A storyboard is about planning and shows the poetry film panel by panel. All the components of the poetry film (images, text, voiceover, music, transitions, camera angles) can be added to the storyboard and putting this together can be an important part of the creative process as well as a very useful production tool.

Creating the storyboard can bring new ideas and approaches. It can help to create visual tension and rhythm in your poetry film, and if it needs it, a beginning, middle and end.

Usually a storyboard starts with a narrative film script but in poetry film it can be used in a variety of ways:

  • With the already written poem included in the storyboard
  • With the already written poem in mind.
  • To create the whole poetry film – words, sound and images – at the same time

Storyboards are normally sketched, but they can be written, or you could include photos. A story board is also a useful tool to keep as your process notes.

The design of a story board needs to suit your workflow and approach to making poetry film. It’s about planning, and that can take place in a notebook or anywhere else. But sometimes having the more formal outline of a storyboard is useful.

Here is a storyboard template that you can download, based on writing rather than drawing. It can be adapted to what works for you:

The final poetry film often looks very different, but a storyboard can be a helpful place to start.

Here is an example I used for a short poetry film ‘Origami’: