Storyboard – Test Case

The plot is simple:

A man wakes up to find himself the subject of a mysterious experiment. How does it end? You decide!

With just a few basic props and some imaginative camera work, you can create your own sense of dread and impending doom. And what could be more fun than that? But it’s not just about putting a few clever shots together to tell a story. For this video to work, you’ll need to create the right mood through your choices of lighting, location, and sound.

Try lighting from below or directly above to create eerie and interesting shadows. Frame your shots from unusual angles. If you can, try setting up the shoot outdoors at night to create an infinite black background, or maybe in a barren basement with stark concrete walls. Add a rapidly increasing heartbeat to your soundtrack to intensify the suspense; in short, do anything to enhance the overall sense of the surreal. As for the final result, we’re leaving that up to your fiendish imagination.

CLOSEUP – The subject looks a bit groggy and bewildered. A shadow crosses his face. CLOSEUP – The subject: a headband studded with sensors is placed on his head. ANGLE WIDENS to reveal him seated in a chair within a stark, barren room. MEDIUM SHOT – Reverse Angle POV: A pair of scientists, their faces half-obscured behind surgical masks, menacingly loom over the subject (the camera).
MEDIUM SHOT – The scientist lifts a clipboard and studies the subject’s file. He nods to his assistant and she walks away. CLOSEUP – A switch is thrown. (Audio: An electric humming or grinding sound.) MEDIUM SHOT – The assistant throws a glance back over her shoulder.
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT – The subject throws back his head as if jolted. Lights flicker across his face. CLOSE SHOT – The subject clenches his fist. CLOSE SHOT – The scientist eyes the subject with just a hint of evil satisfaction.
CLOSE SHOT – The subject meets his gaze with one of defiant resistance. TWO SHOT – The Scientist joins his assistant and they whisper while throwing glances toward the subject. After a brief consultation, the assistant nods and steps away. CLOSE SHOT – A knob is cranked up to the maximum. (Audio: The electric hum becomes an ear-splitting grind. The subject’s heartbeat accelerates toward 150 beats per minute)
FULL SHOT – The subject seated in the chair, body rigid, eyes wide.

Note: The last three shots are a series of quick cuts for added effect.

MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT – The subject, eyes burning with pain and rage, ready to explode. XTREME CLOSE SHOT – The subject unleashes a blood-curdling scream.


In addition to three actors, you’ll need the following to make this video:

1 chair

1 light switch box (or something similar)

1 volume adjustment knob (or something similar)

2 laboratory smocks

2 surgical masks (dust masks will work nicely too)

1 clipboard

1 pair of glasses (optional)

1 flood lamp (optional)

1 headband with wires

Optional Audio:

To increase the tension, add the sound of a heartbeat to the soundtrack and increase the tempo and volume throughout the sequence.

Optional Endings:

1. The subject seated at the dinner table with his two parents and a plate of uneaten roast beef in front of him.


Father: You’re not leaving the table until you finish your…(to wife) What’d you say this stuff was again?

Wife: Escargot, dear. It’s French.

2. The subject seated on the couch with the other two in front of the television. The woman tosses him the remote.


Woman: All right, you find something decent to watch!

3. ANGLE WIDENS to reveal the subject seated in a dentist’s chair, mouth now wide open. The dentist (scientist) leans back smiling, drill in hand, his assistant at his side.


Dentist: See, that didn’t hurt too much did it?

Illustrations by Michael Gomez

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.

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