How To Make Short Films
You’re in possession of a high definition camera and now it’s time for you to learn how to make short films. First, make sure to network, beg and borrow for extra equipment because the chances of accumulating a nice budget is slim. No problem, we’ll show you exactly how to get a good short film off the ground with low to no budget.
- Idea for a short film. First step is to conceptualize an idea that you can portray visually on film. As a filmmaker you’ll probably write and direct the short yourself. Short films give you the freedom to venture outside the box. Abstract, surrealism or fueled by CGI special effects, go wild. Limit your locations on your screenplay to save money.
- Network for a crew. Using local film communities, local classifieds or online forums to find people to work on your shorts for free. Yes, free. Collaborate with a cinematographer for lighting the sets who also own his own high definition camera. A sound engineer with high quality interior and exterior microphones. Lights, cameras and sound once you have those in place you are good to go.
- Find actors who’ll work for free. The key word is demo reel, dudes. Actors need to build their portfolios and you need them to star in your films. Win, win situation for both. Make sure they sign release forms.
- Scout for locations. Interior locations you ask your family and friends. Exterior locations go nuts however keep an eye on the weather for windy days hurt sound quality. Obtaining permits hinges on budget. Run-and-Gun shooting hinges on your machismo. Robert Rodriguez has nothing on you.
- Shoot in one to two days. That’s right. You only need a weekend to make a short film, shoot from morning until night depending on the script and locations. Solid preproduction in knowing how to set up your shots before your shoot days assist in a fluid film schedule. Oh, and do remember to feed your people.
- Learn to edit yourself. If you are serious about making short films then you need to edit your own work. You can call out for an editor but most short filmmakers do it all, write, direct and edit. It’s your vision, your story and who better to edit the film than you. Keep the film under ten minutes, the attention span of the audience is fickle at best.
- Get free music. Public domain music, music libraries, or call out for a composer to set the proper mood for your little movie. Key word again is demo reel in nabbing a starving musician. Again, get release forms signed, a must.
Making short films doesn’t take a large budget or lots of people on sets. All you need are ideas to print on film and the flexibility to collaborate.