless you have wicked mind’s eye and memory, you’re going to need a little help. This is where professional storyboards come into play.

But what exactly is a professional storyboard? Let’s find out.

How the Professional Storyboard was Created

The birth of the storyboard began with one man’s simple idea. Webb Smith was an animator for Walt Disney studio back in the 1930s. He came up with the concept of drawing scenes on pieces of paper then pinning them to a bulletin.

The scenes are placed in sequence, so the writer, director and everyone else working on the project can understand the story flow.

Today, you can find these story sketches used for both animated films and movies with real-life actors.

The first animated film to use a storyboard was Three Little Pigs. Then the first live action film using a storyboard was Gone with the Wind in 1939.

Now, let’s review the different ways a professional storyboard is used today.

How Professional Storyboards Are Useful

There are a variety of ways storyboards are being used in creative, technology and business related industries. Here’s a quick overview of how a storyboard can be used in different professions.

Film and Theater

We’ve already covered how a professional storyboard could be used to develop films. The exact same thing can be done for plays. It’s an excellent way to help everyone get on board with a story idea.

This includes costume designers, makeup artists, actors, prop setup crews and all the others needed to produce a play.

What’s great about storyboards is they can also help the director and writer pinpoint hiccups in the script. Maybe something doesn’t quite make sense, such as an event that’s out of order.

It’s much better to find these issues in pre-production than post-production.


Designing the characters and scenes from the fabric of your imagination isn’t always simple. Those who work in animation and special effects can use mock-ups or animations to help see the flow of scenes.

Rough dialogue or rough soundtrack is included in these sketches to see how well it goes together. This way, changes can be made before the actual images are developed by the animator.


Also known as a Photomatrix, which is created using a series of photos that are presented in sequence. Voice-overs, music and sound effects are used to tell a story. This is oftentimes seen in presentations given by companies, students and artists.

Comic Writers

Comic books are pretty much storyboards, but before they’re created, the artist needs a rough idea. It saves time and money. Drawing comics takes a lot of hard work, much like animations.

Storyboards help eliminate costly mistakes and ensures you get things right the first time around.


In the world of business, you’re constantly showcasing your products and services. For instance, your business is constantly developing ads for television and the internet.

Then there are the presentations you have to give to prospects and business partners. The best way to transfer your ideas to your audience is using a professional storyboard to create your promo.

This can be as a video, photomatrix or PowerPoint presentation. Either way, there’s a story that’s being told in a sequence. Storyboarding is a tried and true method for organizations to convince or compel the audience to action.

Software Development

This is an odd one, since it lacks the creative features of the last five. But a professional storyboard is just as essential in the technology industry as it is in any other.

The way it’s used in this case is by creating scenes for the design of the software being created. The engineers then go over it to ensure all the specs and user experience are on point.

But it’s not just about how the software will work, but also how it will look. Making changes at this point is cheaper than waiting until after the software is developed.

What Are the Benefits of Storyboards?

There are multiple reasons why storyboards are the bees knees. For one, it allows the artist, writer, businessmen or whomever else is using it to change whatever’s needed in advance. It also allows you to play around with the sequence of a storyline or presentation.

In film, it enables the writer and director to plan out the movie ahead of time. During this time, everything is being organized, such as the camera shots and angles, as well as the blocking of characters.

Visualizing the ideas you already have can sometimes bring forth new and intriguing concepts. Storyboarding is a great way to brainstorm together and come up with better ideas.

So How Exactly Do You Make a Professional Storyboard?

Creating a storyboard is very simple, even if you don’t know how to draw. Simple stick figures, words and labeled blobs can help spell out your vision.

After all, it’s mainly for you, but can be shared with others for inspiration and guidance. In cases where a video, movie or play is being created, dialogue, action boxes and side notes can be included.

You also include tidbits about camera shots, such as when the camera cuts or changes to the next scene.

Before you start creating one, you should go over the timing and acting decision using paper. What type of camera shots will be used for a particular scene? Is there a specific mood you’re trying to set?

If it’s a presentation, you should insert your speech into the storyboard, so you know what’s being said when.

When the Going Get’s Tough…

There’s always professional help. At Viva Media, we offer production services for videos. This includes corporate videos, TV commercials, animations, documentaries, training videos, music videos and more.

So whether you’re looking to promote your products and services, educate an audience or entertain onlookers, we can help.

Contact us today to find out how we can bring your ideas to life on the screen!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Shopping Basket