As with the previous posts, the content following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process. Feel free to use or snort with derision.
Today’s post is a closer look at a book trailer storyboarding template.
First, though, a brief recap of our trailer constraints:
- We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
- Using PowerPoint only
- No video, music, animation or voice overs
- Working with stock images or some commissioned images
These constraints force us to craft more of a book trailer slideshow, but future posts will show how to increase its sophistication by using various tools.
So now, let’s continue where we left off.
We’re going to take a closer look at the storyboard I used to create (the as of yet unseen) book teaser trailer for Western Watch — Lady Merreth’s debut novel.
Storyboard Document Structure
I created a Word document and populated it with a number of tables:
- Trailer Description
- Trailer Assets
- Credit Information
- Production Tools and Publication Information
- Trailer Mechanics and Effects
- Scene Breakdown
At the end there is a blank page left for notes.
This table provides an overview of the trailer. Title refers to the title of the novel, not of the trailer.
Time of Day indicates, as you would expect, the time of during which the trailer scenes take place. This was relevant for me because I also used this document as a planning tool for commissioning the scene images from my artist. She needed the information for lighting purposes. It might not be important for your trailer.
Setting is a description of where the trailer scenes take place. In my trailer there is only one “location”; yours may have more; each should be described in enough detail so they will make sense to you and to anyone who might use the storyboard to produce your trailer.
Characters is where you provide a quick list of the characters in the trailer. This is not necessarily limited to human characters. It depends, of course, on the nature of the story from which the trailer material is drawn.
Concept is a short description of the trailer, from start to finish. It tells the trailer story at a glance.
Layout shows the setting of the trailer. Not all trailers will require this, and for some it will be impractical. I used PowerPoint to provide a top-down view off the layout. This allowed me to plan the scenes. In addition, I provided this to my artist so that she could better craft the images.
This is a simple list of the all the assets that will be used in the trailer.
Images refers to graphic assets with the exception of photographic images, which are listed separately. You can use this area to supply file names and descriptions of each asset. In my example I’ve been more general, merely listing the number of images I will be using.
Likewise you would list the files for Voiceovers or narration, Video clips, Photos, and Music in the appropriate row. For video and audio it would be appropriate to list the file format as well. Other is provided as a catch all. If you had sound effect files, for example, you could list them here.
Author and in my case, Artist, information is recorded in this section. Typically this information would appear at the end of the trailer and include such things as names, social media accounts, web addresses, plus information on where to purchase the novel.
In addition, credit information for other assets (audio,video, etc) could be recorded here along with any applicable creative commons information.
Production Tools and Publication information
Production Tools is used to record the tools used to produce the trailer. In my simple example I listed PowerPoint.
In addition, publication information is recorded here as well. Publication information refers where the trailer will reside when finished, blog, Youtube, Slideshare, or other hosting sites, for example.
Trailer Effects & Dialogue
Effects is used to itemize effects in the trailers such as fades, wipes, dissolves, pans, zooms, and the like. If there is a music track in addition to narration or voiceover, it could be noted here.
You’ll note in my example this section is empty because the trailer’s simplicity.
Dialogue notes whether there is information convey by text, audio, or both.
The Scene Breakdown is the heart of the storyboard and it lays out the visual design in a sequential fashion.
Each row in the Scene Breakdown table documents the information required to produce each scene in the book trailer. Because I have used PowerPoint slides for this simple book trailer, each scene corresponds nicely to a single slide.
However, there could be several slides to a scene and in a video oriented trailer each scene would be a segment or clip of the whole video.
The Scene Breakdown table is divided into several columns. From left to right these are
Scene # — This is merely used to sequentially number the scenes.
Title/Description — Provides a space to title the scene, if necessary, but more importantly is used to describe what happens in the scene; depending upon the length of the scene, the description could be quite detailed. My descriptions are fairly short.
Image — Here you would provide a drawing or sketch of the scene to be produced. It doesn’t have to be pretty and most authors are not artists. Stick figures, PowerPoint “mockups” or other representations are fine as long as they, along with the description, convey the essential visual elements of the scene. You may require several “mockups” for your scenes, depending upon the nature of your trailer.
In addition, you should also use this column to identify the visual assets to be used in the scene: images, graphics, video clips, etc.
Dialogue Script — This column details the dialogue that will that will be included in each scene. Audio and music files to be used should be noted here. Text the appears in the scene but is not part of narration or voiceover is recorded here as well.
You can download an empty template file (in Word format) below. Feel free to modify as you see fit.
Next time we’ll take a look at the trailer itself.
Thanks for reading, and I will see you again soon.