So, you want to make a short film? I always wanted to as well and, though I’m yet to release any to be seen by any kind of audience, I have gotten round to making a few and I found its much more stressful and chaotic that I ever expected. Theres so much you need and want and should have, and I’m here to help you out with what kind of things you might want to look at before you even starting filming.
The script of the film is pretty much the most important thing. You might have a truly incredible plot going on but if your script sucks, most people won’t get past the first minute. It needs to flow well and be easy to take direction from, and your dialogue and ways in which characters react also needs to feel organic and realistic. Look at and listen to people around you and pay more attention so that you can translate real language and reactions into your script.
You don’t need the worlds fanciest camera, but you need at least a decent one and a good sized memory card. Outside of that what you need will vary but you will definitely want to think about things like tripods and extra camera’s. The easiest way to figure out what you need is to storyboard your entire film and then look at each scene. If you have a close scene between two people in a car you might need another car or a tripod you can attach to something in a car.
This is another one you really need to think about way ahead of time. If you’re truly on a budget you’ll want to look towards free places like friends and families homes, outside public places or local public buildings you could ask for permission to use. If you have more of a budget you could look into renting out a space that is perfectly what you wanted. There are amazing locations you can rent up and down the country so you’re almost guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.
Actors and crew
This is going to be either the hardest or easiest part. If you know a lot of people or go to school you can easily just ask around and find people but they may or may not be of a questionable quality (I’m saying that in the nicest way possible). If a friend is doing it as a bit of a laugh or just to help you out, they may just not be very good and you’re probably best off looking online for actors in your area. If you have a bigger budget you can of course get better known actors which would be pretty awesome. You’ll also want to make sure you’re hiring (or just finding) enough crew members that everyone will have a job to do that isn’t just fetching you coffee.
I feel like this one isn’t thought about enough until editing but I always like to think about it way before so I can make sure I will end up with what I want. There are three ways to go here really, just use none copyrighted music like you would with a youtube video, purchase or ask for permission to use copyrighted music or finally, get someone to write music specifically for your film. I always think the latter works the best but I know its not possible for everyone to afford that if you don’t have a friends who’s up for helping out.
There you go, five tips to help you out before you even really start making your short film. Just as much planning and preparation goes into creating a short film as a long one so don’t think you’re taking the easy way out. Of course, I’m no expert film maker so if anyone has any more tips I’d love for you to share them in the comments.