Over the last decade, we have seen significant advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on various industries. These advancements have felt like a real acceleration in recent months, with the creative sector, in particular, witnessing some of the potential AI brings. With the integration of AI into the creative process, it has become possible to enhance the quality and efficiency of tasks, including storyboarding.
We sat down with our Creative Director, Anil Nataly, to discuss what he’s seeing around the impact of AI in storyboarding and how it is changing the game for creatives. Reflecting on his two decades of experience, Anil has seen the industry's evolution firsthand. He shares his insights on how AI is revolutionising the creative process, his experience with AI-assisted storyboarding and offers his perspective on what the future holds for creative job positions across the world.
Whether you are a creative professional or just someone interested in the evolving landscape of technology and the arts, this blog will cover Anil’s view on AI and his journey of integrating it into his processes. So, let's dive in and discover the exciting world of AI-powered storyboarding!
First up, let's understand what storyboarding is, and why it is an essential aspect of the creative process.
Storyboarding is a visual representation of a story, used in filmmaking, animation, and other forms of media. It is a sequence of illustrations that depict the narrative of a story, providing a roadmap for the entire creative team. A storyboard typically consists of a series of sketches or images, accompanied by written notes or descriptions, depicting the composition of shots, camera angles, lighting, and other essential details.
Storyboarding serves several purposes, including helping the creative team visualise and organise the story and making it easier to identify potential issues before production begins. Additionally, it helps to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page, creating a shared vision that guides the project. It also provides a platform for collaboration, allowing members of the creative team to provide input and make adjustments to the story as necessary.
Another essential aspect of storyboarding is that it helps to streamline the production process. By having a clear plan of action, the team can work more efficiently, reducing the time and cost of production. It enables the creative team to experiment with different ideas and make changes to the story before significant production investments are made, reducing the risk of costly mistakes.
Now then, let’s jump into the fun stuff with Anil.
A: “I start ideating ideas from the moment I receive the brief, thinking about personal experiences in my subconscious that I have seen before, that are relevant to the company, product or service and create an idea of how I can reinvent these previous campaigns into a perfect one for our client. It could be that I have seen competitors' campaigns or that I've had similar briefs in the past. I think about what parts worked for those examples and how I can change them to fit the new brief in an exciting and new way.
For example; A recent brief I had was for a client promoting their dog food. Straight away my brain started flicking through all the previous ads I had seen about animal products and my personal experiences with similar products. Searching for any previous campaigns or brands that stood out to me. From there I could research current and old campaigns in the space and start putting some ideas into action and pen to paper.”
Our subconscious is the place where ideas are born and as Anil likes to say ‘everything is a remix’. If you’re interested in finding out more about Anil’s thoughts on where ideas come from head over to our blog ‘Where do ideas come from?’ for a deeper dive into his brain.
The ideas for the storyboards aren’t just based on the creatives, we also dig deeper into the behavioural science and how the final video can impact the user. He explains:
“I team up with the behavioural scientists and we look into which aspects of the campaign could we use to have a positive impact on the audience. It could be the colours we choose or the storyline, many different variables go into a storyboard that needs to be creatively right but also have a deeper meaning and engage the audience.”
To get a deeper understanding of how we mix creativity with behavioural science, take a look at our philosophy.
In his many years in the industry, Anil has produced countless storyboards for a variety of clients. His first was for Bosch, as he tells us how this first storyboard was a little worse for wear:
“It was for a hair product commercial and I had never created a storyboard before and just gave it my all, however, the drawings left a lot to be desired. Looking back at it now it probably did just look like my idea was a bunch of stick men with curly hair running around a film set… Luckily the directors understood exactly what I was trying to portray and created an amazing commercial from it. “
Needless to say, his storyboarding skills have definitely improved since then.
The main aim of a storyboard is to communicate ideas from one creative’s brain to the wider production team and give them instructions on how to produce the campaign. The key point to a good storyboard is that it clearly gives these instructions and is detailed enough for the film crew and the team to know exactly what they are doing.
If you want to see one of our creatives ‘in action’ and producing a storyboard head over here.
Storyboarding is a long and drawn-out (literally) process, and when working on tight deadlines it can be hard to get your ideas on paper efficiently. With the big hype around AI, Anil thought he would give it a go and see how it would work for him. The results were pleasantly surprising.
Anil tells us that on average it would take him around 15 to 20 minutes to draw just one panel and with 150 panels to complete that tots up to a LOT of hours.
He tried out Mid Journey and after he had put all his ideas and information into the platform found it took only around 3 minutes to produce a high-quality panel that he could add or remove more details as and when he wanted. It’s a great tool for creatives to be able to use to help with time and efficiency, hit deadlines and keep production costs down. Win-win.
Anil’s views on AI are simple. With so many amazing tools that can help us through the working day, it’s hard to stay on top of the latest tools and trends. But, finding a select few tools you’re comfortable with, becoming familiar with, and empowering your workday, is key.
Without creative thinking, emotional impact and other tendencies we humans love, the AI platform would be useless. In the case of storyboards, although AI can create amazing artwork, it cannot create authentic and engaging ideas to the level of humans.
An audience needs uniqueness; we like things to be personal, and that’s what sells. Blending authentic, creative thinking with behavioural rationale is what Together does best, and is what we will continue to perfect.
Our approach brings real, human value, whereas AI is purely ‘just’ a tool. There is massive scope for AI to enable all creatives’ daily lives, far beyond storyboarding, so use it to assist and boost your performance.
If you’re like us, and can’t get enough of AI-related content right now, check out another one of our articles; we sat down with the team to discuss whether AI has a future in the creative space. Check it out here.
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