If you've watched the behind-the-scenes features on nearly any DVD, you've probably seen storyboards, the series of drawings that plot out each and every shot of a film. While most web series and independent films skip this step, due to time, budget, or artist access, I (Chris) have drawn storyboards for every single film I've produced, both short and feature length. Beyond the script, there is no better tool for a director to communicate exactly what he's looking for. As you can see from my sketches, they don't need to be flashy or high art, just something to help everyone visualize what you see in your head.
Here I've included some examples of The Mercury Men storyboards, along with their final frame counterparts.
Many times, either due to spacing, location, or for creative purposes, the shot won't be framed as storyboarded. In this example, the original storyboard calls for Edward to be framed with the gun in the foreground. The way the desk was situated in the small office made this impossible so a quick change was made to the shot on set and the camera instead pans from the gun to Edward, linking the two.
All in all, some 600+ illustrations were drawn for the storyboards over the course of one (long and tedious) week of pre-production.