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Bring your ideas to life with a storyboard 

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Bring your ideas to life with a storyboard 

So you’ve got an idea for an animation you just know will work brilliantly. You’ve got the storytelling spot on. And the images in your head are fighting to break free. There’s no way this won’t go down a storm…

But how do you translate your vision into something you can share with your stakeholders? Something that will describe exactly what you want to say and will get you the buy-in you desperately need.

We know that any form of communication requires careful planning and a defined strategy. As an internal comms pro, it’s down to you to take control with a considered, capable and methodical approach.

When it comes to developing a plan, and sharing it with others – whether that’s for a video or for an animation, you can bring life to those ideas and present them effectively using a storyboard.

What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a series of images, often with some dialogue, representing the shots planned for a video or animation. The process was developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s. According to Christopher Finch in The Art of Walt Disney, animator Webb Smith was credited with creating the idea of drawing scenes on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board, visualising the likes of  Snow White, Mickey Mouse and The Three Little Pigs.

Why do you need a storyboard?

Storyboarding is now an essential part of the creative process and is used to plan and visualise the structure and flow of a story. At Alive, we use storyboards to help clients map out their vision, presenting a layout of the scenes and bringing characters, facts and figures to life. It’s the perfect way to take thoughts and ideas from inside minds and put them into motion, helping others understand and contribute to the elements of the story.

Mapping out the scenes in this way also helps to work out how the visuals will flow alongside your script and how they will complement each other.

You’ll no doubt have some key messages you’ll want to weave through your animation to generate your desired outcome. A storyboard provides a structure that allows you to see where those messages will work best and where they will have the most impact.

Storyboarding can also help to save on resources like money and time, making sure you don’t come across unexpected issues later down the line.

How do you create a storyboard?

There are different ways to create your storyboard but here are five suggested steps that will help the process unfold:

  1. Write your script. A rough outline will be enough to get things started.
  2. Build a moodboard – a collection of images, styles, fonts – anything that has inspired your story or the characters within it. This will provide a good base for your storyboard and will be something you can return to throughout the process to bring some clarity and consistency when you need it.
  3. Create simple thumbnail sketches of a basic concept and structure that answers the brief and works with your script. You don’t need to be an artist – stick figures will do fine! There are plenty of templates online that are free to download. Alternatively, you can use an app like this one from Canva and their professionally created templates. You can use their stock image library or upload your own.
  4. Note down a few words or lines from your script below each slide, describe any sound effects you need or transitions you’d like and jot down some detail about what’s happening alongside each picture.
  5. Include all relevant details – have a notes section at the end of your storyboard that pulls out key information and important points that need to be considered.

If you’d like to talk through your story plans we’d love to get involved. Turning raw ideas and information into something visually bold and brilliant is what we do best. Drop us a line, we’ll take a look at things, help you work through your storyboard, show you some examples or take it off your hands altogether!

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Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

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Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

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Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“So glad that we chose Alive to create our new website. As well as taking the time to get the visual side of our requirement right, they worked with us to understand us, our business and our clients and reflect this across the site. We loved their flexible approach, which, coupled with the right level of challenge has replaced our old, clunky site with one we can be proud of. ”

Victoria Ford — Perago

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“‘We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron — KP Snacks

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q