A storyboard artist has the unique responsibility to actually draw out various aspects of the scenes of the movie, television or video production before the film crew actually shoots or films the scene. This allows the film crew to have a visual idea of what the director wants in the scene before the actors, actresses, props and set are actually developed and on sight. The role of a good storyboard artist is to prevent a lot of wasted time in filming aspects of the scene that are not what the director is looking for, as well as streamlining or eliminating unnecessary scenes and filming requirements from the production.
A storyboard artist has to have a good ability to convert verbal information into physical drawings. Some drawings are made during the meetings and then more detailed full drawings are made later on in the artists office. Most drawings are pencil or ink sketches but some are full-color drawings designed to show the directors preferences for colors, patterns or even backgrounds.
A storyboard artist may have film background including formal art and drawing training, or may have other experience as it relates to film-making and production. A good understanding of the terminology used in creating films as well as artistic talents are required for the job. Storyboard artists tend to work long hours prior to film production and are usually required to be on-site for planning and set development.
Common work activities include:
- Listening to the directors verbal description of the scene and then sketching what it would appear like in reality.
- Creating new and interesting ideas to the storyboard art to capture both the activity and the emotion of the scene.
- Organizing and managing timelines to ensure all completed and submitted on schedule.
- Revising, editing and modifying sketches as indicated by the director or creative team.
- Implementing various computer programs to enhance the visual presentation of ideas for the scene or for effectively capturing the director’s ideas for the shot.