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09 Nov

Pitching the Storyboard



Used by Disney
Storyboarding was used as a working tool from the early Disney productions. And it still is! The philosophy behind storyboarding is simple:

  • Don’t tell the story – draw it!
  • As the ancient chinese said: a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • The storyboard was “pitched”
  • Then Disney decided to produce or not to produce

Pitching
But how can you know whether the story works in front of a audience? Here Disney used a method called pitching. In short the storyboarders had to enact the characters of the movie while demonstrating the storyboard. The storyboarders had to play all the roles of the charaters, make sounds and speak out what these characters said.

The storyboard pitching was an important occation. During the session Disney would decide whether a scene, sequence or movie should be made or no. If Disney did not like what he saw, the idea was dropped.

In fact storyboarding is a fast and cheap way to test the story, and it can save time and “time is money” (as uncle Scrooge said).

 The Storyman
“The Illusion of Life” (Thomas & Johnston 1981) tells how Disney made the storytellers work:

“Writers of proven skill had been brought into the studio, but they were seldom given a chance to write. A script could be used in the beginning to show suggestions of what might be done with the material, but more often the ideas were talked over, tossed around, beaten to death, changed, revamped, built upon , and ‘milked’ without a single word being put down on paper. Since animation is a visual medium, it is important that the story ideas, the characters, the business, the continuity, and the relationships be presented in visual form rather than in words. So the storyboard was invented.” (p. 195)

The basic idea is “don’t tell it – show it”.

Pitching your multimedia storyboard
Most multimedia productions are non-linear. What happens in your game depends on the skills of the player. But you still have to tell a good story – or rather visualise it. Your pitch should then enact the story – but where more than one outcome is possible you may have to enact the alternatives too.

Use the storyboard to check timing
The video below demonstrates how you can make really fast storyboards in a simple way – and how to check the time a sequence till last.

More information on storyboarding
Check out the links below.

[wp-blogroll catname=”storyboarding”]