Scripts, Storyboards, and Videos — Oh My!

Reading Response #5 – Lynda Felder – Writing for the Web – Chapter 4 & Todd Chappell – Video Production Primer


Images can captivate an audience, especially when they move. Adding moving graphics to a website can greatly increase the appeal to the audience, but they can also distract. Make sure you choose moving graphics wisely. There are many types of moving graphics but only some work in certain situations. Types include:

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Example of an animation graphic. It shows a way on how to tie a tie. Click image for original source.

  • Video: This is best used for real-life, moving images. Also for showing interviews.
  • Animation: Works well for introductions, short ads, and instructions
  • Motion graphics: Makes logos or words move across the screen to catch the reader’s eye.
  • Software simulation: Helps the reader experience a software program. Perfect for promoting software and providing instructions on how to use the software.
  • Games: Provide entertainment, and sometimes education
  • Photo slide shows: Perfect for showing people
  • Digital storytelling: Works for personal stories
Nano Hunting 1

Example of a storyboard. Click picture for original source

When designing, it is important to brainstorm. Some people have found that sticky notes, 3 x 5 cards, lists, outlines, napkins, or a combination of the things above are very useful tools in brainstorming and organizing your thoughts.

A storyboard is a necessity for designing, and it’s also a form of brainstorming. It shows “all the media for each scene, such as sound effects, voice-over, music and text, and describes how they all work together.” They also:

  • Record the plan
  • Persuade stakeholders
  • Inform team members
  • Establish a blueprint
  • Create a working agreement

When making a video or animation, a script is important for multiple reasons.

  • It helps the speaker remember what to say and when to say it.
  • It helps prevent noises of confusion like “ah,” “um,” and “er.”
  • It stops some spontaneous, impromptu nonsense that would be redundant and need to be eliminated.
  • It helps set up the scene by briefly describing settings.
  • It helps describe actions.
  • It provides some stage direction.

When making your own video and animation, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Talking heads
  • Panning and zooming too quickly
  • Little or no sound
  • Timing is too slow or too fast
  • Not providing a war to print out detailed information
  • No transitions
  • Too many scenes
  • Impersonal instructions

There are three steps in the video making process.

  1. Pre-production
    1. Debatably the most important step
    2. Make a story with a beginning, middle, and end
      1. VERY IMPORTANT
    3. Make a script. Two types of scripts-
      1. Screenplay
      2. Interview
    4. Make sure you have appropriate media for the project that you have the rights to
      1. Images
      2. Music
      3. Stock Footage
      4. Videos
    5. Make sure you have appropriate storage for your media. Also that is organized in a way that makes it easily accessible and understandable.
    6. Make sure you know that film making is a time consuming process.
  2. Production
    1. Have appropriate gear
      1. Camera
      2. Tripod
      3. Microphones
    2. Understand Basic Shots
      1. Subject/Action Shot
      2. Establishing shot
      3. B-roll
    3. Look at tutorials online beforehand
      1. Like this one
      2. This one is cool too
      3. Never under estimate lighting
    4. Keep this things in mind
      1. Don’t zoom in for close ups, move the camera manually in.
      2. Anticipate action
      3. Keep computer screens out of the shot
      4. Use a tripod
      5. Make sure you know your camera before taking it into the field
      6. Be aware of background noises
      7. Keep the wind in mind
      8. Test your microphone beforehand
  3. Post-production
    1. Have a good editing software. The most common ones are
      1. Final Cut Pro
      2. Adobe Premiere
      3. iMovie
      4. Windows Movie Maker
    2. Edit the video
      1. Cut it down to the most important clips. Then string them together with transitions
      2. Note: the fancy transitions or other glitz can distract from the message and look tacky
      3. Images can also tell a story effectively
      4. B-roll can come in handy here
    3. Save and export your work