Why the shooting board is almost as important as the later filming

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Shooting board for the beer brand "Coors" | © Artist: M. Rider

Especially for commercials, a shooting board is regularly used. It is the last, important step before an advertisement film is shot. It is the last important step before the shooting starts, because it anticipates the editing and lays the foundation for planning the day of shooting.

Because every single second counts in advertising, precise, clean planning is half the battle. Especially since each day of shooting costs a small fortune. It is therefore important to know exactly what is to be shot in the pre-production phase. The shooting board plays an extremely important role here. Here you can find all the information about it.

In a nutshell

  • There are significant differences between storyboard and shootingboard
  • The focus is on the use in advertising films (TV spot, TVC)
  • Most of these boards do without coloring, they fulfill their task also in black and white

What does Shooting board mean?

The shooting board shows every single shot of an advertising film as a pre-drawn image. Thus the number of images always corresponds to the number of camera settings in the later video.

The representation in different image sizes (for example as long shots or half shots) is the rule. The director is always responsible for the briefing and content of a shooting board. The basis is the previously developed shortlist, i.e. the written list with all shots that are necessary to tell a story.

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Each setting corresponds to a picture: Shooting Board | © Artist: P. Buratti

Cunning professionals among the directors or draftsmen consider it a matter of honor to visualize not only the image detail, but also the perspective characteristics of the planned camera lenses (wide angle, long focal lengths).

In order to keep the effort small, the detail accuracy in a shooting board is limited. For the same reason, most film productions also let you work without color.

Use in feature films

For a feature film of 90 minutes length, it is usually not economically justifiable to draw each individual film frame in advance. Here, the shot list alone must be sufficient.

The exception, which confirms the rule, are particularly demanding sequences. These can be stunts or scenes in which real shots must perfectly complement computer-generated digital effects. In this case, cinema films or TV movies and series – although it is a shooting board – are confusingly referred to as storyboards.

Difference of Shooting Board and Storyboard

The storyboard always shows only single scenes or film sequences. As soon as a video or film is illustrated with pictures throughout, it is a shooting board. Nevertheless, both terms are not consistently distinguished and applied in video production and outside of the advertising film.

Agencyboard
No sequence frame by frame: characteristic for a storyboard | © Artist:P. Buratti

The main task of the shooting board in a commercial film production is to enable the agency and the client to check the content and the way the story is told for completeness and comprehensibility in advance of the shooting.

The storyboard has a different task in tv commercials.

It is used when the advertising agency wants to convince its client of the implementation idea. That’s why visualization here is much less a planning basis than a sales tool. That’s why it usually comes in color and is often based on the language of a comic book as a sequential narrative.

Carlo P. Olsson
About Carlo P. Olsson 67 Articles
Carlo P. Olsson accompanies the production of films, videos and TV series on behalf of companies, agencies and production companies. In his free time he plays ice hockey and is engaged in baroque sound drama.

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