How to Make Your Own Short Movie

The movies are wild and exciting and bold and adventurous but how on earth are you supposed to get involved when you don’t know anyone ‘in the business’ and haven’t got much in the way of experience?

Well, the obvious answer is get some. You don’t need some high flying exec to give you the chance to create a short movie, all you need is an idea, a camera and a willing friend or two who will act for you. This is the reality about how films and film stars come to be: they just start filming and work up from there.

Writing Your Script

The first thing to remember when writing your first script is that you are intending to capture all the action on camera. For most stories this is fine, but you might like to rethink stories that will require a huge and expensive set, or any crazy animations – these will be way beyond your budget.

Instead, focus on telling a simple, human-focused story that will captivate your audience. Nothing wild has to happen and many great films have been made where all the characters stay in mostly one location chatting around the table. This is where you can make your mark too. Make the characters perform the fireworks, rather than relying on computers or sets.

Acting, Filming and Messing Around

Once you are happy with your script and have some willing actors, it’s time to get started. If you have the funds then local camera crews might be a good option for getting some incredible footage without the cost of the full studio. However, don’t knock the power of the small home video equipment you have.

While you are filming, allow your creativity to flourish and whatever you do keep the camera rolling! Actors will always want to mess about on set and get into their characters before they do a serious take. Though you might be clock watching, they are getting in the groove and will perform much better for it. Find the balance between the two and that’s where your movie will emerge.

Editing and Sharing

The final part of creating your own short movie is the editing. This can take a long, long time, which accounts for why Hollywood producers can take a full year between shooting and releasing a movie. Take your time crafting your film and think about every single scene, angle and shot as though it is a work of art. Not every frame will be perfect, but the more you can get the better.

Once you are happy with your movie, it’s time to share. This is the panicky bit, where you suddenly doubt everything and want to do it all again. It is exactly this doubt that means you should share your work and get started on the next project. There is a reason that so few artists produce only a single work: it is really quite addictive and once you have that doubt, you will spend every waking moment trying to perfect the imperfectable.

Welcome to Hollywood.

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