3 Simple Reasons to Storyboard
First, let me say that storyboarding isn't just getting the shots on paper to present to a client or explain to your crew. Storyboarding is one of the best time to figure out what problems you could run into, what equipment you'll need to use, and what is required of your location.
> Problems you could run into.
Pre Production is the best time for problem solving because no matter what (even if it's minor) there will be an unexpected situation or two on set. Figuring out potential issues ahead of time will always make your day go smoother. Things can seem very clear in your head, but once you start to put ideas on paper you may begin to realize flaws and potential hangups. And by 'may' I mean 'will'. But don't let yourself feel defeated, you realized the problem yourself, so it's actually a victory on your journey to better filmmaking.
> Project Pacing
A storyboard helps you understand how your script flows with your visuals. At this point you may realize that you have too many shots planned, or too few. Also, as you line up the script with your visuals you might realize you spend more time on something than you thought. Take the time to read your script and as you do let your eyes move from shot to shot, you're basically able watch a still version of your film before you ever even shoot.
> Equipment Needed
If you're directing, be sure to share the storyboard as early as possible with your team. Props and Set will want to see what in your vision. The DP will want to understand your camera moves and lighting. No matter the size of the crew these things need to be considered, whether you're the one doing it or someone else. Getting your shots and movements on paper will help you know exactly what equipment you need for every frame. Knowing this will save you time and money.
Knowing what you need helps you limit yourself to just the right gear and makes sure you actually have the right gear.
> How to do it
You don't have to be an amazing artist to storyboard. Getting stick figures in frame with a good description will many times get the job done. I've also heard of many people using online softwares to help (Here are some examples; StoryboardThat.com, Toon Boom).
Personally, I find drawing very relaxing and have enjoyed the challenge of using it to storyboard. I created my own Adobe InDesign storyboard template and printed several each time I go to storyboard. I use the frames to create my drawing and then scan them onto my computer. I then screenshot each drawing and paste back into my original template and add all text. I then have individual pictures I can move around to re-arrange shots, and my text is obviously editable. I use the Neat Receipt Portable Scanner since I like to work mobile (seen below).
Have you found additional tricks while, or reasons for, storyboarding? I would love to hear about them!