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Knowing how to storyboard is a key skill to have as a filmmaker—even if you don’t think of yourself as someone with drawing ability.

Especially as a Director, Cinematographer, or another creative directly involved with how a film is shot, mastering the storyboarding process will only help you become a more valued member of your filmmaking team.

But not sure where to start or what a storyboard even is? We called up some expert Storyboard Artists to get their take on the importance of storyboarding and what it’s like to work in their field.

In this piece, you’ll hear from Storyboard Artists:

  • Shane Carrington (Men in Black: International, Sweetheart, Brigsby Bear)
  • Robert Castillo (WandaVision, Precious, Captain Marvel)
  • Jeff Errico (Birds of Prey, The Fate of the Furious, Straight Outta Compton)
  • William David Hogan (Ms. Marvel, Watchmen, True Detective)

What Is a Storyboard?

Before you learn how to storyboard, you have to know what it is.

In short, a storyboard is a tool crafted during the pre-production process that provides a visual representation through a series of panels of what is taking place in a film1. These panels typically include a sketched depiction of what would be seen on screen, as well as the dialogue, camera direction, and other details that help to flesh out what is being seen and heard.

If it’s difficult to picture what exactly that would look like, a storyboard is in many ways very similar to a comic book strip!

Why Are Storyboards Part of the Filmmaking Process?

Between script and screen are many steps in-between. To be sure, filmmaking is a creative process, but it also requires considerable preparation and planning2.

Consider the number of locations used for a film or the number of shots for each scene. These are just two facets of filmmaking that make storyboards a vital part of it.

For one, everyone involved with how a film will be shot needs to be on the same page about how exactly it is going to look. What is read in a script could be interpreted in a number of ways, and how a Director envisions that script might be very different from how the Cinematographer is imagining it.

Storyboards give filmmakers the opportunity to put to paper–or computer screen–exactly how each scene will look to avoid later confusion and frustration.

Two, storyboards are central to keeping a film production on time and budget, which is why there’s no such thing as too much planning! While a Director or Cinematographer might change their mind once on set about how a certain sequence is to be shot, overall a storyboard and accompanying shot list are adhered to very closely because it’s all about staying on schedule.

Without a storyboard to help lead the way, a film set can easily and quickly devolve into chaos, as it would mean those individuals deciding then and there what to do. Not only would that greatly slow down the filmmaking process, but also it would almost certainly result in time overages and additional expense.

What is the purpose of storyboarding?

Robert Castillo (WandaVision, Precious, Captain Marvel)

The purpose of storyboarding is basically to draw and put the vision of the Director on paper. You’re jotting down camera moves, maybe some acting, some story elements, so that everyone can follow. You want everybody to be on the same page. It’s a very powerful communication tool.

It goes back to the 1930s and Walt Disney. You had some studios in New York that were doing animation, like the Fleischer brothers, but Walt Disney is credited with doing storyboards for his animated cartoons in black and white in the 1930s. A lot of Animators came out of New York. New York was the hub of animation in the 1920s and ‘30s, and what happened was Disney paid a lot better, so a lot of people went out to California (and the weather was nicer).

In that time period, Walt Disney did some shorts for movie theaters like Silly Symphony and Plane Crazy with Mickey Mouse, and some of the artists there developed a way to kind of see the movie before the movie was made so that they could save money. Because you don’t want to make a movie and it doesn’t work.

A good way was to get it drawn and then put it into panels, look at the panels, and maybe have sound to it and voices, and kind of see what people were going to watch.

From there, it made its way into big films. Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind; they utilized storyboards. (Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know who the artists were on those movies.) Hitchcock was really into storyboards. In fact, he’s quoted as saying, “If it’s on paper, then the movie is done.” Like, he really loved boards.

I always try to tell the kids when I’m teaching that it’s good to know a little history of whatever you do. It’s so important.

William David Hogan (Ms. Marvel, Watchmen, True Detective)

Storyboards are a pre-visualization tool used to plan film shoots. In other words, I draw what they’re going film.

The reason we do so is so that everyone involved in the production is on the same page creatively. If you’re directing a scene with a lot of VFX or a lot of stunts, several departments are involved. To make sure everyone has the same idea of what the car chase looks like or what creature the Mandalorian is battling, we draw out the shots so it’s crystal clear to all involved.

Storyboards can be used for other purposes as well. They’re used extensively in advertising to present clients with how their ad campaigns might look. They’re used in animation extensively, where a new frame is drawn every time a character changes expression or a pose. And sometimes, especially among newer Directors, they’re used to make sure you’re clear on what’s to be filmed so time on set isn’t wasted.

Storyboards is an umbrella term but you’ll hear “advertising boards” or “shooting boards” once in a while. Advertising Boards are usually in color. Shooting Boards usually means rough, rough storyboards. They need them just for the actual shoot (meaning studio execs, who might misinterpret what they’re looking at, won’t see them).

Shane Carrington (Men in Black: International, Sweetheart, Brigsby Bear)

There are two types of storyboarding. There’s live-action film and commercials, and there’s a type for animation.

For film, it’s an expensive and invaluable pre-production tool. You’re pre-visualizing shots with the budget in mind and with the day in mind, thinking about timing and how much it takes to shoot and set up.

For animation, you have to get everything exactly the way you’re going to have it in the end. Someone else is usually going to do the animation, so it’s got to be precise. No fluff. There’s no, “Let’s try this on the day.” It’s got to be: “This is what it’s going to look like.”

It’s a great pre-production tool to save time and money because everyone’s on the same page. The Director and the Production Designer can say, “Okay, this is the shot, so we don’t need to see that part of the set.” All kinds of things like that.

Jeff Errico (Birds of Prey, The Fate of the Furious, Straight Outta Compton)

The first function of it is to budget the film. They can say: “Let’s storyboard this zombie attack scene.” It’s cheaper to have a guy draw that on paper than it is to shoot it. They’ll do it for budgeting purposes, so they know they can scale it down to 10 zombies instead of 100, and one tank and one helicopter instead of a fleet. They can go, “How are we going to shoot the guy climbing over the bridge?” That’s going to have to be a CG wall because then they might do more special effects.

There’s a guy on a train fighting a vampire. Okay, the train is a real train on a soundstage. This shot is the Stuntman. This shot is the Actor. This shot is a CG creature. This shot is of an Actor in creature makeup with sand in the background. This shot is the first unit, this shot is the second unit. So they also use it for scheduling. Because most of the time, a lot of these films get broken down into first unit and second unit.

They’ll also storyboard for action sequences. The actual Director is shooting the principals; the main Actors. Second unit is shooting the actual stunt sequences. Brad Pitt is too busy shooting his close-up, he’s not going to be running towards the helicopter—that’s going to be the Stunt Double. They have to figure out the best use of their time.

There’s also something called pitch boards. They might have someone do key frames which help sell the idea to investors. Storyboards break down into shooting boards, key frames, and thumbnails.

Key frames would be the last idea, like, “Let’s do a real cool piece of concept art that shows the monsters attacking the city to sell the wow factor.” Hit the big shapes of the film to show to investors and try to get funding.

That’s where I’ve seen the purpose of storyboarding: stunt sequences, action sequences, scheduling, budgeting, and figuring out what unit is shooting what. The stunt unit will be shooting any crazy explosions and that stuff–second unit and Assistant Director. The actual Director is shooting the principal Actors doing their acting.

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What Should Be Included in a Storyboard?

We’ve briefly mentioned some of the elements that are typically part of how to storyboard, but below is a more detailed breakdown of these elements and why they’re so important to both the storyboarding and filmmaking process:

Images

Sounds simple enough, but we can’t overstate how important it is to make sure everything pertinent to a given shot or scene is shown in a storyboard panel. That means both the characters in it and the action taking place.

Dialogue

Not all spoken words in a film are dialogue. It could be narration as well. No matter the case, each storyboard panel should include what is being said in that particular shot.

Effects

It’s possible that a given shot is rather straightforward… Let’s say it’s a single character sitting in a chair and talking to the camera. But even for a shot that simple, details are needed.

What’s the angle of the camera on that character? Is it a close-up or long shot? Will the camera be moving during the shot? Are there any sounds or special effects occurring during that shot? Any pertinent effect, including camera angle, camera movement, type of shot, sounds, and special effects should be included for each storyboard panel.

Shot Number

Again, sounds easy. But a key component of how to storyboard is including the order of each shot in a given sequence that will be eventually filmed.

What do Storyboard Artists use in their work?

William David Hogan (Ms. Marvel, Watchmen, True Detective)

Nowadays it’s almost exclusively digital capture. The two main camps are Wacom Cintiq tablets and iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (what I use).

When I began, you had to draw storyboards in a way that they could be FAXed without losing quality. To this day, black and white drawings with just a splash of grayscale are still the preferred look. For someone starting out, I would develop a good B&W style first, before resorting to tricks you can do in Photoshop. Every once in a while, I still have to draw on paper on a set.

I use an 11″ iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (2nd gen). I draw the boards using Procreate on the iPad then finish the boards (doing layout, adding text, effects) on my laptop in Photoshop.

Jeff Errico (Birds of Prey, The Fate of the Furious, Straight Outta Compton)

The most common software is something called Storyboard Pro. It’s a very fancy program which I do have. I’ve used it a little bit, but it’s kind of like the equivalent of Photoshop. They use it predominantly in animation because you can literally do your own animation in film on it. You can do audio. You can do music.

But it’s very overwhelming when you first look at it. You might take a few classes to get your bearings. There’s a bit of a learning curve. It’s a little on the pricey side. That seems to be one of the most common pieces of software out there and it’s good.

I actually use these other programs more regularly: Storyboarder and Photoshop. I’d say almost every Storyboard Artist uses Photoshop in some way, shape, or form. There are other ones out there, but Storyboarder and Photoshop are really the two.

Storyboarder is a scaled-down version of Storyboard Pro. It’s more simplified. It depends on what kind of storyboarding you’re doing. Some guys are doing animatics. Some guys are doing visuals, and some guys maybe not.

Maybe you don’t need all those bells and whistles on the Heinz Ketchup commercial or movie that you’re working on. The guys doing all these Marvel movies have to animate all this crazy stuff. Like if you have to animate the movie before they shoot it, you have to work out the timing and the editing. That’s a lot of stuff going on, so you want software that gives you those options.

But if you’re working on something that’s a little more straightforward, you might not need to use all those bells and whistles. People move around and use what works best for them. If you’re a Painter, you’d be like, “These are my favorite brushes, but I have all of these brushes so I can pick and choose what I need based on the job.”

Shane Carrington (Men in Black: International, Sweetheart, Brigsby Bear)

I use everything. One day I’m drawing animals for a commercial, the next day it’s cars for a film and buildings are exploding and there are tons of people. So you have to be able to draw everything. References help, from Pinterest or a Google Image search. I have books. Looking at other films, too. I use everything I can. I have such a big library in my head from doing it for so long—a lot of references.

You need to be able to draw something from your head that maybe isn’t perfect and absolutely correct, but provides a quick reference of an image or whatever you’re drawing or whatever’s in the shot. I’m all digital, so I use Photoshop and I have a digital Cintiq which I draw directly onto.

You need to be able to tell the Director, “I see this in a 25mm lens,” or, “I see this in a 70mm lens that compresses the space so everyone looks stacked while we shoot down the street, and that creates the emotion of claustrophobia.” It’s a Director’s job to dictate tone, whether it’s in a scene or first act or the whole film. Working with Actors and setting up shots and all that adds up to tone.

You should have an understanding of the way things move. People, animals. You have a lot of acting to draw. If there’s a scene with a lot of dialogue, you can’t just draw one shot. The character moves from one side to the other and they’re talking, so you need to be able to draw that. Live-action is very different from animation.

Robert Castillo (WandaVision, Precious, Captain Marvel)

Storyboard Artists use many things like perspective, composition, camera movements, and arrows. There are so many things that go into it. Me personally, what I put into storyboards is a sense of acting from the characters. I like to read the script and find out what’s going on.

For example, let’s say two people are sitting at a table, and it’s a commercial. Maybe one of the characters is grumpy. The other one is more energetic. What I’ll do is I’ll put that into the drawing of the gestures and the body language. That’s something I do that a lot of clients like.

I have an illustration background, so sometimes I add details or shadows and make it really vivid. You don’t have to be able to do that, but it really helps everybody and you can bring a lot to the storyboards. So, that’s a good question; it depends on what that person can bring to it.

But some of the basic things that you need to bring are space and perspective, and also camera moves with the arrows. What’s happening in the frame? Is the camera pushing in? Is it pulling out? Are we panning from left to right?

To be a good Storyboard Artist, you’ve gotta have that cinema language. You’ve gotta understand movies. It really helps a lot. It gives you an edge. I always encourage my students to take other classes. Take a class on film, and look at Kurosawa.

Akira Kurosawa is a Director I always bring up because he was a Painter first, and he was an artist, so he has an eye for composition. He’s regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers and a lot of movies and animations today are influenced by him because his shots are so beautiful. They’re composed in a great way. So I always tell my students, “Take a painting class. Take a film class, a video class. The more you can bring to it, the better and clearer the boards will be.”

What Are Some Examples of Storyboards?

All right, we just finished explaining what a storyboard should include, so let’s take a look at some examples and how they compare to the finished films3!

First up, a storyboard created by Robert Castillo for a Spike TV Star Wars marathon commercial:

Next up, the 1981 Best Picture nominee Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Truth be told, some storyboards don’t always include every detail that they should–we’re looking at you, Steven Spielberg! But that doesn’t mean you should follow suit.

As you can see, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is big on visual details, but it doesn’t necessarily have all the camera particulars you would expect. It also happens to be 40 years old at this point and filmmaking has only become more sophisticated since then, making how to storyboard properly even more crucial to successful film production.

When it comes to visual details, it’s ultimately at the discretion of the Director, Cinematographer, or whoever else might be the top person responsible for how the film will be shot to decide just how detailed they want the storyboards to be. Some Directors or DPs keep the visuals fairly sparse to keep the focus on the essentials that need to be captured.

Other creatives love detail because it can help other central figures on a film like the Production Designer or Costume Designer get a feel for how their respective contributions to the film should look.

Watchmen Storyboard
Storyboard panel for The Watchmen, courtesy of William David Hogan.

Skyscraper Storyboard
Storyboard panel for Skyscraper, courtesy of William David Hogan.

Angriest Man in Brooklyn storyboard
Storyboard for The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, courtesy of Robert Castillo.

Captain Marvel concept storyboard
Concept storyboard for Captain Marvel, courtesy of Robert Castillo.

What Are the Steps to Creating a Storyboard?

Now it’s time to finally try your hand at how to storyboard4. While it’s not necessary anymore to complete the process by hand–and we’ll discuss software options in just a minute–using the tried and true method of sketching out panels can be immensely helpful in understanding storyboarding even if you ultimately decide to use a computer program instead.

What makes a good Storyboard Artist?

Shane Carrington (Men in Black: International, Sweetheart, Brigsby Bear)

You don’t have to be the best artist. I’ve seen guys that work on massive films who aren’t the greatest artists in terms of technical ability per se, but they can tell a story. The test of a good Storyboard Artist is, can they tell a story through images? Can they convey what’s happening in a scene? That’s the number one thing.

You have to be a good storyteller and a bit of a Director. Especially in animation. They’re giving you scenes and you’re adding what you think will work. You’ve gotta be a Director and tell a story through images.

And be quick. You aren’t going to get a job where they’re like, “Take a month!” Time is money in film.

You only get better as you do it, as with anything.

Robert Castillo (WandaVision, Precious, Captain Marvel)

First and foremost, you’ve got to be a good listener—because when I meet a Director, I want to know what their vision is. I research them. I see their work out of respect. You don’t want to meet someone and say, “Oh, I haven’t seen that.” You want to be well prepared for that.

So you want to be a good listener, and you also want to be a good storyteller. You can use some of your personal things. Try to connect with the story.

With me, I do my homework. Do your homework, okay? Say I’m working on a scene for a movie. It’s a dinosaur movie, and I have to do a scene where a tyrannosaurus rex is chasing two people. What I would do is I’d make a folder and go look at a tyrannosaurus rex. I would reference back to Jurassic Park because there are some amazing shots in there. I’d compile a folder of all these things that would inspire me for that job. I gather information that’s going to help me achieve a shot. You’re able to translate the word into visuals that way.

Sometimes I tell my students if you can’t find the reference, make it. Create it. You have a powerful thing in your pocket; it’s called a cell phone. Everybody has a camera, so if I’m drawing a storyboard and I can’t get an angle of a certain shot, I’ll take my phone, grab a friend, and I’ll set them up in the way that the shot needs to be set up. And now you have information. You have to be smart in gathering what you need to execute that shot.

You have to be someone that can visualize things and jot down ideas very quickly. It’s a fast world with storyboards. On most of my jobs, they’re needed yesterday. They’re like, “Hey, this is due. We need it in a day or two.” You have to be very fast in this industry.

There’s a big need for Storyboard Artists. I’m always pushing students to look into it because entertainment is billions of dollars. We have streaming services, we have games coming out almost every week, and there’s a really big need for pre-production and Storyboard Artists out there.

William David Hogan (Ms. Marvel, Watchmen, True Detective)

Understanding film and being fast is better than being good. A Director who hired me constantly when I was starting out told me once I didn’t draw very good, haha, but loved that “I knew film.”

What he meant is that when two people are talking in a scene, I didn’t cross the 180. When he’d say “go from a 200mm lens to an extreme close-up on an 18mm lens,” I knew how to draw that. I’m just giving script pages often and you have to know what must be filmed to make the scene work.

Drawing your wide shots, coverage, close ups, reverses, and inserts all factor in to making a scene work. But understanding filmmaking is critical. Most scenes revolve around one character so you have to know who the scene follows and what’s the purpose of the scene. This will dictate what you include (and leave out).

Having solutions, having ideas. There’s a big misconception that Directors have all the answers. They’re often sitting with you to discover the bones of a scene, mining for ways to approach it visually. The more imaginative and creative you are, the better you’ll do.

Finally, being fast. Delivering work is better than perfect work. As much as everyone loves pretty boards, they’re a tool that production uses so whatever style you develop, you must be able to churn out clear, easy-to-understand frames daily.

I recently storyboarded HBO’s Watchmen and the Director wanted the boards really rough so she could draw more scenes. I told her after working on such an incredible series–I have nothing that I can put in a portfolio, haha. It all looked like chicken scratch! However, I work for Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball, Central Intelligence) and just did a Marvel series (Ms. Marvel) and they really want pretty boards, which is great, too.

Jeff Errico (Birds of Prey, The Fate of the Furious, Straight Outta Compton)

It’s more about what makes a good storyboard. Is there a strong understanding of anatomy, depth, composition? Is the frame readable? If all of those things are working on the board, then the Storyboard Artist is a good Storyboard Artist. There are also the basic tasks of meeting the deadline, showing up on time, not dragging your feet—those life tasks are good food for thought.

The one thing that most Storyboard Artists don’t talk about much is having a strong understanding of perspective. There’s a lot of software out there. You can use the software as shortcuts, but at the end of the day, all these DPs [Directors of Photography] are looking at the boards and saying, “Where does the camera start and where does the camera go?” That needs to be communicated through perspective.

A good storyboard has a strong understanding of perspective and anatomy, gestures, shades forms, top plane, under plane. We’re looking at this person from a profile and now we’re booming out to the round three-quarter, and we’re communicating that in the scenes. Now we’re moving up to see this side of this Actor’s face, and now we’re seeing the front plane … those are things that are really important.

It has to be readable for people that don’t read scribbles in like three seconds. They’re looking at these things to know what side of the shoulder we’re on, where their eye line is. They don’t care how detailed your drawing is. They have Brad Pitt or whoever on screen. They’re going to beautify them. It’s understanding those little nuances. They need a maker who can kind of draw.

Understanding the 180 rule, consistency of right to left, left to right: those are the things that people care about. Those are the things that are going to make you a good Storyboard Artist because on the day they matter. At least that’s what I’ve noticed. Everybody likes a pretty frame—if there’s time to beautify them, that’s always a plus. But it may not always be necessary. Sometimes simpler is better.

1. Draw your panels

Let’s begin with the most fundamental part of how to storyboard: just getting those panels on paper. It’s not necessary to start with great detail, and given that you will almost certainly be making changes, create your storyboard with a pencil to allow for corrections. Again, you don’t have to be an artist! Don’t get hung up on it looking perfect in lieu of conveying needed information from each panel.

2. Go through the editing process

Completed your initial storyboard? Great! Now you’re at the point where you can go back into it to more clearly define exactly what you envision each panel to have.

Some elements to check off… Are all relevant characters included? Is the action explicit in each panel? If someone else was looking at your storyboard, would the images in it be clear even without knowledge of what’s happening in the sequence?

3. Add pertinent details

Before your storyboard is done, don’t forget all those effects we mentioned earlier. Even if you drew only a character’s eye for a particular panel, which would probably indicate an extreme closeup, be sure to note that shot type for it. Also include any camera movement, camera angles, sounds, dialogue, or special effects.

What Comes First: Storyboard or Shot List?

Trick question! The answer is that you frequently are doing both at the same time and here’s why… Each tool helps to inform the other. As the Director or Cinematographer develops a storyboard, it becomes more and more clear what shots can be filmed together.

That being said, as we’ve already noted, time and expense are a very real part of the filmmaking process. For that reason, when you’re putting together your shot list, you may soon realize that you don’t have either the schedule flexibility or financial resources to include all the shots represented in your storyboard. That means going back to your storyboard and editing it so that you can get more shots done within a given period of time and on budget.

How Do You Make a Storyboard If You Can’t Draw?

We’ve tried to be reassuring that innate drawing skill isn’t necessary when learning how to storyboard. Given how important this tool can be during the pre-production phase of filmmaking, though, should you still be worried?

Professional skill really, truly isn’t required. We understand that some filmmakers might still be hung up on the fact that they’re not natural artists. Plus, if you’re not a pro, you likely don’t want to show your stick figures to everyone else on your filmmaking team.

But plenty of filmmakers have been able to make great movies without being professional artists. The key goal is just clearly conveying what is happening in each storyboard panel. If you can still accomplish that, that’s all that matters.

Online software is available. Once upon a time, Screenwriters had to write on paper tablets or a typewriter. Now there’s a host of screenwriting software programs available to them that greatly improve the writing process. The same can be said for storyboarding! If doing storyboards on paper isn’t right for you, the great thing is that you don’t have to!

Below is a breakdown of some storyboard software options currently available:

Boords

Boords has a free trial program that is particularly useful for storyboarding teams.

Boords

Canva

Canva is a free, web-based program that’s also great for storyboard collaboration.

Canva

FrameForge

A program compatible with both Mac and Windows that offers a free 14-day trial. If you decide to purchase, you can do so via a full purchase or subscription.

FrameForge

Make Storyboard

Another collaboration-friendly program that provides one storyboard for free. Users can then decide between its professional and team subscription options.

Make Storyboard

Storyboarder

Another free program that both Mac and Windows users can download.

Storyboarder

Storyboard Fountain

An open-source, free program, Storyboard Fountain is a great option for Mac-based Writers who want to storyboard off their scripts.

Storyboard Fountain

Storyboard Quick

Storyboard Quick is a program that gives you two purchase options. You can either buy it via a subscription that allows you to get all future updates for free, or you can make a one-time purchase that does not include the freebie update option.

Storyboard Quick

Storyboard That

Like FrameForge, Storyboard That offers a 14-day free trial for prospective users. From there on out, it’s a subscription service that can be purchased on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

Storyboard That

StudioBinder

StudioBinder is a completely free service that allows users to create their storyboards online. And if you want to try hand-drawing your storyboards at some point, it also has templates for download.

StudioBinder

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Have a particular interest in animation? Then Toon Boom Storyboard Pro might be the perfect program for you! You can take advantage of its 21-day free trial, and if you decide to purchase it, you can sign up for either an annual or monthly subscription or a permanent license.

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

You Can Bring on a Storyboard Artist

Maybe you’re not interested in storyboarding by yourself, but you still like that hand-drawn aesthetic. If it’s within your filmmaking budget, why not hire a dedicated Storyboard Artist for your needs?

Yes, storyboard pros do exist. From Saul Bass who worked with Alfred Hitchcock to J. Todd Anderson who has worked with the Coen brothers and beyond, there are many, many talented Storyboard Artists who can bring your vision to life5.

And if you’ve decided on a storyboarding software option but are still struggling to realize your vision, a dedicated Storyboard Artist can become a valuable collaborator for digital drawings as well!

Final Thoughts

In many ways, learning how to storyboard is the first key step in the filmmaking pre-production process. It is the instrument that initially transforms the words in a script into images audiences will eventually see as part of a film.

However, storyboards are far from just a way to envision what the story will look like. They are just as important as tools for making sure the business side of a production will run according to plan by helping filmmakers finalize their scheduling and budgetary needs. As a result, how to storyboard is a vital skill set for any filmmaker involved in the shooting process.

Storyboard Artist Shane Carrington
Shane Carrington

shane carrington is a storyboard artist living in los angeles.
working in commercials and film since 2011.
he is a member of the art directors guild as we’ll as the animation guild.
currently working for netflix animation.

Storyboard Artist Robert Castillo
Robert Castillo

As a Storyboard Artist, Robert has created Storyboards for films including the Oscar-nominated film Precious, Storyboards for Marvel’s Ant-Man, and the award-winning cable television program The Sopranos. Recently he has done Storyboards for the Marvel Film Captain Marvel. He has also done music videos for Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Kid Rock, and Lauren Hill, commercials for Mcdonald’s, Bud Light, Nissan, and Coca-Cola, as well as promo work and music videos for MTV, VH1, and ESPN. Robert has done Concept Boards for shows like Black Lightning, All American, and Living With Yourself for Netflix. He has done Storyboards for Wandavision and Hawkeye on Disney+.

Robert’s talent has been recognized with various awards, and honors including The Student Academy Awards in 2004 for his short film S.P.I.C. The Storyboard of My Life, which has screened in 16 festivals including Cannes and The Museum of Modern Art. In 2005 S.P.I.C. had a special screening at TIME Magazine in NY and at Walt Disney Studios.

Robert has lectured on The Art of Storyboards at NYU Tisch and The School of Visual Arts. Robert has given back by auctioning his artwork for The John Starks Foundation as well as Project Sunshine. He also volunteers his time with Ghetto Film School in the Bronx, NY, Mount Sinai Hospital, and The Automotive High School of Brooklyn, NY. Robert is currently a Professor of Sequential Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Storyboard Artist Jeff Errico
Jeff Errico

I’m a freelance Storyboard Artist here in Los Angeles. I have been storyboarding for almost ten years. I have worked on such projects as FAST 8, NWA Straight OUTTA COMPTON, THE HOUSE, MIKE & DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES, TERMINATOR: GENISYS, 22 JUMP STREET, and numerous others. I have worked for high-profile Directors such as Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Seth Rogen, McG, F Gary Gray, Rupert Sanders, Alan Taylor, Francis Lawrence, Tarsem, along with numerous others. I was the Staff Storyboard Artist for Season 1 of LETHAL WEAPON and worked closely with the Stunt Coordinator, DP, and camera men to design shots and action sequences.

I have a strong understanding of storyboarding & designing the shot, along with a strong understanding of the logic & equipment used to “get that shot” for action sequences under 2nd unit direction. I also have on set experience as well and can create your boards on the fly on set if needed. I take pride in my work and love what I do. I do the best I can to design your shot.

Storyboard Artist & Director W.D. Hogan
William David Hogan

Director W. D. Hogan and IMAX worked with NASA, JPL, and an international team of scientists to showcase planetary defense in Asteroid Hunters (Summer 2021). Narrated by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Actress Daisy Ridley, the filmmakers utilize the full extent of IMAX technology to give audiences a deeply immersive experience.

Captured in large format, native 3D, and nominated for Outstanding VFX, the film explores the birth of our Solar System, threats asteroids pose, and the innovative mitigation techniques developed by scientists around the world—and features the largest rocket ever captured on IMAX film, the Delta IV Heavy.

For over twenty years, W. D. Hogan collaborated with legendary filmmakers in the art and design of storytelling. Beginning in music videos with director Chris Robinson’s Robot Films, he worked in independent features and television before joining forces with IMAX Studios.

Crafting dynamic scenes as a Storyboard Artist heavily influenced Hogan’s cinematic approach to both story design and performance. This ability to visualize complex sequences helped Marvel Studios & Disney+ bring Ms. Marvel to life, The Wachowskis construct The Matrix: Path of Neo, Rawson Marshall Thurber envision Red Notice, Nic Pizzolatto explore True Detective and assisted Nicole Kassell and Damon Lindeloff in designing HBO’s groundbreaking series The Watchmen.

W. D. Hogan is a member of the DGA and repped by WME.

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