Proper preparation is the key to success. When you are making a video, the more planning ahead you do the better. As a videographer, one of the most important tools for preparation and planning ahead is storyboarding. A storyboard is a graphic organiser displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing. Kind of like a large comic strip, a storyboard is a visual layout of events as they are meant to be seen through the camera lens. They let you know what camera angles to shoot and whether to take a close up or wide angle shot. As well as knowing what type of shots you need, storyboards can also depict camera movement, like panning or zooming.
One of the advantages of seeing what your project looks like is that you can make any adjustments before you film anything. Then when you go back to the studio you won’t have to waste any time searching through hours of footage because you’ve shot exactly what you needed. Being able to figure out exactly what you’ll be doing during a shoot will save time, labor, and a whole lot of stress when it comes to editing.
Storyboards have other advantages as well. If your working with a team having a good storyboard will show the crew exactly what you have in mind. Its easier to get your point across with a visual aid rather than try to explain everything with confusing descriptions or hand gestures. Storyboards can also be useful if you are trying to pitch your idea to investors. To prove that your right for the job, not only will a storyboard show them what your finished project will look like, it will show professionalism and that you are prepared.
When it comes to underwater videography, sometimes I need to improvise. With the underwater world being highly unpredictable, it can become tricky to create a storyboard. You can only plan things to a certain extent, so when I am going to film underwater I have a mental note of what I want to shoot. I try and use things like wide angle shots of the reef to establish a setting, letting the viewer know where the scene is taking place. Then I can get middle and close up shots of fish to use as insert shots between scenes. Varying the type of shots you take will make the movie more interesting and appealing to the viewer. Some things will always be there, like the silhouette of the boat or the divers. But with the other things, I never know what I am going to see or film. Everyday is different with currents and visibility constantly changing. The fish I filmed the day before isn’t going to be in the same spot or doing the same thing. One day I could look up and see a whale shark. Thats the exciting part about this job, everyday is something new.