From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process


Never before have the means of cinematic storytelling been put into the hands of so many.

Thousands of new storytellers are taking advantage of media that did not exist a decade ago. With entry-level HD recorders, even beginning students have access to low-cost, professional-quality image making. However, there’s no digital replacement for the skills needed to visualize a film and plan its execution. From Word to Image will help you master the steps of translating a written story into a sequence of moving images. This is a guidebook to creating your visual script.

New contents include:
• The Use of Color in Visual Storytelling
• New Interviews about the Use of Previsualization Techniques for Animation, New Media, and Visual Effects
• Revised and Expanded Appendices


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Meet The Author

In 1990 I was invited to teach a seminar at the American Film Institute on storyboarding. I created a weekend workshop based on my experiences of working with first-time directors. These men and women often came to directing through writing and were much less comfortable communicating about the visual aspects of the medium than they were about the narrative. I set out to make visual communication accessible to those filmmakers who felt they had no ‘talent’ for it.

From the beginning, the workshop achieved a popularity neither I nor AFI had anticipated. I added private workshops held each month at a local hotel and was eventually asked to join the film faculty at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. There I have been able to work with student filmmakers and develop a curriculum that encompasses many forms of pre-visualization for film including color theory, composition, storyboarding and narrative structure as it applies to constructing the frame.