Making Short Films

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What is the best camcorder for making short films?
    I've researched a bit and found out from many people that a hard drive camcorder is the best to get for editing on the camera as well as on my computer. but i'm not certain that it will perform as well as they say it will.

    so what is the best camcorder for making short films? and for editing on a computer?

    • ANSWER:
      Editing in the camera is a painful way of wasting time, and the MPEG-2 format, used in HDD camcorders, is a poor choice for editing in any case. You can make short films using any sort of camcorder, but MiniDV gives the best quality and ease of editing. "Colin" is getting a lot of press right now - that was shot on a couple of consumer grade MiniDV camcorders.

  2. QUESTION:
    What are some laptops good for making short films and downloading lots of media?
    I want to start making short films and im not sure any laptop would be good for this.
    I download alot of movie trailers, movies, and music.
    I would like something very durable and that i can watch movies at night with. Thanks alot for those who answer it helps alot.

    • ANSWER:
      ASUS N53SV-DH72 15.6-Inch Laptop
      http://www.amazon.com/N53SV-DH72-15-6-Inch-Versatile-Entertainment-Aluminum/dp/B005PAK23A/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&tag=basebal-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1326252785&sr=1-3

      Here's what you get:
      - i7-2670QM processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics with 1GB DDR3 VRAM, 750GB hard drive, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, Blu-ray-enabled DVD±RW/CD-RW and Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

  3. QUESTION:
    What equipment at minimum would I need to start making my short films and webisodes?
    I'm making short films and webisodes. Genres: Horror, Action, and Drama. I just need to know the equipment I would need to start making them.

    • ANSWER:
      at absolute bare minimum, you will need a digital camera/ camcorder that records in full high-definition. You can get free video and sound editing software online (I would recommend Audacity for sound, and Lightworks for editing, with Windows Movie Maker for titles).

      You also should consider things like microphones, DVD burners, etc.

  4. QUESTION:
    What is a good brand or type of camera to use to make my short films?
    I'm making short films and I needed to know a good brand or type of camcorder to use. Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      Films are shot using motion picture cameras, either 16 mm or 35 mm

      My guess is you want to shoot video using a screen play you or someone else wrote.

      The least expensive is probably the Canon XA10

      If your budget is a little higher, Look at the Panasonic AG-AC90

  5. QUESTION:
    What is a good video camera for making short films?
    I'm looking for a video camera to record in 720p so I can make short films. I plan on adding special effects so it must have clear quality, and my budget is 0 or less. What do you recommend?

    • ANSWER:
      you might consider JVC Everio GZ-HM200 Dual SD High-Def Camcorder
      # Dual SD card slot for dual memory continuous recording
      # 1920x1080 Full HD recording
      # 20x optical zoom with Konica Minolta HD lens
      # Laser-touch operation with sub-trigger and zoom; one-touch upload to YouTube
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OMH1JQ?ie=UTF8&tag=bestdeals-y-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001OMH1JQ

      Panasonic HDCTM15 16GB Full HD Camcorder
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039SNYU8?ie=UTF8&tag=bestdeals-y-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0039SNYU8

  6. QUESTION:
    What is the best software for making short films and stuff for youtube?
    I was just wondering because i set up an account but the software i use is SOOOOOOOOOO complex! I want to make short films and vlogs etc but what software should i use?

    • ANSWER:
      sony vegas movie studio is really easy to use

  7. QUESTION:
    Are you allowed you allowed to make short films based on a major motion picture?
    Are you allowed to make short films based on a motion picture?

    I'm a beginning director, and I recently thought doing a short film of "9",the post apocalyptic motion picture about rag dolls, that really inspired me to do my own movies. Am I within my rights to say that my film is based off of 9?

    • ANSWER:
      I think the only legal way you can do this is if you claim it's a parody, or else you need copyrights. Or if it's not the exact same thing, do you have your own unique plot but with just some similarities that should be fine I think.

  8. QUESTION:
    What camera to get for making amateur short films?
    I would like to get into making short films with mates. I would like a camera that is not miniDV or HDD because I don't want to muck around with capturing. I would like it to be HD. I have a quad core pc with 16gb ram so editing is not a problem with HD footage. I have asked this question before and someone said i needed to spend over 20 grand to get a short film camera??? My budget is around 500 USD.

    So any recommendations?

    Cheers. :)

    • ANSWER:
      Nikon COOLPIX L26 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Zoom NIKKOR Glass Lens and 3-inch LCD is a point and shoot camera, there are a lot of options to learn, so I am taking the time to do just that! I actually read the instructions (downnloaded the PDF manual)and fleshing it out...the 3" screen was the main draw to this camera, as was the price-under 0.00, and the simple controls that sit just right of the screen....also the fact I can use regular AA batteries and/or rechargeable...comes in 3 choices of finish-red, black or silver. Good documentation available...Nice camera for the price!

  9. QUESTION:
    What's the best camera to use to make short films?
    What's the best camera to make short films, for aspiring film directors?
    What are the best brands/models (or both) out there?

    • ANSWER:
      JVC Everio

  10. QUESTION:
    What's the best camera to use to make short films?
    What's the best camera to make short films, for aspiring film directors?
    What are the best brands/models (or both) out there?

    • ANSWER:
      your mobile/cell phone (depending if your UK or USA), you'd be surprised what you can do with a little imagination.

  11. QUESTION:
    If I want to be a director, should I start making short films now?
    I really want to be a director when I finish high school, and lately my friends have gotten angry at me because I never film anything or make short films... Their theory is, if I really wanted to be a director I would take the initiative and just film everything. I don't see the point in filming something though without a purpose, what do you believe?

    • ANSWER:
      I halfway agree with your friends. If film is a passion for you, you should definitely have the motivation to create films in your spare time. People who make it in the film industry don't get anywhere without tremendous drive and purpose. If you don't have that, you should consider another career path!

      That said, there's no reason you need to be filming EVERYTHING in order to be a filmmaker. You should be able to identify the reason you want to get into film making, and then start filming the subjects that fit your reason. The sooner you can get a good handle on your purpose as a film maker, the sooner you're going to have the direction you need to really start moving towards this career.

      So my question back to you would be, why do you want to make films? Is it to entertain? To inform? To persuade? To make something beautiful? To create change? Then, think of a film subject that will help you to do this. Maybe there's a member of your community that you'd like to interview or a story that you'd like to tell. Pinpoint exactly what moves you about film making, and then start shooting!

      Oh, and when it comes time to look into film schools, be sure to check out Flashpoint Academy. It's where I work, and if you have a real passion for film making, we'd be honored to have you as a student.

  12. QUESTION:
    What's the best camera to use to make short films?
    What's the best camera to make short films, for aspiring film directors?
    What are the best brands/models (or both) out there?

    And I don't mean camcorders...

    • ANSWER:
      A DSLR is not a video camera its a stills camera that can take video, the results are ok but not great. You wont find many "film directors" using a stills camera. Audio on camcorders is not great, but comparing them to the average DSLR they are fantastic

      Its not the quality of the camera its mostly down to the useless codecs used to cram as much video onto the cards. Take a video using a DSLR and then display it on a full HD TV screen, the poor quality will be obvious. then you have to edit the video if your editing software does not support the video format then you have to convert, again reducing the quality. its a downward spiral.

      Best and what you want to spend are normally very far apart, With no budget its impossible to help you.

      RR

  13. QUESTION:
    Should you write a feature film or make short films?
    I don't know if I should just write my feature film and skip short films or make short films then one day make write my feature film. The reason why I askk because some filmmakers never made a short film in their life and some was doing that for 5-10 years before their feature film .

    • ANSWER:
      I'm surprised you are asking this. Do both. The fact is that getting into the film industry is notoriously difficult. It is almost like a lottery win. Most never make it. If Don't base your plans on what others have done before you. You don't know their background. They might have been well connected in the film industry and therefore do not need to make short films. A friend of mine, who is now a hollywood film director came from a famous filmmaking family. It was in his blood to begin with and his connections to Hollywood were firmly established for the past 50 years. To his credit he is also a very smart film maker and has won many awards for his films.

      I would advice you to go cheap. Don't start writing a science fiction blockbuster that requires 100 million dollars to film. It sounds obvious but many inexperienced writers do this, believing that some studio is going to fall in love with their idea and magically invest a 100million dollars in their project. If your film is made then you can think about writing for a larger budget. Think commercial but cheap... I would start off by writing a horror movie. Studios love horror movies because of the low cost of filming them and they can result in a successful franchise. e.g. exorcist, nightmare on elm street, saw.

  14. QUESTION:
    Where can i buy equipment cheap to make a short film?
    I need cheap equipment to make short films on my computer do you know any on-line store where i can get such equiqment?

    • ANSWER:
      adorama.com

  15. QUESTION:
    Question about making a short film with a copyrighted script?
    During the summer I would like to start making short films, mostly because I want to have some experience at it. I was just wondering if I could make a short film out of a copyrighted movie script (Scream 4) and just tweak the script up a little (Change character genders,names etc). The movie would just be made for fun and for my own experience, no money making or anything. Would I get in trouble for doing this?
    By the way, I'm 17

    • ANSWER:
      Well, because every movie at the start says; COPYRIGHT. and has that annoying blue screen saying' "Don't even think about ripping this off," i would be careful. but because you are doing it for experience, you could get away with it, because of a thing called "Educational Copyright" i think that's what it's called but it's a thing where students are protected by school, to use songs, movies, anything with a copyright, and not get in trouble because it is for education. so if you ARE using it for school, you will be fine, the big bad government can't touch you. but if it's not for education, you will still be fine, as long as you ether give the real movie credit, or you call it something else. they have no right to call you on something if you don't use the name, or you give credit. and as long as you don't make money, or sell it, you are really doing nothing that can put you in jail. but i would really call it something other then Scream 4. i would call it, i don't know, screech 4, or something, just in case you do get into trouble, which unless you sell, or don't give credit, i really don't think you will go to jail, or get in any other trouble.

  16. QUESTION:
    How to make short films?
    I'm currently in high school and I want to start making short films but none of my friends are interested in acting. Our school has a week drama program that rarely gets together. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      really, you cant convince any of your friends to be in a movie for fun?! thats surprising! well, try recruiting your family members, hehe. my little brothers made our whole family act in short films for years. it makes it even more comical that way. maybe once your friends see how cool they are they will want to participate.

      keep trying to get people together. see what you can do to drum up interest for the drama club and insist on a regular time to meet and create. there have got to be some other people that want to do something too, maybe they just need you to lead the way!

  17. QUESTION:
    What is a cheap video camera that is good for making short films?
    I need detail and a heavily zoomed out feature. We are planning on making a short film for the film festivals and I seriously need help. It would probably have to HD since we need to do some nice clean shots without blurrs or anythings.

    Please help, thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I would download this free application: http://www.myshoppingenie.com/cheapstuff basically what this app does is every time you search for a product on google/yahoo/bing, it will automatically search the whole internet for the cheapest price of what you are looking for. I got flip ultra hd flip camcorder at an awesome prices using it. Check it out! it hasn't disappointing me so far. Let me know if you need anything else. it will also search amazon, ebay, and craigslist

  18. QUESTION:
    What should I make my short films about?
    I wanna start making short films.
    And I want to make them serious,you know that they actually have a "point" and a lesson.

    What should i make my short films about?

    *i really want them to be about social things...*

    • ANSWER:
      It depends what you think is a social issue or thing like for example one could be teen pregnancy or bullying, or any thing that makes you want to express or show to people.
      Hope every thing works out and i wish you the best!

  19. QUESTION:
    What filming equipment would I need to make a short film?
    I would like to make some short films and need to buy equipment for them. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to need. The films will be fairly simple but need to look professional - Please help!!

    Is there any special lighting equipment and sound equipment that I might need? Also any editing equipment I might need?

    • ANSWER:
      Dear Music Dude,

      The best and only advice you can rely on is this: do your research, watch short films online from reputable locations (YouTube Screening Room, Sundance Film Festival, Funny or Die.com, etc.), check out short film programs at local film festivals and see if you find a Director of Photography's work that you admire and believe is capable of making your film look like you want it to.

      Then start searching locally for a Director of Photography (DP) in your area who *has their own equipment* that could match the look you love.

      When making a short you want to have the best DP who owns the highest quality equipment and is in full agreement with the kind of film you have in mind.

      With a solid script, great casting, a professional editor and a clear vision of what you want - you cannot fail.

      All my best,
      Roberta Munroe
      Author -- How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets From A Sundance Programmer
      http://www.RobertaMunroe.com

  20. QUESTION:
    How to make a short film for high school art class?
    I need help. I have to make a short film for my art class.It has to be under 5 minutes. I need ideas on how to make the film and what to base it on.I don't know anything about making a short film.If you have any ideas,tips,and websites. I also need to know what equipment to use. Thanks for your help.

    • ANSWER:
      It seems that you should ask your teacher how to get started. S/he should be able to point you in the right direction. It's nearly impossible for anyone to help you very well with this because we don't know much about your specific situation.

      But, generally speaking, you need (at least):
      1. a video camera
      2. video tapes
      3. video editing software on a computer (e.g. iMovie or Final Cut)

      And you probably (but not necessarily) need:
      1. one or more other people to be actors in the video

      The thing is, if you really don't know anything about making a short film, you are going to need help at every stage of this process. It's easy if you know what you're doing, but not if you don't. So I really highly recommend talking to your teacher, regardless of whatever help we random internet people can give you.

      May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

  21. QUESTION:
    I want to make Short Films but have limited resources?
    I am a 14 year old boy and I want to make short films on a very small budget I have a Droid Razr that shoots in 1080p HD+ but I need stands for it to sit on so that the camera man (my friend) can easily rotate the camera without shaking the phone. I have ideas on what I want to make but limited resources. Can anyone tell me what I should do?

    • ANSWER:
      Get a big pop bottle (e.g. 2L Coke Bottle) Place a big lump of blue tack, or something sticky to the lid, and leave the lid loose so it can turn easily. Stick your camera on the top.

      This is a very basic and cheap way

  22. QUESTION:
    What are some tips for making a short film?
    My whole life I always wanted to be a director. I always make videos with my friends and there not little crappy ones you see on YouTube, there pretty good. But anyways, I never no what to do with these short films, but now I'm in a film class in high school and we need to make a short film. I just need some tips for making an A+ material short film. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Apart from having to make a short film for a class, before you put in the effort to make a film, ask yourself what you hope to achieve with that particular project.

      As an aspiring filmmaker, your body of work will be used as your calling card to attract financiers or an agent when you are ready to make larger projects on a professional level. So it is important that you take the time to make everything you do as excellent as it can be within the parameters you have to work within at any given time.

      What this means for you right now is that you write a script that doesn't push the limits of what you are capable of achieving. For instance, you likely don't have the budget for a million warriors coming over the hills of Ireland, so you wouldn't bother writing a story that needs that. Instead, think about the resources you DO have available and then think of a story that is within your reach. What will likely happen is that because you don't have access to a lot of "production value" type elements, like amazing locations or special effects, you'll be forced to concentrate on CHARACTERS. And the key to all great movies is that the characters come across as real for the audience. In time, your access to resources will grow, so those extras will be there if you need them, but even the biggest movies with lots of fancy FX still need solid characters at the core.

      It's one thing to write a great script with great characters, but you are making a movie from it. So, you'll need great Actors who can bring your words to life. Skip your friends and move on to the drama department in your school. Better yet, go to the Theater Department at the local University and audition Actors there. Look for a local Theater group that may have older talent who are all interested in doing more work. If your script is good enough and you can convince those people that you have the skills to make the movie look as professional as possible, then before you know it, you'll have a cast and crew who are all enthusiastic about making a movie...your movie.

      Look below for some links to resources that will help you as you sit down to write and begin thinking about production of the film itself. If you have enough time, I urge you to also volunteer your time on other productions near you... University projects if possible, but if not, then look for local production companies. Offer to carry cases or get coffee and explain that you are interested in learning how actual professionals really shoot their projects. The experience will be invaluable as you take those lessons and apply them to your own work.

      If you have any additional questions, email me directly at brian@whatireallywanttodo.com

      Good luck!

      Brian Dzyak
      Cameraman/Author
      IATSE Local 600, SOC
      http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com

  23. QUESTION:
    How do I make a short film like the twilight zone and do you have any plot ideas?
    I was watching twilight zone (the old one) and found it compellong and a excellent work of science fiction and then had a strong desire to make a short film. So can you tell me how to do this and if you have any plot ideas.

    • ANSWER:
      Making a short film on the theme of 'Twilight Zone' is tricky because you would need special effects and photography.

      I have a an idea for a plot. How about a story where the character has the ability to visualise the past through a memento. Thereupon, the character uses the visualisation to solve a mystery. But this plot will need special effects.

      You can also think of improvising on a few existing 'Twilight Zone' episodes. Let's say, 'Person or Persons Unknown'. Try to tweak its ending. The original ending was a cop-out.

  24. QUESTION:
    How To Come Up With Short Film Ideas?
    I'm interested in making short films 5-15 minutes in length. I'm not asking for specific ideas, but I'm wondering if anyone knows any good ways to come up with original ideas.

    • ANSWER:
      Umm make it about
      1movie tralier
      2adventure
      3life of u
      4going somewere
      5interviewing
      6news station
      7prettend ur someone famous
      8extreme stuff
      9end of world
      10scary movie
      PUT IT ON UTUBE AND I WANNA C IT

  25. QUESTION:
    How to make a short film look professional?
    I'm making a short film for my A2 films studies practical piece. I have been using proper lights, tripods etc and we have industry standard editing equipment.
    It still looks a little amateur, how do I make it look clean?

    • ANSWER:
      just wondering what editing programme are you using?

      how is it looking amateur? do you have music? is it a document or role play?

  26. QUESTION:
    What filming equipment would I need to make a short film?
    I would like to make some short films and need to buy equipment for them. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to need. The films will be fairly simple but need to look professional - Please help!!

    Is there any special lighting equipment and sound equipment that I might need? Also any editing equipment I might need?

    Please Help

    • ANSWER:
      In terms of lighting and sound equipment, nothing is really needed at a beginner stage, although perhaps later when you get more comfortable with the process. all that is needed is a reasonable hand-held cam, DV's are very cheap nowadays, and editing software on a PC. If your film is reasonably low tech in terms of post-production ie. editing, then the bog standard Windows Movie Maker, will be fine, although it does have its flaws. Moving on from that something like Sony Vegas, which is what I use, for basic editing (not graphics) is a major step up, and worth the cost if you are serious. Most importantly however, is that you play around with the software (and camera) to begin with with some practice footage, just to get a feel for, learn its capabilities and how to use it, before jumping right into making a short film.
      Hope this helps!

  27. QUESTION:
    What camera would you recommend for a short film?
    I want to start making short films and was looking for some good HD quality cameras. It doesnt need to be anything too fancy, just for the pictures to look good. If you guys can just give me a couple of names that would be awesome!! My price range limit is around 00.

    • ANSWER:
      Sony SLT cameras are the easiest to use when it comes to video. The translucent mirror allows for continual autofocus, you'll find a flip out LCD on the a33, a55 and a77, the electronic viewfinder is more like a video camera, it even has the ability to do rack focus in camera. Add a tripod and external mic and you're all set with these cameras. In your budget I would recommend the a55.

      Canon 5D II or 7d may do better quality but if you're a novice you're going to be confused and you won't want to spend money on all the extra gear needed to get a great video with those.

      But yeah if you only need video a dedicated camcorder may be the better option ...

  28. QUESTION:
    How can i shoot a 3minute short film with a cellphone video camera?
    People have adviced me that if i really want to realize my dream of becoming a director...i should start making short films...can i make a short film with a cellphone video camera moreover i can shoot only in my bedroom...how can i act and shoot scemes at the same time...i have short stories but the problem is im the actor and i should soot the scenes as well how can i do that...please help

    • ANSWER:
      You could probably do this with a tripod and a good video editor. I like VideoPad: http://www.nchsoftware.com/software/video.html

  29. QUESTION:
    Can someone give me some tips on making a short film?
    I'm making a short film for my English project, "The Social Death of Julia Caesar". I want to make it look professional as possible, instead of campy and poor quality. I have a decent video camera and the latest version of window movie maker. Can you give me some tips or links to guides or free legal programs (kind of like the gimp)?

    • ANSWER:
      There is a lot of short films info on http://thehotmovies.info !

  30. QUESTION:
    Is it copyright infringement to quote another movie when making a short film?
    I'm making a short film and I want to use a famous qoute from a movie. It will be obvious its from the movie and is in homage to it. Is this against copyright?

    • ANSWER:
      It's completely fine- it falls under the fair usage doctrine of US Copyright law.

  31. QUESTION:
    good quality cheap camera for making short films and using for media arts?
    Im getting into making short horror films and movies.
    And I also need a camera for my media arts portfolio and for other things.
    Any camera's that are cheap and will be good for both?
    my budget is like 100-120 dollars.

    • ANSWER:
      Spend a little more and look for a used Lumix. U can do stills or movies. The memory cards are cheap and very user friendly -- it takes the standard SD cards. Look up this camera on line at the B & H site in New York. They are very reputable and have been in business a long time. Or call them up and ask questions during business hours.

  32. QUESTION:
    Why do actors make short films?
    I noticed on IMDB that high profile actors are making short films. Why do they do this? Is this to show another side to their acting?

    • ANSWER:
      I can actually somewhat answer that.

      The reason why actors make short films is to get more experience on their resumes in a shorter amount of time.

      Directors do them because it's a faster way to generate revenue. Also, since most short films are made and shown before major film, they are noticed that way as well.

  33. QUESTION:
    what is the price of making a short film?
    i want to make a short film for about 30 minutes, it is about a love between an aussie boy and an asian girl. i am planning to use most of the money on photographers cause i want to use perfessional shoots. characters i will only pick the free ones and also myself. the process will be continue for about 5 days, how much does it cost in australian dollars? i have about 00, is it enough?

    • ANSWER:
      There isn't exactly a set price. You use whatever money you have. Obviously you would have to set a budget etc.. The money you have should be enough. You need to write down a budget and write down all of your spendings, then you can calculate whether or not you'll have enough. You can film it yourself, you do not need to pay "Photographers" to do it. They aren't called photographers, they're cinematographers.. All you need to do is buy a very good video camera and film it yourself. With the money you have, buy your own camera. It will be better in the long run. You would be wasting your money if you was to pay cinematographers to do it. It's easy, just film it yourself. It can still be professional. You just need to learn a few things about directing and stuff. It sounds like you're directing it anyway, so why don't you just film it yourself. I do the same thing. I'm a filmmaker.

  34. QUESTION:
    What is a good camcorder to make professional looking short films?
    I want a Camcorder that is around 00 that I can use to make excellent short films. I want quality similar to the Canon 7Ds. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      For that price range you can get a Canon T2i. The video quality is comparable to the 7D, but the ISO performance can't compete with the 7D. FPS selection is also very limited.... but if you stick a 50mm 1.8 on the T2i and use some well controlled lighting and stabilization you can produce some decent results. Check out this video comparison:

      The second half has direct video comparisons.

  35. QUESTION:
    Are permissions necessary for making short films based on stories from book?
    I would like to make a short film based on a story from a book which has a collection of short stories from an author. I might send that short film to film festivals. Should I obtain permission or licenses or pay royalty for making a film out of their story. Or is it just sufficient to give them credit for story? Please let me know.

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Give them credit but if you are going to be making $ off of it then you need permissions and so forth.

  36. QUESTION:
    What software do i need to make films on my computer?
    i want to make short films on my computer. what software do i need to edit and stuff?
    thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      you can use window movie maker

  37. QUESTION:
    Are permissions necessary for making short films based on stories from book?
    I would like to make a short film based on a story from a book which has a collection of short stories from an author. Should I obtain permission or licenses or pay royalty for making a film out of their story. Or is it just sufficient to give them credit for story? Please let me know.

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      it depends on what type of copyright the author has for their book, and what you mean by "basing" you film off it.

      are you making a film that basically IS the book? a literal illustration?
      or will the film be a different story, or with a different setting, characters, etc, only loosely based and similar to the book?
      that makes a difference.

      and the author's copyright makes a difference too. if the book is under creative commons license, then you need only to give some sort of credit to the author. but if they have full protective copyright, you might need anything from signed permission, to paying a fee.

  38. QUESTION:
    What filming equipment would I need to make a short film?
    I would like to make some short films and need to buy equipment for them. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to need. The films will be fairly simple but need to look professional - Please help!!

    Is there any special lighting equipment and sound equipment that I might need? Also any editing equipment I might need?

    Please Help

    • ANSWER:
      you need a tripod, otherwise i promise you your film will look terrible. as long as you have a good camera sound and lighting shouldn't be a problem, just don't film at night. but if you don't have a good camera, you can buy attachable microphones to improve you sound quality. Another thing you might need is a dolley, for shots when you need to move the camera around, the those are expensive though (really expensive) so you might just want to use a cart on wheel to place your camera on.

  39. QUESTION:
    What filming equipment would I need to make a short film?
    I would like to make some short films and need to buy equipment for them. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to need. The films will be fairly simple but need to look professional - Please help!!

    Is there any special lighting equipment and sound equipment that I might need? Also any editing equipment I might need?

    Please Help

    • ANSWER:
      you can pick up old 16mm cameras very cheap these days, look for Russian ones on ebay, the big problem is they are noisy, the film is expensive and you get about 30sec in one can of film, you will need External mics, i would recommend an MD recorder as they are cheap but try and find a good mic for it.
      when it comes to lighting you should get yourself a few 800w red heads as you can dull down the light if you need to,

      after you have made your film and send you film to be processed you can get it back in digital format, i am not sure of the cost but it wont be free, when you have it in a digital format you can use a number of NLE software, i use adobe Premiere

      good luck with your film

  40. QUESTION:
    Ideas for a beginner videographer wanting to make a short film?
    Hey guys, i've been doing photography for about 4 years now, so i'm pretty advanced in that but i'm just beginning with videography and would love to make a short film/movie. I just need some ideas! I would love to do something with Bjorks "Cocoon" playing in the background, but any ideas would help! Thanks so much guys, you rock!

    • ANSWER:
      just get a few buddys together and make up crap as you go then you can edit it on some shitty 6yr old laptop

  41. QUESTION:
    Any ideas for making a short film by myself at home ?
    I'm home alone and bored. Anyone have any ideas for making a short film by myself at home ?

    • ANSWER:
      What interests you? Current events? Sports? Fantasy? Science fiction? If you’re pressed for ideas, put your own spin on a favorite movie scene. Play with the dialogue. Think about what you would have done differently if you were in the director’s chair.

  42. QUESTION:
    How to make a good short film based on Macbeth?
    Hey guys, I'm in Year 9 and I hear we're going to be making a short film in a couple of weeks time and for Drama we'll be basing the film off Macbeth. I'm not sure if we're just doing a couple of scenes in-depth or the whole thing really short. It's meant to be 3-4 minutes long. Any good ideas for it?

    • ANSWER:
      focus on just one part of the story that you/your group feels confident in doing. Everyone in your class should know the story & be able to follow it somewhat. My personal suggestions would be either meeting the witches, Duncan's murder or the final battle between Macbeth and Macduff. (I did the latter for a similar project in Grade 11)

      It might also be a good idea to go onto youtube and see what other people have done with it, you aren't limited to victorian era costume/themes, I've seen modernized versions, gender reversed versions and even a 'Star Wars' version! Good luck!

  43. QUESTION:
    I need some help on making a short film?
    I am making a short film. I am only an eighth grader and I have no idea how to make one. It is horror/suspense and I need tips on what to do. I have written the script and everything, I just need to actually put it together now. Like actors(probably classmates), camera crew (I wish), BUDGET, and the worst is, it takes place in a school at night, so how do I do that?! If you could at least answer a few of these questions that would be great. THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      Hmm, you are facing a lot of the same problems that big budget movies face, so don't be too worried. This will take a lot of work, you'll have to be patient, and keep in mind that you might have to improvise on the fly.

      Alright, with the budget you'll have to prioritize. Since you probably won't be paying cast or crew what you want your budget to focus on is production design. You'll have to try and figure out how much it will cost to make your movie before you even shoot a single second. First, price check all the things like props (since this is a horror you'll be looking at stuff like stage blood and stage knives, etc.) costumes. This might cost a lot, or a little, it will depend on some things. If your actors can provide their own costumes, that they don't mind getting dirty (even ruined) it will be cheaper. Also, stage blood can get expensive, if you want you can make batches of your own (there are plenty of recipes online that can give you specifics). As for any other props, it will depend on where and in what condition you buy them in, but props can be fairly cheap.

      Sorry to stay on the budget, but budget is very important, I would suggest investing in some kind of light kit (there are expensive ones, but you could put one together yourself using a work light from a hardware store and then getting some light gels). I'm guessingyou're most likely using a camcorder so look into getting a couple of extra tapes/SD cards in case something happens to the one in the camera or it gets full. And finally, this is one of the most important parts of budget making for movies is, you will want to have extra funds available just in case something goes out of control.

      Onto the camera crew. A camera crew can simply be made of 2 or 3 people, and you may include yourself as one of these people;
      -a camera operator, someone who knows the camera fairly well and can do minor troubleshooting in case something isn't working properly.
      -a 1st AC who takes care of the memory card/tape when it is filled and has another at the ready, they also will watch the camera when the camera operator is away (bathroom, food, stuff like that)
      -(optional) if you decide to invest in lights a gaffer is a good person to have, they move the lights around, make sure that the lights have power, and they put gels on them.

      Now for locations; this may not be as tricky as you think. Granted it may take a bit of working the system, but it can be very educational. First, talk to the school you want to shoot at, specifically, talking to the principal is a good place to start. This will be a time to pitch your movie, you are trying to sell this to the location. Because this is a horror/suspense, it might be good to downplay the horror and focus on the more suspense aspect of the script.
      Even, then the principal might ask that you go through another person (the school board, the janitorial office, somebody), don't get discouraged, keep on going and if necessary make the same pitch you made to the principal. Now the thing about shooting at night will be tricky to sell. You could try that just to see, however, it is probably not going to happen. In that case, suggest shooting during the day when no classes are taking place (if that's the case, remember that extra money in the budget? You can use that to buy this stuff called duvetyne and gaffer tape. Then you can tape the duvetyne over windows and stuff to make it look like it is night in the school).
      And if the school doesn't go for it then you can maybe try a local community college or see if you can get permission to film at a place that looks like a school and then you can edit footage together to appear as if you are shooting at some school.

      I hope that helps; movie making is hard work, but it can be the most rewarding experience you have. Good luck and I have attached some URL's to some of the film supplies I was talking about:

      Duvetyne:
      http://www.filmtools.com/duv54rolx50y.html

      Gaffer Tape
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/GAFFERS-TAPE-GAFF-TAPE-1-X-60YD-BLACK-OR-WHITE-/200666121877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb8a20695

      Gels (I recommend only getting Blues and Oranges, specifically CTO Full and CTB full)
      CTO Full
      http://search.filmtools.com/search?keywords=CTO+full&catalog=cinemasupplies&go.x=0&go.y=0
      CTB Full
      http://www.filmtools.com/31-lee-s201.html

  44. QUESTION:
    Is it illegal to take a short story and make it a short film?
    Can you take a short story and make a film out of it, and only put it on Youtube.?

    I am not looking to make money off of someone's work without permission, I just like having fun making movies (movies that last maybe 5 minutes). And there are some stories I have read that I would have fun making into short films. I would not be making money off of it, just posting it on Youtube.

    Is that illegal?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi there.
      It is illegal, if the story is in copyright (less than 75 years old).
      You can use older stories. If you REALLY want a modern story, change the names and a couple of details to make the story your own, you will be fine.
      Good luck, Steve.

  45. QUESTION:
    What softwares is required to make a short films ?
    i would like to do small short film but i am not professional and i am student so i want to make short film on my budget .. and to make a short i need camera and some friends .. and most important is a computer with some editing softwares .. recommend me Experts .. Thanks ..

    • ANSWER:
      There are many good softwares out there for proffessional editing. I use Sony vegas Pro as its the easiest of all of them. Other than that you can try After Effects, Cinema 4d etc.
      Also you will find a lot of tutorials for the same on youtube. Use whatever suites you.

  46. QUESTION:
    I need some help on making a short film?
    I am making a short film. I am only an eighth grader and I have no idea how to make one. It is horror/suspense and I need tips on what to do. I have written the script and everything, I just need to actually put it together now. Like actors(probably classmates), camera crew (I wish), BUDGET, and the worst is, it takes place in a school at night, so how do I do that?! If you could at least answer a few of these questions that would be great. THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      BUDGET:Go to party city they have lots of horror things but probably not in stores go online and go to the Halloween section, most things don't cost to much
      CAMERA CREW:You could get a classmate or friend who is a tech geek or likes to take pictures, maybe ask the class nerd. But it's really not that hard you just get a camera(if you don't have one barrow a friends) and point and shoot.
      SCHOOL AT NIGHT:well seems easy enough most janitors are there at night from the television shows I've seen, go in the hallways turn on the lights or bring flash lights and point them where you wanna shoot it's good being in the dark for horror so get a flash light And point in not IN the scean but Maybe close to the camera, so it shows enough light to shoot good quality or maybe turn on school lights there must be lamps or somthing...
      ACTORS:classmates are good, mabye even family! Chose people how there character seems; if the main character is easily scared get a friend whose like that, or if the main character is brave get someone like that.

  47. QUESTION:
    how can i make a short film with separated videos?
    i have some separated videos, and i need to make a short film about it and write on it and effects and add pics and u know.. stuff like that! where can i get a free software like that?

    • ANSWER:
      Windows live movie maker. you can put several movies/clips together with pictures.

  48. QUESTION:
    Can I use a digital camera to make a short film?
    I have no experience whatsoever, but I was thinking of trying to make a short film

    So I was wondering, could I use a handheld digital camera to make one? Like those super simple kinds you would bring with for a family vacation
    Or would a camcorder be better?

    And if yes, what are some good recomendations? I was looking at the Casio Exilim EX-ZR10, but I could use more options

    And if no, then what kind of camera would be suitable, & list some examples for reference? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, but it is easier if you can control the sound better... Many domestic cameras are high enough quality these days but the reason pro's do not use them very often is because for decent quality you need to be able to attach external microphones to get good sound quality. The Jackass film was shot on canon xm2's. If you are just in it for fun then go ahead and make whatever film you want on whatever you want, the practice is the important thing, if you want to win a competition or something then get a camera with external audio inputs. You can have a crappy image with good sound and it will seem higher quality than the same thing with a good image and crappy sound.

  49. QUESTION:
    what is the best video camera to use for short film?
    i want to buy one to make short films that i can send into festivals so i want the quality be heaps good and clear, can you please note some cameras.

    • ANSWER:
      What is your budget?

      The moving image is only a part of the whole system.

      Planning, storyline, content, lighting, makeup, hair, wardrobe, lighting, location selection, talent, audio, editing and LOTS more goes into a successful project.

      Someone with training, experience and skill can use a cheap camcorder and end up with great video. Someone with no training, no experience and no skill can use the most expensive camcorder and produce awful content.

      What is your budget? Does that include a tripod, or other steadying device?

      In my opinion:

      Entry level consumer:
      Canon ZR950, Sony DCR-HC62, Panasonic PV-GS320
      All are standard definition cams; none have audio in jacks so you will need to get a field recorder like those from Edirol, M-Audio, Tascam, Marantz, Zoom among others. All use miniDV tape and your computer will need a firewire port for video transfer for editing.

      Mid-range consumer:
      Canon HV30, Sony HDR-HC9
      Both use miniDV tape and your computer will need a firewire port for video transfer for editing. Both have a 1/8" stereo mic jack for external mic connection - but use of pro-grade mics with XLR connectors is suggested - An XLR adapter from juicedLink or BeachTek is suggested. The audio field recorder is also a good idea. Both these cameras can record in high definition or standard definition. The HV30 does 24p and 30p. The HDR-HC9 does not.

      The consumer cams have small lenses and small imaging chips. They will not do well in low light. Learn the camcorders strengths and weaknesses and work with them. Don't use the camcorder where it is weak.

      Standard definition prosumer:
      Sony DCR-VX2100, Canon GL2. Both are decent 3CCD camcorders. Lenses and imaging chips are larger than consumer grade so they do better in low light. Both use 1/8" audio-in jacks.

      Standard definition pro-grade:
      Panasonic DVX100 series; Canon XL series; Sony DVCAM series. Use XLR audio connectors, big lenses and big imaging chips. Low light behavior is good.

      High definition (and standard def) prosumer and prograde:
      Sony HDR-FX1, HDR-FX1000 (1/8" mic jacks)
      Pretty much any of the Canon, Panasonic, Sony or JVC professional

      OMG:
      Any of the cameras from Red.

  50. QUESTION:
    What's a good inexpensive camera for short films?
    My friends and I want to make short films and I was look for any suggestions on any good cameras that can shoot in HD. I noticed a lot of people I know have been filming with a Canon 7D, but way too expensive. I'm looking to spend anything around 0. Iwas thinking of getting a Kodak z950. I really want to get a digital camera because the last camcorder I had was too noisy and would be noticable in our movies. Any good suggestions? I need this asap.

    • ANSWER:
      The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH3 Digital Camera is worth a look, it has HD video and costs about 0.

      Hope this helps.

      Mark


making short films