Narrative Planning – storyboard


You need at least 40 post it note on A2 paper so that you can really sort out how you are going to shoot your narrative.  Think of all those skills you used at AS – match on action, shot reverse shot, framing, 180 degree rule, pull focus, DOF, framing, angles and distances to help tell your story.

Here is some background reading to help you understand the purpose of storyboards and how they are designed. How to Use a Story Board

Here is a template for you to create your storyboard. You may use drawings or take photos to complete these. BFI Storyboard Template or you can use the post it style so that you can move your images around.

They need to be as detailed as possible and you should take a photo of them out on your shoot so you don’t miss a shot.

Remember to take inspiration from professional videos. Narratives tend to be more thematic and an amplification of the lyrics. Rather than an illustrative full story.

Happy planning! 



Your Narrative Idea

Narrative Theory

Narrative is the ‘study of stories’. It includes the following:

  1. The order in which the story is told.
  2. How the audience is positioned in relation to the narrative.
  3. The character’s journey. What epiphany do they have?
  4. The conflict & theme explored and how they are resolved.
  5. The codes in the text which help the audience understand the story and its messages.

Here is a Slideshow which runs through narrative with specific reference to music videos. You should be able to use some of the ideas in the video below, although you will find that because music videos don’t tend to follow conventional narrative structures you might be better off analysing your thriller in terms of narrative, if it crops up in the exam.

The Formalists

A lot of the ideas were are going to explore can be described as ‘formalist’. That means they explore the form or shape of a story, it’s structure, both Todorov and Propp are formalists. Here is a formalist description of a common narrative ‘The Hero’s Journey’:

A Cultural Anthropologist

Levi Strauss is an anthropologist. He is more interested in cultural ideas beneath the story (its themes). He was interested in how messages and values are communicated in the conflict within a narrative.

You will need to refer to theorists and use their terminology in a narrative essay, please use the concepts booklet:

  • Propp – Page 8
  • Todorov – Page 9
  • Levi-Strauss – Page 10

Shaping the narrative in your music video.

Even if your video is thematically based you should consider it as a narrative. This means, however abstract and thematic your video might be, you should show development and progression.

Please develop a simple narrative structure to your video in three parts:

  1. The Beginning – How do you establish the story / theme in the video?
  2. The Middle What is the development of the story or the conflict within the theme?
  3. The End How does the theme story resolve? What end message do you wish to communicate?

You can use this slide to sketch out your narrative idea.