Preparing to Make a Short Film
Tell a good storyWhether you’re writing your own script or you’re using your favorite play as a guideline for your short film, make sure the story you’re telling is one that people will find interesting. Every story should have character development a climax and a conclusion. Even if your film is only a few minutes long, think about how you can create these critical parts quickly and concisely.
Set a budgetEven if you’re just planning to put together a short film with a few of your buddies from acting class, you want to make sure you know what you can afford to spend to put the movie together. Things like food, rental equipment and costumes can all add up, so think it through before spending a dime.
Cast characters carefullyChances are your film won’t require a vast number of characters, so allow yourself to be picky during casting. Make sure the kids and teens you cast are similar to the characters they’re playing. This will help them pull off the role with talent, making the film really shine.
Know what you needSpend some time really thinking through all the elements of what you’ll need. Will certain video clips be filmed outside? Will you need background music? Will you need special cameras or lighting? How much space will you need? How long will your actors be performing – will they need snacks or drinks between takes? Will you be filming in a public setting? Do you need to get permission to film where you’re planning to film? Are there any other permissions you’ll need? If you’ve asked yourself these questions (and many others), it’s unlikely you’ll be caught off guard during the filming of the movie.
Learn your equipment wellYou probably don’t have access to extremely high-tech cameras and equipment, so it’s especially important that you understand how to use the equipment you’ve got. If you know your camera has poor sound quality or doesn’t film well in dark spaces, you may want to adjust your film to maximize what your camera can do. You’ll also want to practice editing techniques before making your video. If you discover that editing looks choppy or contrived, you may want to avoid editing, requiring your young actors to play each scene all the way through. This may seem more difficult, but the end result will look better because you catered to the shortcomings of the equipment on hand.
Article by Laura Williams