The planning stage of any project is the most crucial phase.  A good contractor would never begin construction on a house without some sort of blueprint.  The same goes with video production.  Everyone knows that a film or video usually starts with a script that explains the action and dialogue, however one other important element that is often overlooked is a storyboard.  A storyboard is a graphic representation of how a video will unfold using illustrations of the shots in their correct sequence.

A storyboard is helpful because it allows everyone involved in the project to be on the same page (pun intended) with how the video will play out prior to shooting.  Having the storyboard can save tons of time because problems can be solved ahead of time rather than on the shooting day.  For example, there might be a shot in a video where the subject needs to change position and walk over to a bright window.  Showing this in a storyboard will allow the cinematographer to better prepare for the change of the lighting ahead of time, rather than having to spend time problem solving on set.

Another example might be that we are creating a training video that shows lab technician putting together a complex piece of equipment with a voiceover explaining the action.  Here, the video producer needs to make sure that the shots will line up correctly with the spoken word and the sequence of the shots is correct.  With a storyboard, the producer can be sure the camera is capturing exactly what is needed to show the process clearly.

A storyboard also gives the client more certainty that their intended message will be clear in the end.  Seeing the shots drawn out along with the script allows the client and the video producer more flexibility to craft the video ahead of time, rather than having to make important shot choices on the fly or during postproduction.