View Full Version : Script or storyboard?

08 August 2005, 08:08 PM
Which one should come first? I think the script does: like telling a story, you just tell the story no matter which camera angles would be later arranged. The director can later choose the shot he believes takes the most out of the scene. But one of my animation teachers says it's not correct; that I should draw the storyboard from the beggining. What do you guys think??

08 August 2005, 09:52 PM
Animation has different needs than regular screenwriting. The script actually dictates shots, generally. Nonetheless, in my opinion one should still write the script first -- how are you going to storyboard when you have to story to speak of? After the script is written out, then figure out your shots from there.

08 August 2005, 04:13 AM
I agree with Scott, you can't make a storyboard without a script, it's as simple as that.

08 August 2005, 08:48 AM
I'd say whether you didn't understand clearly what your teacher said or he is a complete jerk. A film is meant to tell a story and that's what the script is for. Telling a story for screen is something very coordinated. You must keep in mind things such as 3 acts, pivots events and so on and so forth. I believe you can't make a good story structure by simply drawing a storyboard. It's true that in animation, the storyboard is super important, but it shouldn't come first. In the case of a short film, you can keep in mind your overall story while drawing it, but in a feature film, it's simply impossible. The structure of a story is crucial for the rythm of the film.

PS: when I say your teacher is "a complete jerk" I don't mean to be rude. It's just that, turning you out of writing first is a crime.

08 August 2005, 01:24 PM
He might also have been referring to shorter animations. For example, a 2 minute cartoon of a cat chasing a mouse with no dialog could be storyboarded easier than scripted. But to actually tell a story you should go with the script first though.

08 August 2005, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I think that regardless of the duration of the movie, short, whatever, there must always be a script. If you have a well-delimited scene put down in paper, when you discuss the scene with the other team members, there might be a chance that the presence of the picture keep the minds away of thinking other shots. Discussing just a script, each member could throw in his/her particular point of view of how the scene could be shot.
Thanks again, bye

08 August 2005, 12:05 AM
As far as team projects go...definitely a script first, even if it's only a draft, before going to some kind of storyboard. And, the storyboards can be very rough, stick figures and such; especially if you have a short production timeline. Besides, you can always go thru a script rewrite if your storyboard development helps you find a better way to convey a moment...:D

My initial commercial or multimedia storyboards were often quite rough, and created simply to help convey layout and timing to the art director based on whatever concepts and requirements I'd been given. Presentation type storyboards (clean art, color, etc.) is done at the last, if necessary, to present to the client. I seem to recall reading something similar on that in this forum before...

I have to admit, when I'm working on my own personal projects, while I might have a story outline, I don't work from a full script. I tend to create alot of thumbnails and rough sketches of the storyboard panels or book pages to help me develop the actual body of the script or story idea. That's just my visual way. I'm an artist first...writing is a bit further down my list of skills. :)

I remember hearing, too, from one of my artist friends that some well known comics were developed that way...the art and panels roughly sketched first and then the writing to pull it together. But that's comics. :)

Might check with your instructor to clarify your class requirement...


09 September 2005, 01:08 PM
Just to be difficult, here's my 2.

For a few of the things I've done, I've gone back and forth. I'm sure it's just me, but there have been a few instances where the only way to write the scene for the script is to draw it out first and then describe the drawing in the script. Typically, those scenes are the ones that are perfectly visualized in my head, but I just can't find the right words to convey the action. Of course, since I don't usually direct my scripts, it's usually wasted work, since the director then goes to his own storyboards with the script that I wind up with.

Professionally speaking, everyone works from a script, so you'll most likely have to have one before you even start talking to other people about it.

10 October 2005, 06:18 PM
this is a question that comes up for me...the instructor for maya class insists upon a storyboard by the second week of class...mind you this is for a beginning class that most students have barely opened the package...let alone know what a camera semester i presented a fairly detailed plan and he said it was just concept...but really...i knew it was going to take more than a semester to get the modeling done...but do other intructors expect to work right from the first on the storyboard?

10 October 2005, 06:58 PM
It might make sense if all he was doing was teaching the software and gave no consideration to story at all. But if he's going to then critique the storyboards, it seems odd that he'd expect you to have good quality boards without having worked out the story first (notice that "story" comes before "board" in "storyboard"?)


10 October 2005, 08:33 PM
yes...i thought his approach was strange too...but thanks for confirming and fortunately, i am in a position to do what i feel is my approach with out much concern for the grading...but i feel he misleads the class ...and most semesters there is a 2-3rds drop rate!

10 October 2005, 01:29 PM
That's always been a problem with university art professors - most of them have excellent professional qualifications to teach, but not many of them are actually good teachers. In my 4 years, I only had one professor who I would call an excellent teacher. The rest were very talented, but couldn't communicate what they knew to their students.

Good luck getting through it.

10 October 2005, 09:13 PM
Yep, I agree with pconsidine about professors. Just being good at something doesn't means it'll be a good teacher. However, continuing with my professor, she asked us to do a stupid cut animation and now she wants us to do a morph animation. I don't care about me, since I can handle these things due to my experience, but the rest of the students are quite lost in the course and create very low quality animations.

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