Story Board Games©
Story Board Games- Storyboards are another way to explore narrative possibilities or to rehearse a performance. The old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" definitely applies to storyboards. Generally, in filmmaking, comic books and animation, a script is developed before a storyboard is created. Storytelling doesn't always need a finished script to benefit from the storyboarding process (but, you must have an existing story or a fairly concrete story concept). A good storyboard can help you learn an unfamiliar story or facilitate the development of an original story.
© 2003 Storytree Productions by Jerry & Ada Forney
A storyboard is a series of connected pictures, with or without words, that tells a continuous story. Storyboard art boards or sheets are available from art supply stores, but you can also create a storyboard template yourself. Just draw a series of four boxes 4"x3" on a horizontal piece of typing paper. Allow a bit of space underneath each box for words. (You can hand draw these with a straight edge and black ballpoint pen or create them on your computer.) Once you have your template, print or copy multiple sheets for your use. Now you are ready to begin the storyboard games below.

Game #1 - Rehearsal Storyboards. Base this storyboard game on an existing story: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. Divide the story into easily tellable segments. Limit your words to no more than two or three lines for each panel if you can. This may take some practice. Do it several times until you get a series of sequential segments that work for you. Now, search for some applicable images: clip photos or artwork from newspapers or magazines, use clip art or search the internet. Clip, cut, paste, trace, copy and color: these are the basic techniques of storyboarding. People with more art or crafting ability may do better at this but everyone should try it. Once you have matched a discernable image with the words below a panel, move on to the next panel. Be adventurous. Remember, you can cut, copy and paste using the collection of images you have gathered from various sources and create a scene that helps tell the story. Spread out your storyboard sheets on a piece of poster board and tape them down. Now you have a set of storyboards you can use to rehearse your story.

Game #2 - Storybuilding Storyboards. Use this storyboard game to help create a new story. Clipping is the most important part of this game. Spend some time gathering your images. You should clip images that appeal to you. You will find that a pattern will slowly emerge. Group your images into categories or subjects of some kind: animals, people, plants, buildings, hats, sports, patterns, objects etc. You can also clip catchy words or phrases from advertisements. There are a lot of clever lines used in magazine ads. Once you have a good collection, spread the clippings out on a table so you can pick and choose. The key to success with this game is allow the process of free association to guide your choices. Use your powers of "what if..." and play with the clippings. Arrange and rearrange them until something strikes a positive note with your imagination. If you have any doubt about the power of this technique, try it with a small child. They will put a picture story together and tell you their version of it with little difficulty. Once you have your story concept, you can now clip, copy, color and paste your images into you story sheets and tape them onto poster board. You have completed a set of storyboards you can use to develop your new story idea for use in writing or performing it.

Game #3 - Photo Storyboards. Utilize this storyboard game to help relate a personal or family story. You will want to make good clean B&W copies of your family photos or travel photos before you begin blocking in this storyboard. Don't be too literal when first beginning. It is unlikely you will have an accurate sequence of photos from your vacation or family reunion. Consider additional copying or clipping from travel magazines or brochures, making copies of family photos from other similar occasions, or just plain clip from magazines those elements that fit the narrative. Now arrange the elements in an order that makes for an interesting sequence of images. Think "movie scenes" at this stage. Once you have the story blocked in, tell the story in your own words using the panels on the story sheets. Do this several times until you feel comfortable with it. You can write down an abbreviated narrative under each panel if you need to. Now that you have finished your story sheets, tape them onto poster boards. You have another set of storyboards you can use to rehearse your new story idea.

Storyboards are a great way to have fun. You never know what you may find while clipping or what kind of spontaneous idea will pop into your head along the way. Write each and every idea down. Use every opportunity to be creative! These various storyboarding activities can be done with a group of tellers, with a family group or by yourself. Be creative and enjoy your storyboards!
Have Fun!
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