Secrets Behind a Successful Storyboard With Sears

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

When you watch a 30 second online video, unless you have a production or marketing background, it is easy to overlook the time involved in the project.

Ordering a cup of coffee can take less than 30 seconds. Yet a 30 second production can take well over 30 hours to complete. If you are working with someone inexperienced with video production, a storyboard is the perfect place to recap the main shots and direction of the video. Even if you are a seasoned veteran when it comes to video production, the storyboard will help gather all of your thoughts and allow for you to stay organized prior to the editing process.

If the video you consume online or on television looks crisp and professional, there is a strong likelihood there was a storyboard associated with the production.

In order to ensure a successful finished video, the planning before the actual shoot is the key to success. For starters, you will want to create a storyboard so you have a clear vision before filming. Even if you don’t have the actual footage, you can graphically illustrate the scenes. This isn’t a requirement; you can still put together a solid storyboard with descriptive text.

A storyboard will align everyone involved in the shoot, from the cameraman to the actor, directors and marketers involved.

What is a storyboard?

According to, a storyboard is a graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. It's made up of a number of squares with illustrations or pictures representing each shot, with notes about what's going on in the scene and what's being said in the script during that shot.

Below is a storyboard we completed for our garage door division, You will notice that this storyboard was put together after the shoot. There was no speaking involved in our video, just background music and demonstrational steps, so we outlined each step of the process so everything was in sync.

We also listed the time of each shot so our video didn’t go over the required duration.

The planning before the storyboard

Before the shoot, you will want to create a video script and a mock storyboard. This will outline in text what needs to be accomplished during the shoot. All you need is a word document, which outlines the key elements and details.

This can include but is not limited to the following:

 List out the setting

o Example: Address of where the shoot is located along with a shot list once you are on location

 IE: Inside garage with the door opened halfway
 Include the length of the shot
 Determine whether you need b-roll
 Explain what type of shot you will want (pan, zoom, etc.)
 If there are speaking roles, put down the lines the talent will need to deliver
 List out any lighting or audio prep that will be involved
 Include notes that might be overlooked

o For example, in our video for garage door repair, it is important that our “After Shot” of the new garage door looks immaculate. A trick is to spray down a driveway with water for a crisper look. Jotting down this note in the shot list will ensure that this doesn’t get overlooked

 Will there be any text on the screen?
 Are there any props that are needed?
 Background music involved
 Intro/Exit Graphics
 Phone numbers of everyone involved in the shoot
 Time that the shoot will last along with the expected end time

Our Garage Door Repair Video

We were tasked with putting together a video for our garage door repair division, Sears Garage. We wanted all of our technicians to deliver a consistent message while showing the homeowner (our customer) the process involved in repairing their garage door. We were hopeful our video would accomplish this.

Prior to filming, we included all of the elements in the list above to be sent to numerous divisions within our company along with anyone involved in the production. This ensured everyone was on the same page with the different components of the shoot prior to filming.

Note: It is healthy to have back and forth discussions and make revisions to the initial storyboard prior to filming. This is the reason for a storyboard! It is much better to discover an issue prior to filming than afterwards.

After the shoot

Once the shoot is completed, there are hours of footage that need to be sliced down into a short production. In our case, we needed a video that was 45 seconds in length. This is where it is important to include graphics/imagery from the shoot within the storyboard, including the duration of each shot.

Whoever is editing your video should send a storyboard with the shots listed out prior to beginning the editing process. This will allow you to have all of your shots listed correctly prior to editing.

That’s a Wrap!

Even though a video is 30 seconds in length, it is very time consuming and detailed oriented. There are a lot of moving parts and people involved in a video production. The storyboard will help keep everyone stay on the same track, just like a perfectly installed garage door!

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  • Feroz Waid said…
    Monday, August 1, 2016 1:49 AM
    Nice article, completely agree with how tough it is to produce a quality 30 second video
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