Learning how to make a short film is a skill that every filmmaker should master early in his or her career. Making a film is a big project that can pay big dividends in showing how your skills advance and evolve as you learn new tips and integrate new tricks into your craft.
When you are ready to roll, the following are some short filmmaking tips you should follow to get your film in the can in the best form possible.
1. Create the Script
Great editing and stellar special effects are never a substitute for a solid script. Spend the time choosing and editing a script that tells a story that will resonate with your audience. Like any good book, the script should have a dialog that is compelling and engages the viewer at every step of the story.
2. Storyboard the Scenes
A storyboard is a map you can follow that marries the script with key elements of the story. More importantly, it provides guidelines for how to set up each shot so the story is enhanced by the illumination, camera angles, etc.
3. Scout Locations
Find locations that fit the story and provide an easy location to film. Remember, any location can be made interesting with a clever script and the right setup. When you are scouting locations, always have a backup in case a particular location becomes unavailable or proves too difficult to shoot in.
4. Gather and Prepare Your Resources
What equipment do you need to make a short film? You are going to need people, places, cameras, etc. If you are like most first-time filmmakers, you are going to have limited resources. However, you will learn the best ways to manage the resources at your disposal.
5. Network for a Crew
One of the best ways to enhance your resource pool is to network. Bringing the right people onto your team is essential. A producer will manage the budget, a director will spend it, and a cinematographer will light the scenes and work magic with the camera. A sound recorder will take care of the audio, and an editor will cut and paste the film intoa finished product. Some of these roles can be doubled up to make it easier. Great placed to get started are shootingpeople.org and raindance.org.
Learning how to make a short film starts by signing up for the programs we offer at our Media Schools in Illinois, Colorado, Miami and Ohio. We show our students how to put these tips to making a short film into action. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our film development programs and to get started with your application.