Purpose: To find out how filmmakers "see" their movie before they shoot anything with Storyboards.
Basis: I have spent a lot of time on set. Being on set can be fun, but it is also expensive, even if you're not paying anyone for anything. The more time you spend on set the more unhappy people are with you, be it the actors and crew because they'd rather be doing something else, or your sister because you've been in the bathroom for 6 hours and she needs to get ready for a party. In short, you want your time on set to be as short as possible. Knowing what you want your shots to look like before you get on set will help you set up your shots a lot faster and give you an idea of what your film will look like when it's done.
Directions: Print off several copies of the Storyboard Template. Read through your script and sketch out what you want your shots to look like for each scene. You don't have to show every cut, but you do need to sketch each camera angle. Your drawings don't have to be good (in fact, one DP commented that he liked it better when the sketches were bad because they allowed him to do his job in setting up the shot but still gave him the idea of what the director wanted). Stick figures work great. The point of this part of pre-production is to figure out what you want your shots to look like. That way, when you're on set, you don't have to use up precious time and brainpower figuring out where to put your camera. You already know.
When you need a break from sketching, get busy gathering your props, getting actors, and figuring out when and where you are going to shoot. This is the time to get permission to use a location for your project.
Looking Forward: Armed with your script and storyboards you will shoot your footage next.
What to Watch: "Matrix Reloaded: Previs" [Matrix: Reloaded is R] Get a feel for the "high tech" ways major action flicks get a feel for a scene before they shoot it.
Watch Samples: Assignment 8 Samples and Student Examples