Storyboarding for our crime novel trailers

We are beginning to create the book trailers for crime novels in year 8 today. The students have read the books and I have shown them examples of all sorts of trailers. Some were professional, some were done by students like them and some were very good and others not so. We discussed what they liked, what they thought worked well, what appealed to them and then set them a brainstorming task. To come up with ideas about their chosen novel.

Next they are going to plan their trailers. We are going to use storyboarding to help them visualize and plan their short video.

A colleague, Marie Salinger, sent me the link for the ABCkids link for the RollerMache site for storyboards. It is a great introduction for our students.

Some other sites I visited for information on storyboarding included:

  • Karen J. Lloyd’s storyboard blog She has worked on many well known projects and offers advice and templates.
  • The Knight Digital Media Centre site that presents a web page storyboarding. It offers a good explanation of why and how to do a storyboard.
  • YouthLearn An introduction to making movies. A website, designed for kids, about producing videos.
  • Making Movie storyboards Offers steps for teachers to address the creation of digital story in the classroom. Divided into five sections: Prep — Preparing for the lesson Steps — Conducting the lesson Extensions — Additional activities Community Connections — Real world actions for students after completion of the lesson

I also enjoyed watching the following Google video about the art of storyboarding. Using old Disney footage, as well as more up-to-date items, the video reviews the art of storyboarding as it is used in the story development and production of films. “A storyboard is a sequence of images and words drawn together on a page to form a plausible narrative. Storyboards are routinely used in the movie making business to ‘preview’ a movie before a single shot is taken. ” 

 After reading the different websites and watching the video, I came up with a page for the students to consider as they begin to develop their own storyboards. I used examples from the YouTube videos of Hitchcock movies to show some visual examples.


A storyboard is a sketch board detailing how to organize a story and listing its contents.


  • allow you to plan out your digital story in a visual way. Look at what happens first, second and so on to the last scene (the timing)
  • communicate your ideas about the story
  • make a blueprint for your video before the production stage
  • organise and develop the focus of the story
  • allow you to see the entire sequence flow/continuity) of your video
  • allow you to see what you are doing – and what to keep and what to cut out (unnecessary scenes/pictures, dialogue, etc)
  • enable you to work out the interaction between images (the visual transitions)
  • enable you to work out any dialogue (voiceovers) for the images
  • enable you to work out the music that will “go with” the images and enhance the feel/emotion you are looking for.

Your drawings must have meaning and portray feelings/emotions.

A good storyboard will allow you to plan out the impact you intend to make on your audience.


  1. How long an image stays on the screen (3 seconds is often considered optimum)
  2. Too short viewers don’t get the visual clues, too long and it becomes boring

Consider visual clues:

  • Low angle (viewer may get a sense of danger, threat, up against authority)
  • Or High angle (viewer may get a sense of being in charge of being above &separate from the action)
  • Close-up (can show feelings/emotions and the view identifies with the item in the close-up. It also means they don’t directly know what is happening around the item in the close up
  • or Wide angle (long shot) Often used to show action, to put a character/item in a landscape/place
  • lighting and shadows – use to create emotion and feelings in the audience

4 Responses

  1. […] (vbc) = ‘hidden’; = ‘#fff’ }); }); today Storyboarding for our crime… trackback from post […We beginning to create the book trailers for crime novels in year 8. The […]

  2. This is an excellent post, Rhondda. I enjoyed the video very much, and look forward to hearing about your boys’ progress, as well as seeing their storyboards and trailers.

  3. […] here: Storyboarding for our crime novel trailers « Rhondda’s Reflections … Share and […]

  4. Greatings, to GoogleReader!


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