Trailer Storyboarding

Lesson 2:

Trailer Storyboarding



Students will demonstrate their understanding of movie trailer construction by analyzing movie trailers and developing a storyboard for their original movie trailer.


Materials Needed:

At least three trailers (one good for camera elements; two for revealing plot in some way)

Big Hero 6

Beauty and the Beast;

Fantastic Beasts;

The Nut Job 2;


Movie Trailer Assignment info sheet copies

Storyboard PowerPoint

Storyboard Worksheet copies



Collect all signed permission slips.  Remind students that they must be in your hand tomorrow to begin filming.



Have students pull out their camera elements worksheet (angles, movement, framing shots).  Divide the class in thirds and assign each third either angles, movements, or framing shots.  As they watch the trailer, have everyone in each group watch for their camera element and put a tick mark by each camera element used in the trailer (if a long shot is shown they should tick mark long shot, etc.).


After the trailer is over have the groups compare their answers.  How come their answers differed (assuming that they did since every student didn’t catch every element)?  Why should audience members actually not consciously notice camera elements?



Draw the plot structure graph on the board.  Point to each point on the graph and have students review what the different elements of plot structure are: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, and denouement.  What things can be part of rising action – HOW does the plot keep building and rising?  Answers can include: conflict, relationships developed, obstacles thrown in protagonist’s way, more information shared, deeper objectives, etc.


Have students think on movie trailers that they have seen before movies or in commercials.  Are there any trailers that tell the entire plot of the story in order?  Have students share any that come up.  If no one has any examples ask students why that is – why do film makers NOT put their plot in order in a trailer?  What effect can putting the plot elements in a different order do for the audience member?



Show two different trailers.  After each one have students get into groups of 3-4 to discuss how the plot was demonstrated and manipulated in each trailer.  What effect did this have on them – arouse curiosity?  Leave a cliffhanger?  Sympathize with a character? Etc.



Pass out the Movie Trailer Assignment information sheet.  Go through the assignment together as a class.  Highlight that they can create an entirely original movie trailer or they can recreate on film a movie trailer that already exists.  All required camera elements must be used in the trailer.  This assignment has a very tight timeline, so students need to use their time wisely and well to accomplish it successfully. 

If you have one, show an example of an original movie trailer from a previous student group.


One of the assignments leading up to the Movie Trailer is a storyboard.  What is a storyboard? (a panel or series of panels on which a set of sketches is arranged depicting consecutively the important changes of scene and action in a series of shots (as for a film, television show, or commercial)).  Show examples of storyboards in the PowerPoint.  Student groups will be creating storyboards for their movie trailer.



Put students in their pre-assigned groups of three.  Give them the rest of the class period to brainstorm their trailer idea, write their script and plan out their shots on the storyboard worksheet.  Check in with them to ensure that they are working and progressing in their assignment.



Let students know that the next lesson will be the filming day – if anyone needs to bring any costume items, props, etc. they need to bring them with them next class period.  Their storyboard will be due at the beginning of the class period for check-off.


Lesson 2.Storyboards

Lesson 2.Storyboard Planning Worksheet

Lesson 2.Movie Trailer Assignment