Tips for Making Short Films for the Novice Filmmakers

Do you have a passion for filmmaking? Before you start filmmaking professional, you will have to start by making short films to gather knowledge and experience much needed. Making a film is not easy and most professional filmmakers will confess to making mistakes every now and then before mastering what they should do. If you are a beginner, follow these tips to start making short films:


  1. Manage your expectations


You will probably have read book, biographies or watched documentary films and tried to relate to that. It is not wrong to be visionary and optimistic but as you begin your filmmaking career, you need to manage your expectations. Set goals that are realistic and achievable because you might end up giving up after a short while after failing to achieve any of the goals. As you start, you will seek financing from family, friends, capitalists, investors among other platforms and as things get hard, you might think of quitting. In addition, when you start making short films, don’t think that you will get submitted to prestigious festivals etc. because you will be wrong. It is important to know that, successful, there are struggles that you will have go through and you should be willing to persevere. Compare this to learning how to cook, recipe ideas for dinner may not end up looking like those you saw in pictures. 


  1. Keep the running time short


As a beginner, you are advised to keep the running time short to give you enough time to focus on your story and characters in the film. A short film can run up to 45 minutes but as a beginner, you should aim at having a shorter period of time to avoid overwriting and over directing. In addition, you can have more time to evaluate your short film and determine what you need to add or modify to make it great. Remember, when you keep your film short, you avoid having unnecessary scenes, dialogue or sequences thus engaging the audience more because they won’t get bored or lost.


  1. Audition plays a key role


The actors you will be working with can break or make your short film. Therefore, spend your time looking for the best actors for the roles you have especially lead actors because they will help you draw the attention of the audiences. To have successful auditions, post ads online, go to your local universities, use local print media or talent agencies to with an objective of getting the right actors. You will also need to audition your crew too because they will be part of the film. Choose competent cinematographer, sound designers, editors and a film composer. The crew and cast you will choose will play a big role in making your short film a success after its release.


  1. Feed your crew and cast well


A happy crew and staff will definitely work to their maximum potential enabling you to achieve the goals you have already set. Therefore, you need to plan on how you will feed your crew and cast because they might be making a lot of sacrifices to make your project a success. When shooting the film, have a craft service filled with snacks, water, coffee and other treats to motivate those working with you. One way of maintaining a good relationship with people you are working with is by showing them that you care about them. You don’t have to do a lot of things to show that, a little form of appreciation will go a long way whether you are having few or many people working with you.


  1. Create a compelling cinematic experience


To do this, you need to find visually enticing locations to shoot in, either hire or partner with talented cinematographers or lighting technicians and have great equipment. If the crew you have does not have the right equipment, consider spending some money buying the right equipment because it will be worth it in the end. Finally, make sure that you pay close attention to the quality of the sound associated with the short film. You should, therefore, have a good audio system and a good film composer to help you during production.


Filmmaking is hard whether for a short film or a feature but if you follow these tips you can get started. However, you need to research further and seek advice from other filmmakers close to you to learn other tricks that you can use.