Friday, June 1, 2012

Creating a Storyboard

I've been discussing the book trailer for Aure the Topaz with my publisher.  In order for them to understand what I have in mind, I decided to storyboard the movie in my head.  For those who don't know, a storyboard breaks down a movie into discrete bits letting you see how the movie goes together so you can make changes before you start.  Often it is done with pictures and some narrative.  In my case I use words to describe each scene because I can see exactly what I want.

To begin I created a three column table in Word.  The first column is for the description of the scene.  The middle column give the duration of the scene in seconds, and the third column describes the audio.

And that's it.  All you need to do now is add one row for each scene.  For example, the first row of my storyboard was this:

Fade in

The following words scroll up from the bottom of the screen:

The Aglaril Cycle by Rich Feitelberg

A new fantasy series published by Aziza Publishing

Fade out

10 seconds
Music fades in and text fades out

From there, I move the opening sequence of the trailer:

Fade in

The following words scroll up from the bottom of the screen:

Twenty-five years ago, invaders captured Andropolis, the capital of Thalacia, and ended the rule of King Leonard.

In the background, still scenes of an invasion, humans and elves using medieval armor and weapons and some magic clash.

Scene 1: The elves arrive sleek flying sailboats over the city.
Scene 2:  Elves fighting humans in the city.  Most humans flee or die.
Scene 3: The elves swarm around the royal palace.
Scene 4: The elves corner Leonard in a final stand.
20 seconds
Music; sounds of battle

I continue this process, describing each scene until I'm done and do the final fade out.

The publisher's response was positive.  I'm sure there'll be some adjustments along the way but once the trailer is made and posted, I'll be sure to post the URL here so you can see how the concept turned into the actual movie.

Keep writing, everyone!

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