Concept Boards – How to Pre-Visualize Your Video

by Sonya Shannon on October 1, 2012

Here is a video excerpt from a talk I gave at the Colorado Professional Videographers Association (COPVA) on how to pre-visualize your video. This method involves making a “concept board” — a plan for your video — using easy-to-find images gathered from the web. The goal of this method is to create a rough “sketch” or preview of what will ultimately be your own original piece (made from footage, images, and music you shoot or create from scratch). This technique is great for people who can’t draw, need a storyboard or shooting plan for their project, or want a quick visual method for creating a script. If you plan to use pre-existing images, footage, or sounds in your final piece, you must pay a license fee and / or get legal written permission.

Notes About Working with Concept / Mood Boards

If you are working with clients, the mood or concept board may be best used by you and your team. Normally, clients may have trouble understanding a rough concept board — unless they know a lot about the process of making a film or video. Consider carefully before showing the client.

Copyright Concerns

Please note that it is a violation of copyright law to use other people’s images or recordings in your final work. You must obtained written permission and pay appropriate royalty fees to use other people’s photos, artwork, and music. Copyright law applies to any works you create for marketing your business or any products you create, such as a DVD for sale. The good news is that there are many royalty-free or affordable stock images on sites like Getty Images, iStockPhoto, Corbis Images, Shutterstock and others. The concept board or mood board method I describe is to generate inspiration and roughly suggest what you plan to do for your final video. If you use the concept board strictly for reference (as I did), and do not publish any of those images in your final piece, you will be fine in terms of copyright permissions.

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