Story tables (vs. story boards)

For this project you will use a story table, rather than a story board.

Before leaving behind storyboards, let's touch on them a bit. You may have heard about storyboards. They are commonly used in the media industry. Once you have scripted your story, you will want to create some form of visual planning artifact. Traditionally this is a storyboard, and generally consists of a scene-by-scene depiction of the story in pictures. Frequently each scene is accompanied by information about point of view, camera angles and other technical directions.

If you want to get an idea of the variation in storyboards, use Google Images to search for "storyboard." I just did this (date: 11/12/2010) and found these examples of very simple storyboards:  Andy's Animation example, and Roshan Pantel's storyboard, each of which requires minimal "artistic" skill.

But, in this class we don't use storyboards...we use story tables.

Having said all that, I do not require you to create a traditional storyboard. In fact, I ask you not do so and create a story table instead. Regardless of the kind of storyboard you might use, they are a lot of work and aren't really necessary for what you are producing in this class.

Instead, I have you create a very simple "two-column story table," which is much easier and faster to create than a storyboard. And for shorter projects, like this one, story tables are much more efficient and effective.

Below you will see an example of story table, which was created very simply by creating a Word table with two columns. In the left hand column appears your script. In the right hand column appears your thoughts about the kinds of images and other media you might want the audience to see or hear as they are listening to your voice-over narration. This is your opportunity to think through how you want to match your words and your images, rather than just shoot from the hip.

You create a new row in the table whenever the image on the screen changes.An example of a two-column story table appears below. It was created using a simple table created in Word.

An easier ways to create story table: print out your script write in the margins. If going through the process of actually creating the table is too onerous, then simply print out your script and write in the margins. It's messier and doesn't lend itself to updating very easily, but it accomplishes roughly the same objective as using an actual table.


You can even take it the next step, by replacing the descriptions with the actual images you are going to use. At that point, you have just about everything you need to create your piece. Notice how I collected the web addresses, so I could prepare my credits for the media piece. This iteration of the storyboard might look like this:

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