Are you a film school student ready to create your first storyboard? This shot-by-shot graphic representation needs to tell a visual story of exactly how your film or movie will unfold. It should unfold pretty much in the same way as a comic book. That means planning is essential in order to create storyboards that rock! Read on for Film School Tips on how to make effective storyboards.

Storyboards are essential tools for upcoming movie, commercial, even marketing video projects. It’s not necessary for your drawings to be extraordinary or fancy, as long as they tell the story in sequence. You can’t simply learn how to make a movie, you must learn how to make effective storyboards first!

As a matter of fact, you really should spend only a few minutes on each of your individual frame drawings. So, just go with simple background, stick figures and basic shapes to get the job done as you create your first storyboard.


Your storyboards are major representations of your brand image as a filmmaker. How you choose to create your first storyboard is up to you, just keep in mind that index cards are convenient tools. They allow you to easily rearrange each one in order to move around various parts of your story.

1. Break Down Your Script

You need to break your screenplay down into small shots, or pieces of cut-free, continuous footage. Decide what you want included in each shot, and translate your ideas into various storyboard panels.

2. Evaluate Each Shot

Now, thoroughly plan out each shot by evaluating different aspects of them. Some evaluation aspects should include: location settings, number of actors, props, shot types and angles, special lighting, special effects and type of camera movement needed.

3. Construct Your Storyboard Panels

You can buy professional storyboard paper at most stationery stores, or you can print them out directly from your computer. You can also use index cards (as noted above), or regular 8-1/2″ x 11″ pieces of paper.

Use each individual sheet of paper for illustrating a different shot for your upcoming film project. Then, follow these steps for each panel to create your first storyboard:

  • Decide on the size of your panel

  • Determine the shape you want and add a 1/2-inch thick border around the rectangle or square

  • Create a panel for the storyboard description by drawing an empty box about 1-inch thick right up under the bottom of the panel of the frame


There are some great, free filmmaking apps that make creating storyboards really simple. Celtex Shots is an efficient mobile app used by filmmakers to create useful storyboards and on-set blocking. Here are some of the benefits of the Celtex Shots filmmaking app:

  • Drag-and-drop lights, subjects and props into scenes

  • Share multiple blocking ideas with your film crew quickly and easily

  • Save storyboard stills, making them accessible while on-set or off the set

  • Send and save storyboard stills via email so you can share them with the entire crew with the free Celtex Shots filmmaking app


If you have a true passion for the film and video industry,  F.I.R.S.T. Institute‘s Film School in Orlando, Florida is a great place to get the hands on training needed to launch your film career. As a student you will work on several industry-related projects, including commercials, testimonials, documentaries, music videos, and even how to make a movie. At F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Film School we pride ourselves on offering small classes with career specific training. You could be our next success story! Classes are enrolling now, so contact us today!