The job of a storyboard artist is essentially of translating screenplays and sequences into illustrations, as seen in comic books. For this, he/she will have to make use of drawings or computer software to sketch out the shots and scenes for commercials, television shows, and movies. This will then help the production team to visualize that particular shot, in order to sort their requirements i.e. hair and makeup, clothes, costumes, etc.
This means that the artist will need to have a background in graphic design, visual design, animation, or film and TV production. As a storyboard artist, you should be able to tell stories in a visual form, with framed images in a sequence, much like that of a comic book. You will have to work in close conjunction with the director to conceptualise these sequences.
The work of a storyboard artist begins in the early stages of the production process. The first step involves a thorough meeting with the directors and producers to discuss all the elements that will go into the scene. You must be able to think cinematically and analyse a director’s requirements and visualise the scene from a camera’s point of view, in addition to working out the positions of the people involved in that scene.
There are no specialised degrees for a storyboard artist. However, as a knowledge of design and production is an important prerequisite, a degree in these fields should give you the necessary qualifications. While these degrees may teach you a lot about technologies and techniques, it is also necessary to have some practical experience to add value to your degree. Bagging an internship or two will not only help build yourself a solid portfolio but also help prospective employers realise your potential. You can assist directors or even freelance storyboard artists.
Above all, a storyboard artist must have an insane passion for the craft and should be able to translate that passion into their sketches.
Here are a few top colleges that offer courses in animation or design –
- MIT University, Pune
- United World Institute of Design, Ahmedabad Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay.
- Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida
- National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
- University of Technology, Sydney
- Vancouver Film School, Canada
- School of Visual Arts, New York
- Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
If this career intrigues you, you must definitely think of this career option.