01 Dec 5 Essential short Filmmaking Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Short films are a great way to establish your reputation as a filmmaker and allow you express ideas quickly and succinctly without the extra fluff of a full-length film. Short films are relatively inexpensive, but still, require a lot of preparation and organisation.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make the process of producing your first short film easier:
Refine your script:
It can feel amazing to finish your script but it is important to revisit, proof and revise it repeatedly checking for errors, inconsistencies and needless elements. Remember one of the great things about a short film is that you can keep everything interesting and immediate, not slow and laborious. Get other people to read your script and give their opinions.
Choose a good location:
Finding a location that will be available at the time you are shooting is trickier than you might think. You have to look at what sort of lighting you need, whether there is excessive noise or people populating the area. There are ways to deal with a lot of these issues but you can save yourself a lot of trouble by picking a location that eliminates many of these hurdles. Look for places that are empty at the time you are looking at shooting and places that are not near busy roads or on a busy flight path.
Write an inventory:
Make a list of all of the equipment that you will need prior to the shoot. The last thing you want is to get to the location, get set up and realize you have forgotten something. Be methodical as you go through the production logistics and note down everything, no matter how small, that you will need for each scene. Don’t forget lighting equipment, sound equipment, costumes, props, and any camera gear you might need.
Make sure you allow for more time than you need:
Shooting a short film can take a lot longer than you think. Allowing time for set up, briefing, troubleshooting and rehearsal is important, and whether you are adhering to a deadline by which you need to be packed up or a deadline by which you have to have the film completed it is essential to allow more time than you need, particularly when you are hiring equipment or organising cast and crew.
Don’t neglect post-production:
Once you have your footage it is important to spend time editing your film. If you find yourself struggling with the post-production process it’s important to ask for assistance or undergo research or training. Post-production can make or break a film so it’s incredibly important to take the time to methodically create a quality film. Make multiple copies at every stage of the process so you don’t lose your work.