The Fundamentals of Making a Short Film

Short films are ever increasing in popularity, all you need to do is take a look online and see how many people are using them to experiment with different forms and concepts. There increasing popularity online and accessibility make them a great avenue for a personal project. One of the problems is, with video platforms accessible to the public on a mass scale, there are thousands of poor ones available as well. With so many out there, it’s important to ensure your short film stands out for all the right reasons.

Fundamental #1: Story

Tell a good story. This probably sounds obvious but the number of bad films out there are often due to a poor storyline or lack of clarity altogether. It’s important to have a unique angle/storyline but making sure your story has clarity and purpose will help it to stand out.

If you have a great idea but writing is not your strong suit, accept your strengths and weaknesses. Involve an experienced writer in the process who can turn your vision into a great script.

Fundamental #2: Casting

This is known to be one of the most difficult tasks in pre-production and the best tip we can give you is not to utilize friends and family. Whilst using people you know will help keep your budget down, it is imperative to cast those with talent to ensure the success of your film. Hiring professional actors will often result in a professional outcome and a chance to garner promotion through them once your film goes through distribution.

Fundamental #3: Location Location Location

Location scouting is an exciting part of the pre-production process. Pick wisely, don’t rush, visit various locations and take photos to compare later. Take time to consider what difficulties the location may present when filming, and how it will impact your timeline/budget.

Fundamental #4: Budget

It’s important to have a detailed budget of everything you expect to be spent throughout the whole shoot. Be detailed in your budget, ensure it is concise and realistic. If you know there are some factors that are yet to be determined, it will be prudent to incorporate a contingency fund into your budget to cover the added expense this is likely to incur.

Fundamental #5: Production

It’s time to realize your concept, all the preparation undertaken will now begin to reap benefits by streamlining the production process. Production is aided by careful planning and simplicity, give yourself enough time to perfect every shot and consider all of your elements.

Fundamental #6: Share with the world

Now it’s time to share your work and push it. You may choose to handle this yourself with the assistance of press kits to submit your film to festivals etc. Alternately you may hire a PR company to deal with the release and promotion of your project.

It’s important to work hard in these final stages and garner enough hype for your next project.