Short Film Ideas For Kids

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Does this sound like a decent short film idea?
    I just came up with this short film idea about this odd black teenager that fantasies about committing suicide. He hates every aspect of his life and he's had just about enough with everyone. No one really wants to be around him and he doesn't fit in. It works perfectly for me since suicide is a subject that we all can relate to. Do you think the protagonist should die or punk out? Any other ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      OK, it sounds like you have the gem of a decent conflict, but it needs to be stronger, and there needs to be some real tension, like a time limit.

      Maybe start with his voice over. "I decided that tonight, at exactly eleven o'clock, I'm going to kill myself." Now you can repeatedly show the clock, and it's a deadline. By eleven o'clock, we'll know, does he do it, or does he change his mind?

      To build the tension further, there should be things that happen, that either make him start reconsidering or push him further towards making his plans certain. And honestly, if you play THAT part up REALLY well, you could even get away with ending the film at 10:59. But there would need to be so much there that half the audience is convinced he would definitely opt for life, and the other half certain he would absolutely go through with it.

      I saw a movie on Sundance recently about a Muslim girl who accepts a suicide mission to Times Square, and it shows her inner conflict as she goes to the location. It was brilliant.

      So this could definitely be a successful film.

      You really need to demonstrate, either through flash backs or current events, why he would want to kill himself, and it NEEDS to be a very strong reason (or preferably multiple reasons). Just having enough of everyone isn't strong. The audience needs to see him as so pathetic and his life so horrible that death actually seems like a reasonable option.

      Like the girl in Boston who was constantly harrassed: On the bus, she got tormented. In the hallway, tormented and spit on or punched. In class, made fun of. Between classes, more torment. Lunchroom, food spit on. In the bathroom, ganged up on and her face forced onto the dirty floor. More torment in gym. More on the bus again. Finally home, phone calls harrassing her. Text messages. Web sites dedicated to bullying her. Kids throwing things at her window. Her mother yelling at her. Her father. Teachers sending emails home complaining that she's not paying attention in class or that SHE'S starting trouble all the time. It's so horrible that there's no way out... except death.

      If you can deliver that with your character's situation, it's not only a decent idea but very timely and appropriate.

      Of course, his situation will be unique, but make him a similar outcast and make his circumstances dire, VISIBLY dire. (It can't just be him TELLING how bad it is, we need to SEE it for ourselves.)

  2. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have any good short film ideas?
    Hi, i have to do a short film for school. Im only in gr. 8, it has to have a moral or lesson and it can only be 3-5 minutes long.... Please help.

    • ANSWER:
      Try to do something dark, like visualize the childhood of The Joker. Moral of the story, don't smite your kids. They will grow up to be homicidal maniacs.

  3. QUESTION:
    How can I develop this idea into a plot?
    So I was thinking about making a conventional short film (30 min) and I have a pretty nice idea in my perspective about a kid trying to make a movie for his school's film festival and he is in love with film and really wants to win. But one day, this mindless kid comes along and guess's that it's good for his transcript if he wins. So he steals the other dude's film. I just need some help probably getting to a good climax and things that would make it a little more dramatic. Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      the main element in any type of story is conflict. So dose the film student chase after the mindless kid? do they eventually have some kind of stand off? (you can incorporate different film element like silent chases, or slap stick comedy or western for the stand off, it's your interpretation at the end of it all that counts)
      twists in the plot are also a good way to enhance a story line. Is the mindless kid working for that teacher who every time the film student has a great idea crushes it? Is the mindless kid actually a robot and working to destroy the world of film?
      It doesn't have to be an extreme plot line just enough to keep your audience captivated enough to want to watch the end.
      In the end it's up to you how you want it to end. weather you want the film student to win the day and get his film idea back from the mindless kid? or does the bad guy win and maybe even kill the film student? or you could even get the mindless kid to realise that he 's done wrong and wants to stand up to his master, the evil teacher, and the two join forces to destroy him.

      you have to work through how you would like it to end then figure the bits out in between. try writing bullet point of pinnacle moments in the plot were action takes place and see if you can figure how point one goes in to point two.
      Either way i hope this has helped.

  4. QUESTION:
    How can I film in/fake a courtroom for a student film?
    I'm working on a short film that I need to make as part of my applications to art colleges and my script contains a courtroom scene. The problem is, I have no idea how I can get a hold of a court room. Any ideas on how to either actually do this or fake it? I've considered green screening it, but I'm having trouble finding the right angles I'd need in online photos of courtrooms.

    • ANSWER:
      Go to your local county court and ask them if you can reserve a court room on the weekend, or sometime in the evening. It may cost you a small fee to rent out the room, but usually it is free. I used to do this when I coached my mock trial kids, and never had a problem.

  5. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have any short film comedy ideas or scripts?
    Me and some guys need to make a short comedic film for a high school film fest. It should be like 5 to 10 minutes. If it could be a high-school related story it would be great. I would give you credit.

    • ANSWER:
      i got one

      Shawn "The Kosher Clemens Express" Clemens was one of the best Jewish ballplayers and one of the best ballplayers of his time w/over 400 wins under his belt. He had 100 perfect games with 27 strikeouts each in his first 2½ seasons. He was in the All-Star game in each of his MLB seasons of his career. He was always the starter in each.

      But after his MLB record 30th season, something happened to his arm. He had already had a record of 1,154 wins, a record zero losses, a record 9,232 innings pitched, no saves as he has always been a starter, and a major record of 31,164 strikeouts (an avg. of 25 strikeouts/9 innings). His arm was badly hurting. He went to the team’s doctor in New York.

      "So, Dr. Johnson, what has exactly happened to my arm?" asked the star pitcher Shawn Clemens.

      "Well, Shawn, I am afraid that you have injured your right elbow," responded Dr. Will Johnson, the team’s New York-based doctor for the Yankees.

      "Do I have any choices?" asked the Kosher Clemens Express.

      "Yeah, you can have Tommy John surgery and sit out this upcoming season. You can have Tommy John surgery and end your career immediately. Or you can choose not to have surgery and jeopardize our career. Do me a favor?" said the doctor.

      "What is that favor?" Shawn asked.

      "What ever your choice is, just do kvetch about anything," Will told him.

      "I think tight I have decided not to pitch next season by having Tommy John surgery this year, and you have my word. I will not kvetch," said Clemens.

      "Great, come back tomorrow at 9:00 AM in the morning," replied Johnson.

      "Okay, sounds great," Shawn said. He then left with his wife of 28 years, and a beautiful mother of three kids (Nathan Scott, 20 Rebecca Leah, 15 Jonathan Richard, 10).

      One season later, he had started a new season after he completely recovered from Tommy John surgery. He threw harder than he ever did before. He fastball was timed at 110 mph. He had to refrain from the curve as those had hurt him to throw them.

  6. QUESTION:
    What are requirements of short films or documentaries?
    frnds plzz help ma for this.......
    i want to do it........
    then plzzz suggest some ideas,,,for short films..

    • ANSWER:
      I had an idea for a short film just the other day. I was thinking about finding an old house, like, more than 100 years old, and tell the story of the five generations of one family that lived and died in the house.

      No more than 15 minutes, and don't just shoot from the hip with a camcorder. Get yourself some lights, even if they're those crappy Lowells, and some gels, and a book called "Set Lighting." Can't remember the author, silver cover - found at Barnes & Noble.

      Have your beginning, middle and end clear-cut. (Your act 1, act 2, act 3.) Too many artsy kids think they can tell a short in some kind of neo-modern, cutting edge way and all it does is confuse the audience. If you want to show your filmmaking stuff, then do it right.

  7. QUESTION:
    How to pitch a commercial idea?
    I am only 17 and have been filming short films since I was a kid but now want to make my way into the proffessional field of commercials. I realize they won't hire me because I don't have any experience but am still willing to try. I have already went out and filmed a commercial so I can show them somthing. I am planning on going to acouple local car dealerships around my town and show them my car commerical. Does anyone have any advice on how to start out and break into the commercial business.

    • ANSWER:
      You tube, do it there if you get popular there with a few different kinds you will have the experience for your resume. Let the public see if they like it than a employer has to see what you can do. But you do have to know what those jobs require its not like there going to hire you and give you a camera and a whole bunch of money and say OK now make something. Learn the tech skills!

  8. QUESTION:
    Need to film someone as if they're crawling through an air vent for a short film. Any ideas on how to do this?
    I am making a short film for my college media course. In one scene the main character crawls through a ventilation shaft like in every spy film. Does anyone know an effective way of creating this illusion and making it look real or know a place we can film this or a real, non-working vent we could use?
    Cheers

    • ANSWER:
      Find a playground with those big tubes kids can crawl thru.

      Get drums, attach together?

      Creative use of cardboard and gray paint or tin foil.

  9. QUESTION:
    Any ideas for a final project for my Media and Culture class?
    It can be basically anything- a short film, article, tv spot, commercial, anything at all related to mass media in anyway.

    • ANSWER:
      How about a short film on scene hair: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=scene+hair&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f

      Why kids go for it, what kids who put in all the time and money that goes into scene hair get for their efforts, what they'll probably think of it when they're 40, etc.

  10. QUESTION:
    Can anyone suggest me with some tips to make a horror short Film?
    Its my dream to make a short film, Make it true with some valuable Ideas...

    • ANSWER:
      some teenagers tricking a little boy by telling him a fake scary story about a boy that falls behind and gets killed by a (spirit ,ghost, monster, vampire) you think of that? well they finish telling the story in a camp fire...when they finish, then they all say lets go back home its getting dark so their walking home. and they suddenly ditch the little boy, then he was lost all the other kids made it to their homes but the boy that was left behind made it to the front page news missing child. well the teenagers thought that the kid was kind of dumb by getting lost in the woods. so they look for him, well they did his body lying on the ground ripped apart blood every where...not knowing what happened.

  11. QUESTION:
    Where can I find a good non bb gun that has blowback, in Canada?
    I'm a 16 year old kid who's currently directing a short film this summer and we're getting close to the filming. We're arranging the props and I'm having a hard time looking for good props that a teen under 18 years of age can get. I was hoping to keep the price under 50$ for the gun(s) but I'm not to sure where to buy them. If you've got any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Around here is more than enough for a Saturday night special. A real one. But I see you're in Canada where they don't have such things.

      I don't know much about BB guns these days that would be appropriate for filming, but you might attempt to find what's called a "starter's pistol". The one I had, you'd load little blanks into it and it made one HELL of a racket when fired. Somewhat of a visible whisper of smoke too as I recall, which would be great for the film.

  12. QUESTION:
    Where can I find a good non bb gun that has blowback, in Canada?
    I'm a 16 year old kid who's currently directing a short film this summer and we're getting close to the filming. We're arranging the props and I'm having a hard time looking for good props that a teen under 18 years of age can get. I was hoping to keep the price under 50$ for the gun(s) but I'm not to sure where to buy them. If you've got any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      www.evike.com u can find some good airsoft pistols fairly cheap there plenty under that have blowback

  13. QUESTION:
    Where can I find a good non bb gun that has blowback, in Canada?
    I'm a 16 year old kid who's currently directing a short film this summer and we're getting close to the filming. We're arranging the props and I'm having a hard time looking for good props that a teen under 18 years of age can get. I was hoping to keep the price under 50$ for the gun(s) but I'm not to sure where to buy them. If you've got any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      the best place is this one:
      www.discountlink.org/amazon-directory/

  14. QUESTION:
    Do you think starting a film club at my school is a good idea?
    I am very interested in having a career in the film and television industry. At my school, the only thing they have that is close to a film club is the AV club and the photography club. I really want to start a film club where people that enjoy directing and writing short films could get together and make them. Do you think this is a good idea? Do you think a few people will join? I wouldn't want too too many.

    • ANSWER:
      We used to have a TV club at our school, but because of our school's spending money on a million auditorium we use like 5 times a year and 4 gyms, along with the economy, our in-debt school cut out all the clubs. =(

      But, it was pretty popular. The films the kids in the club made were posted on the school homepage and were very fun to watch. I say, Go for it!

  15. QUESTION:
    Is it a good idea to go to as many casting calls and auditions as possible?
    I want to be an actress, is it a good idea to be an extra or have a small part in short films and plays just to help get everything started?

    • ANSWER:
      Casting calls, yes, if you can find any genuine ones. Most are scams or publicity stunts.
      Auditions - definitely - but you'll need an agent to find good ones.
      Being an extra - that won't help your career at all - extras are not actors, they never get 'spotted' or 'noticed' and you can't add that sort of work onto your resume/CV. But they can give you an idea of what goes on on a film-set.
      Short films and student films are great experience - do any you can get, as long as they're by real university students and not some random bunch of kids!
      Plays - do hundreds of them! All you can get involved in.

      Building up a good resume is essential, and as long as you also have a few years of attendance at a good acting class or stage school as well, that's a really good start.
      After high school, the next step would be to get onto a degree-level course for 3 years.
      Good luck!

  16. QUESTION:
    Can I shoot a video outside and use air soft guns for props?
    So, me and my friends have been planning a short action film for a little over a week. It's a zombie movie, so we will be using real looking air soft guns. The thing is, we want to shoot this outside, on a little public trail, few people pass through it anyway. But will we get in trouble if someone sees us? Like, even if we hide our guns if someone walks by, could someone call the cops and get us in trouble?

    • ANSWER:
      DO NOT hide anything or act shady. that will surely get you in trouble. when people walk by, smile and say "sorry, we are making a movie for school, these are just toys, dont be nervous." if you live in a small town or neighhborhood, its a GREAT idea to tell your local policeman what you are doing. dont worry, you are totally allowed to do it, but if he knows its going on, he wont come at you with his gun drawn.
      so the word of the day is TRANSPARENCY
      you want everyone to know exactly what you are doing. what you are doing isnt wrong. if you sneak around and act secretive, people wont care what you are doing, they will just assume its wrong.

      3 kids in my town got taken down felony style. they were playing "guns" with their airsoft toys and an old lady across the street didnt know the difference. cops came flying up like there were 3 people with actual guns. it all got sorted out eventually, but there is no reason to startle everyone. tell who you can, make it obvious what you are doing, and be friendly to those you come across while doing it.

  17. QUESTION:
    Ideas for a Film About the Desire to Revisit Childhood?
    I'm making a short film for class where the main character is expressing the desire to be a child again in a dream sequence.

    I already have most of my ideas, but does anybody know anything else I can have the character do to illustrate her desire to be a child? Ex. having a tea party, making daisy chains, staring longingly at a playground etc.

    Thoughts welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      I'd say instead of just staring at a playground, have the kid on a swing or something. Or some kind of sequence were it's obvious the child feels like they're being taken care of. To me a childhood is about not having to worry about anything.

  18. QUESTION:
    How to convince my parents to let me choose my college major?
    I come from a Muslim South Asian background, so in my parents' view it's kind of set that they get to pick my career and college and I just have to go with it. They want me to go to a UC and do engineering or something in the medicine field and become a doctor, etc. I've been trying to force myself to go with this for the past few years but I've just come to the conclusion that I absolutely hate the both of these, I'm not good with any of it, I don't understand it, it's not the least bit interesting, and if I was forced to do this my entire life I would honestly probably just end up killing myself.

    I'm REALLY passionate about film and working in the film industry. I already have done a few short films and know a lot about the technology and want to go to USC to major is cinematography & film production. I've spent so much of my time learning about everything in the past few years. My parents think this is the dumbest idea ever and say USC is horrible and that this is just a stupid hobby I need to let go of. Also, the school is private so it's expensive and they don't want to pay for it. When I told them I wanted to do that they scolded me and said I was being crazy and that no daughter of theirs would ever do this. I ultimately think that it's because they want me to be rich and successful and just have the name "doctor" in front of me.

    I'm only a sophomore in high school right now, but I am absolutely positive this is what I want to do as a career and there are film courses available at universities around me I can take as a high schooler to get a head start and better chance, but of course, parents won't let me.

    How can I convince them to let me do what I want? I don't want to be forced to do something I don't want to. It's my life after all, not theirs. PLEASE PLEASE help, I'm so desperate. If I can't do film, I'd just want to do nothing at all because there's nothing else for me. please and thank you in advance, i'm open to any answers I just need help
    I don't really care about the pay of the career as long as it's enough to live sufficiently. I'd rather have a low pay job that makes me happy than a really high paying job that makes me feel miserable. :)

    • ANSWER:
      The chance to get one of the 54 spaces in USC SCA film & tv production is less than 5%, and many of those spaces go to applicants who will be accepted to top Ivies (2350+ SAT, 4.0 unweighted in the most rigorous classes), they use it to draw them from the Ivies with full tuition scholarships, the Thematic Options program, special scholarship housing, etc. So don't fight with your parents on the chance that you'd be admitted, because the odds are extremely heavily against it. It's more competitive than Harvard and I know kids who were accepted to both Harvard and USC SCA.

      The other good film programs in the area are also extremely competitive (Chapman Dodge, LMU), and UCLA's is a junior transfer program (from UCLA, and other UC's and colleges) with an admit rate of 3%, so you can't apply as a freshman.

      I know a kid who was in the same situation as you, his parents insisted he go into engineering even though he wanted to do film or they would not pay. USC would have cost him about 00 more a year than UCLA (after aid, scholarships, etc), so he ended up at UCLA. It is very hard / impossible to get film classes if you're not in film at UCLA, but he is in an extracurricular film club, making films, entering festivals, having a great time. The weird thing is, both of his parents are underemployed or unemployed engineers, very respected in their fields but not fully employed, and the kid has been earning money assisting in film projects since he was in high school. So go figure.

      Some things to consider, if you take enough APs in high school, you may be able to graduate from USC in 3 years, therefore saving a year's cost of attendance. For some programs, you can graduate in 4 years with a Masters. UCLA may take longer than 4 years to graduate. You can take film classes at USC even if you aren't in the film program, not all, but many of them. USC is actually more prestigious than UCLA with employers, they have an amazing alumni network, the classes are more rigorous (kids from my son's local private school say UCLA is like 9th grade level and they're in the most difficult classes, USC is more difficult), there is no comparison with community spirit. USC is more competitive for admissions, the 3.8 average unweighted GPA of admitted students is a very strong 3.8 as it gets a lot of applicants from top public or private schools where the curriculum is very rigorous. Their admitted freshman average SAT score is 100+ points higher than UCLA's, around 2140.

      For Film Graduates, an Altered Job Picture
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/movies/film-school-graduates-job-prospects-at-usc-nyu-ucla.html?_r=0

      The chance that you'd ever pay your rent from making movies is about zero. USC graduates end up as assistants (not asst directors, but like a secretary). The way you get to direct movies is by making your own movies that are noticed in film festivals, then you get a development deal, then you have to remake your movie in a bigger expensive way, or do a new bigger movie, and finance it all yourself, no help from the studio or production company, and then once you secure financing (enough to buy a nice condo or house in LA), then if your distribution deal hasn't expired, the studio or production company will help you get distribution. They prefer to do these deals with grads from top film programs, or top college like the Ivies. Most films are never made, it's just too hard to get the financing together. This is Development he!! you might have heard about.

      Unless you're of National Merit Scholar level, the chance of being admitted to a top med school is 2% to less than 10%. Engineering isn't a great field right now either.

      If your parents won't allow you to apply to film programs, and unless you really are competitive for admission, why get into fights over it, attend a college where you can take film classes, and production classes if possible (most don't have any I think), and have outside production opportunities through clubs, etc. It's likely easier to get film classes at UC's other than UCLA, but UCLA has a strong film club. UC Irvine has a growing film community outside of their film studies program. http://clubs.uci.edu/fada/ As a very involved parent, I can't imagine your parents are going to have total control over you, especially if you live on campus.

      Oh, and stop being so over dramatic, it's hard to take you seriously and film is a very serious business. If you act like that, it's like you are clueless and don't stand a chance in this very competitive field. It's a tough field for tough competitive people.

      Good luck!

  19. QUESTION:
    Do you have to go to film school/get a degree in film to be a movie director?
    Do you need a degree in film or do you just go out there and call yourself a director (okay, maybe not exactly, but is there some other important process if you don't need a degree)? And I'm not talking about indie films or short films... I've already called myself a director for that stuff.
    And if you DO need a degree, what's the best film school to go to? I'm thinking UCLA but they don't offer scholarships. Any other ideas?
    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Short answer: No. You do not need to go to film school in order to become a movie director. Steven Spielberg is a film-school reject and still became a director despite not having a degree in film.

      Longer answer: Only Steven Spielberg is Steven Spielberg. It's extremely difficult to become a feature film director, or even a commercial director, and you'll need an extraordinary amount of talent, tenacity, technical skill, and luck. Movies are expensive to make, and the director is the one who is essentially the captain of the ship and will ultimately determine if it sinks or has a glorious sail. Convincing a movie executive that you are the one capable of commandeering that ship is hard. Very, very hard. If you're labeled the creative genius of your class at a top film school like USC, NYU or UCLA it's very possible your reel of student films will help you land your first job. And if you knock your first job out of the park, you might get your second. Most film school students aren't the stars of their class, though, and many struggle to find and maintain work while paying off their debt. There are a lot of ifs and maybes involved for a degree that can be very costly and time consuming to obtain. Most people who do have film degrees don't become directors. They wind up working in development, distribution, acquisitions, marketing and in other capacities. Many either can't find work or burn out and pursue another career.

      Many people working in the film industry never went to film school. Some start their careers as low-paying assistants and climb up the ranks, and others make connections through their "day jobs" working in the industry in other capacities. Still, very few become movie directors due to simple supply and demand. There are far more people who call themselves movie directors than there are movies to be made. You might want to consider getting a degree in something more versatile and attending a summer program or a study abroad where you can get more experience in the craft of filmmaking. FAMU in Prague is ranked as the one of the best film schools in the world, and two top US universities (NYU and American University) have programs with them that are open to non-majors from other colleges. I know several kids who've gone there, and they've gotten a lot of useful technical experience in writing, editing, lighting, directing, producing, and sound.

      Take advantage of the resources you might already have available. It's free to create a YouTube channel to potentially broadcast your videos to millions, so if you don't already have one, get one. Cameras and editing software can be quite affordable. I'm not trying to suggest that this is the way you'll become a movie director - it's not - but it could give you a chance to exercise your creativity now and to get feedback from others.

      I'm linking an article below that might be interesting and helpful to you as well as the HR film school rankings.

      ~ skylark : )

  20. QUESTION:
    What is the name of the film that has adults playing children, in a forrest with a barn fire?
    I can remember seeing a film in University about a group of kids, played by adults, who are all hanging out in a forrest. A fire begins in a barn, and one of the kids is injured or killed - but I have no idea what it is called. Could be a feature film, or an extended short. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi there.
      It is a BBC televison play called "Blue Remembered Hills", written by Dennis Potter and starring Colin Welland. Excellent stuff.
      Cheers, Steve.

  21. QUESTION:
    What's a topic for a documentary that a kid in high school could do?
    Im in film class at my high school and we have to make a short film about anything we want. i have a good story together but im kind of into documentaries at this point in time, however i cant think of a conflict or topic. i would like some ideas for a topic i could do.

    things that may help-
    im a guy
    i play football
    im going to college next year
    i go to public school
    i live in Texas
    my school has super rich kids but also has kids on welfare
    my school is racially equivalent 33% of white black and Hispanic kids

    • ANSWER:
      Write something about bulling kids. That seems to be a hot issue. I know of a family who had a daughter who was adopted from Russia. She is a beautiful girl, cheerleader, but has no friends. (girls mostly) I believe she doesn't get bullied by the boys, it's the girls. Well anyway, it got so bad, the school wouldn't do anything, the parents moved out of the school district. That is getting pretty bad when that happens. She comes from a very reputable family. People need to be treated the same for kids to learn these days.

  22. QUESTION:
    Do you have any ideas for a short film?
    I am making a short film this summer and I need to come up with 12 ideas. I am open to any genre. I am interested in fantasy/drama/romance/comedy. I am not a huge horror fan, but if you have any horror ideas, I am still interested. It should be about 3-5 minutes. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      When I did my student film, back when we used "Super-8" film cameras, I did several versions of the old "kid gets hit by a car' joke, and it killed my audience - they loved it!

      I made up a dummy that resembled my main character, using yarn for hair, etc. and using the same khakis and light blue shirt on both dummy and actor. In the key scene, I had a car approaching; my actor was seen approaching the crosswalk, and then *CUT* move the actor out, and *ROLL* throw the dummy in front of the car, striking the dummy and sending it flying. The camera follows the dummy's flight. Once the dummy lands *CUT* tha actor takes the dummy's place, and "*ROLL* the kid gets up and dusts himself off.

      Options at this point can be "blood" suddenly soaking through the kid's clothes, broken bones, etc. Once you get the technique down, which is much easier and cheaper with digital and video tape than film, then you can expand to the old "kid falls off the schollbuilding" joke, "kid gets dragged by the schoolbus" joke, and, my favorite, the old "kid gets fed into the tree-chipper" joke.

  23. QUESTION:
    So i am trying to make a Christmas horror short film any ideas?
    This is for a school project and i am using four 14 year old(3 boys,1 girl) and two 7 year old(1 boy 1 girl).I need an idea ASAP.Please and thank you

    • ANSWER:
      the girl received a christmas gift which is like a... oiuja board or something from the guy who likes her, (he just got that somewhere because he's broke and dont know what to give since the girl is into those stuff, witchcraft and shiit) and then the spirit of the kids got out and haunt them lol

  24. QUESTION:
    I have to make a short movie for school?
    So, I need some topic ideas for the short film. It has to be about Halloween and has to be 5 minutes or under. I need some ideas that aren't that scary, and can be kind of funny. Anything?

    • ANSWER:
      A man attempting to scare trick-or-treaters when they come to his house (by jumping out of the bushes or other crazy things) and not doing so well. Maybe at the end have him give up and accidentally does something that scares the kids.

      More funny then scary.

  25. QUESTION:
    How can I start getting paid to write film music?
    I am a film composer and I want to start getting paid to write music for films. I am not talking about like Hollywood type of payment. I'm not sure how to do this though. Anyone have an idea on how someone who lives in a different state than me is able to pay me? Thank you!

    • ANSWER:
      I can recommend a few avenues for you.

      1. Create a website that has your Bio, Resume and links to favourite film composers (and how they inspired you). Then add a number of uncompressed audio formatted midi bridges (samples) of your work. Add anything from simple harmonies, full orchestration, piano, guitar, etc. I hired my last composer based on his website samples alone. Any studio material you have with other musicians is important as well.

      2. Get involved with local filmmakers in their shorts/feature productions. When (and if) they get screened at festivals is where you will meet other indie Producers you might have impressed.

      3. Hang out at local and state film festivals and hand out demo CD/DVD's to Agency Reps and Producers. These kids winning awards at festivals are the ones getting feature funding.

      DO NOT send any completed tracks to Producers online until you have a deal memo (contract) and partial payment. Most Producers will offer you 'deferred salary' which means you will be paid when the film becomes profitable. This means after all negative costs are paid off, investors, etc. Remember, that most indie films do not make any money so 'deferred salary' really means that you are working for free.

      Ps
      I do know a filmmaker that specializes in stock film and sound clips who buys by the piece. When you have your web-site set up (and if your music is any good) I'll send him a link.

  26. QUESTION:
    Animated Short Film on The Movie Channel?
    Hey when I was a kid I saw this really neat animated short. It was on the Movie Channel. They would play these short films before movies sometimes to make up for time. It was on the same time there was one about a dog farting. But this video was about some weird looking animals that resembled dinosaurs and elephants that were leaving to a better home, migrating to a safer place, or something like that. It had no dialogue I don;t think. It was just some really cool music playing. Any ideas what this could be?

    • ANSWER:
      On youtube search for the 2009 Sakura-Con ad.

  27. QUESTION:
    Need help in writing a story - many stories going on at once?
    I'm a screenwriter and up until know I've been writing very simple and linear screenplays, of which I've turned into short student films as well. For my next screenplay, I want to do one in which many stories are going on at once but end up tying together at the end. So far, I'm really stumped as I can't find a way to make the different stories coincide. Any help extremely appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Hmm . . .
      Well, you could maybe try something about a few young kids who have tough lives. For example, one little boy could be neglected and/or abused. And a different little girl could be lonely and/or confused or something like that. Then they could all come together at a program for troubled kids or something like that.

      Or maybe you could tell about a few different girls and their teen pregnancies, and they all join a group against teen/unplanned pregnancies and become friends, helping each other to raise the babies.

      Or you could just do those two ideas tied together: one little boy who is abused, a pregnant teenager, and a homeless boy/girl. They all end up helping each other. For example, the little boy could meet the hobo and hide the hobo in his house somewhere, and the pregnant girl could somehow be related to the homeless person.

      I dunno, these probably aren't good; I'm not a screenwriter. Hope I helped, though! Good luck!

  28. QUESTION:
    what are some short film ideas?
    i have to pitch 2 short film ideas. They have to be either a meeting between 2 people or tie 2 events together somehow. It also has to be simple because I have to film it at school and we only have about 4-5 hours. and the final film can only be 3-5 minutes. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      how about someone that cant think of a short film so he/she plans a heist to steal the smartest kids short film from class

      that started as sarcastic but that may be kind of good

  29. QUESTION:
    Question for lawyers or anyone with knowledge of criminal attorneys/legal procedures?
    Hello, I'm currently in school and am working on a new screenplay, which centers on a 17-year-old perpetrator of a school shooting. It's a short film, largely constructed of one scene with the kid and a court-appointed lawyer. I thought it would be an interesting scenario, given the way I've written their characters.

    But I know absolutely nothing about what attorney and client talk about when they see each other.

    My most important question: What would lawyer and client usually go over in a situation such as this? That is, what would their meeting center around? I have ideas of how I want each character to act, but I don't know what they'll be talking about yet. If it matters, there is substantial evidence against the kid, as well as witnesses. Think shooters in the past few years who've allowed themselves to be caught.

    I really appreciate any help - sorry for not knowing anything.. I'm just starting to write this and would also welcome any legal jargon you throw my way. Anything to keep this thing accurate.

    • ANSWER:
      Anyone who hires a lawyer/ attorney is trying to get the best result on a court day.

      The lawyer would not be judgemental, they act in the clients best interest- no matter what the client has done they remain inpartial. So he / she would not show discust at the shooters actions etc.

      The lawyer would do the best he / she could to get the lowest sentencing possibe- Which in this instance would mean submitting an early 'insanity' plea. The whole conversation would revolve around how to put in an insanity plea, the lawyer would instruct the shooter on how he should answer and behave in court etc.

      That's how the conversation would go.

  30. QUESTION:
    Who was the first Hollywood diva (man or woman) to demand nobody look them in the eyes?
    I have read in various sources in recent years that some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and the music industry insist no one look them directly in the eyes when they do public appearances. This is just one of many egotistical behaviors common in the entertainment industry. Does anyone know if this is a recent phenomenon or an old one? Any ideas about which jerk movie star or musician was the first to make this demand? I know Jennifer Lopez is notorious for this.

    • ANSWER:
      dang it, u took my answer lol i was gonna say Jennifer Lopez.
      and no, sorry i don't know who was the first to do this but it probably started a long time ago... like when there were silent films and black & white movies out. but i don't think u could ever figure out who was first.

      but J. Lo probably does it the most... she is such a beyotch. "Jenny From the Block" my @$$ lol.

      edit: Tom Cruise does it too... i remember my teacher telling me a story about when he met Tom. long story short, my teacher asked for his autograph and Tom said, "you've got to be kidding me!" and laughed in his face. he's a huge jerk too.

  31. QUESTION:
    So i am trying to make a Christmas horror short film any ideas?
    This is for a school project and i am using four 14 year old(3 boys,1 girl) and two 7 year old(1 boy 1 girl).I need an idea ASAP.Please and thank you,i will give you credit when i edit and do the film ...and i will send you the link when its up on youtube

    • ANSWER:
      It could be about the teenagers having like a mini house party and then the kids (elves) come along and say stuff like "Santa does not approve of naughty children" and then the elves could go about killing all the teenagers. One survives and they could go to a mental hospital?

  32. QUESTION:
    How to let my parents go on acting auditions?
    Performing is my life. I love singing and acting so much it's literally all I can see myself doing. I've wanted to be an actress since I was a little kid. I've done classes and worksops and school plays but I want to go on real auditions. I really want to do this. I want to ask my parents about starting up an acting career. I feel like I'm running out of tine. I'm 15 btw. How can I ask them and get them to agree with me? This is really what I want. I feel like they'll just laugh at me and say no.

    • ANSWER:
      First, you're not running out of time. You don't have to have a professional career as a child to have a professional career as an adult. One thing you have to understand is that a professional career doesn't happen over night. You have to be in it for the long haul. Your parents have paid for classes and workshops and helped you get to and from rehersals to school plays, so they are supporting you. If you really do want to have a career, you're going to have to learn how to talk to people. So talk to your parents about what your goals are. (Not just what you want - but ways you think you can get it.)

      So maybe start looking at community theaters in your area to see what they have coming up that you could audition for. You or your parents could contact any local film schools/programs and ask them how they get actors for their student films. Check out the website for your local film commission and see what's happening in your area. Those might present some opportunties for you for "real" auditions.

      You'll also need to keep building your skills (which shouldn't be tough for you to do since you love performing). So continue with acting classes. Voice classes and dance lessons can be fun too. Join a choir, dance troupe or other performance group. Check into if there are any speech/drama clubs (or maybe starting one) so you could compete in the acting divisions of speech/drama forensic competitions. Read A LOT - plays and scripts, to keep an eye out for characters and monologues that you love and want to develop. Read other things - novels, short stories, poems - because an understanding of language and storytelling will help you as an actor. Play improv games with your friends, create your own home movies, put on your own productions. Basically have fun learning and growing as an actor.

      But if you're thinking about more professional work, you need to understand that professional acting is a business. You're not going to be able to show up at some open audition and be "discovered" - that's not how the industry works. Companies invest a lot of money in their productions and they trust that investment to trained and experienced professionals, so auditions are arranged through a talent agent and there usually aren't open auditions. Even for some of the other things I mentioned like student films, there may not be open auditions. You may just send in your head shot and an acting resume to the director/casting director and then they contact you if they're interested in having you come in for an audition.

      Talent agents are paid on commission - they receive a percentage of what their clients make. (Never pay an agent up front.) Since they are paid only if their clients are paid, they are picky about who they take on as clients. And they can be picky because there are a lot more people wanting to be actors than there are parts. And so you (or your parents) have to know what professional work is available in your area and whether it even makes sense for you to have an agent at this point.

      It could be helpful if you have a good idea of just what you're asking your parents to do in order for you to have a professional career at your age. They'll need to do the research to understand the entire casting process, who the players are, how it all fits together, what professional work is actually available for you in the area. Depending on where you live and what you're hoping for - they'll have to understand acting unions, industry contracts (GSA vs SAG), and things like that. You may need an entertainment work permit and a trust account established in your name. Networking and having conacts in the industry is how you find out about opportunties, so they'd have to do that. There are a lot of scams and ripoffs out there, so your parents are going to have to do a lot of research to understand the business end of things so no one takes advantage of you. It's a lot more than just taking you to and from some "real" auditions.

      There's a website run by a non-profit group for families in the enteratinment industry. You and your parents might want to look it over (they have a whole "getting started" section and the like):

      http://www.bizparentz.org/

      This website also has some helpful articles about the acting industry and kids:

      http://www.backstage.com/topics/kids/

      Good luck.

  33. QUESTION:
    I am making a short film about lawyers who donate their time to young children who find themselves in trouble?
    I just need some help in trying to convey through the movie a message to viewers that we need more people to get out and donate their time to various causes.
    Any ideas??

    • ANSWER:
      Almost every city has a program offered through the court systems through which lawyers volunteer their services for free to help folks. Call the clerk of the court near you or your legal aid office and ask them about their "pro bono" programs. That's what they call it. The lawyers on that list, including myself, take cases for free to help people in need. Some help teen runaways, others to help kids , but most of us take whatever we are asked to if we are in an area of law that we know enough about to be helpful. Talk to some of the lawyers who do this kind of work and the organizations they work with - and the people they helped - and you should get some great stories

  34. QUESTION:
    What Dutch Film would you recommend for someone learning Dutch?
    I am currently learning Dutch and would like to watch a Dutch film (preferably with English subtitles) so that I can learn Dutch whilst watching. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      1. If you have started studying Dutch there can be a great help from the children's cartoons like "Nijntje" (known worldwide as Miffi). Check out some cartoons on YouTube: they are very short, simple and understandable even for 3-5 year old kids. They helped me a lot.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P2jbkTJI6E
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN_HWMfYHEc
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSEbG2ii68o&feature=related

      Here is a selection of Nijntje DVDs released in The Netherlands, you can see the the original versions: http://www.freerecordshop.nl/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/FreeRecordShop-FRS_B2C_NL-Site/nl_NL/-/EUR/ViewFas-List;pgid=7FWGaYD0CvtSR0czkTiH2yE00000WQQDljPI?fh_Params=fh_location%3D%252f%252ffrs%252fnl_NL%252fsite%253e%257bfreerecordshop%257d%252f_personsn%253e%257b480749%257d%252fcategories%253c%257bfrs_02%257d%26fh_reftheme%3Dpromo_nl_BE_113045015%252cseeall%252c%252f%252ffrs%252fnl_NL%252fsite%253e%257bfreerecordshop%257d%252f_personsn%253e%257b480749%257d%26fh_refview%3Dsummary&SubCat=02 (I order from this web-shop in NL, they say they send products outside the country, but I am not sure it is the best deal for you)

      Looking for more gratis episodes of Nijtje (Miffi) watch out: some clips may contain adult content decorated as the cartoon!

      2. There were Dutch film being nominated or winning international awards, including Oscars. They are available in different versions (synchronized or subtitled)

      "Zus & Zo" http://www.allmovie.com/dvd/zus-and-zo-38830 It's a comedy and it should have English subtitles.
      "Antonia" (for the foreign market "Antonia's Life") http://www.allmovie.com/work/antonias-line-134973

      The following films are directed by famous Paul Verhoeven and they aren't for children.

      "Zwartboek" with Carise van Houten http://www.allmovie.com/work/black-book-334955 (with the link to the official site)
      "Soldaat van Oranje" http://www.allmovie.com/work/soldier-of-orange-45513
      "Turks Fruit" http://www.allmovie.com/work/turkish-delight-51242

      3. Any foreign film released in The Netherlands isn't synchronized, but subtitled. It can be helpful to watch some of your favorite movies following the Dutch text.

  35. QUESTION:
    I need help with ideas for a short film storyline.?
    I'm making a low budget short film, and i would like some help with ideas for a storyline please! My main idea is a kid who believes he is a superhero, but i also need a storyline idea too! Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Comedy is your best bet cant help with ideas that is your job

  36. QUESTION:
    What type of film school would yield the most experience?
    I'm trying to decide which type of program would help me break into the industry and start me off better. The North Carolina School of the Arts is a conservatory in which I can get a 4 year degree. Other programs such as the New York Film Academy or LA Film School are shorter (1-2 years) and are centered in major film cities.

    • ANSWER:
      It depends on what you mean by experience.
      If you're primarily interested in making it out to Hollywood then you should apply to schools like USC and UCLA which offer pretty comprehensive film educations and terrific facilities. You can land internships with major production companies and crew on feature film sets while you attend school.
      However, simply rushing out to L.A. isn't the best thing for everyone. Kids get grand ideas in their heads about achieving instant success before they've even discovered who they are as an artist.
      After all that's what film school should be, artist training school with film being the medium.
      Schools like North Carolina School of the Arts, SVA, and Syracuse offer programs that basically act as pressure cookers.
      You enter the program knowing that you want to make movies and exit the program knowing how to make them and why you want to make them.

      Now, if you want to goto Film school specifically for the technical training I would suggest the New York Film Academy. However, you aren't really getting a college experience with NYFA, and you may find that interacting with a wider array of people and maybe taking a few non-film classes will really benefit you in the long run.

      No matter which film school you goto you'll be working on sets and making valuable connections with people that could last the rest of your life and will be essential in your quest to carve out a niche in the film industry. Its all about finding something within the realm of Film, whether it be directing, producing, gaffing, and perfecting that particular skill to the point where you can make a living by doing it.

      Anyways, go for it. The experience is well worth it,(I've lived through it) no matter where you go. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  37. QUESTION:
    Ideas for an emotional scene in a video?
    I'm taking a video production class and our next assignment is to film a scene that's emotional. It's supposed to give the audience the same feelings as the actors. It can be as short as 10 seconds It's just a scene, not a whole movie idea. I need some help though. I'm not sure how to do this. I don't know where to begin. Should I do something sad or happy? Please give me some scenarios on what I can do. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      I strongly reccomend you watch the movie trailer for extremely loud and incredibly close. That might
      spark an idea. For example. In the movie this kid has extreme emotional pain because of the loss
      of his dad in 9/11. Maybe try to make the audience put themselves in his shoes.

  38. QUESTION:
    How can i get money for college? Donating sperm is that a good idea?
    I plan on becoming a film director/writer/producer now i dont know how i will ever get money for college and was wondering is giving sperm a good idea? Its like having a kid you do not know about and if i do do it And lets say my career goes really well i become a famous director is there anyway of getting your kids back i mean cause i would kinda want to. Is there any other way to get easy money besides online? And how much do you get from giving out sperm every pop

    • ANSWER:
      Well giving your sperm would be great or selling it would be even better but you do have a slit problem here you have to wait until someone buys it. This is going to be a wait because women are looking for some one who fits there standards do you? Also you could apply to your state for finical aid the college have grants if your grades are up to par already the state could in fact pick up more than you really know about. the sperm thing would be great also but like I said someone has to make a purchase and like another has said given or donate does not make you much money however it does give a good feeling for a short period of time.

  39. QUESTION:
    What are some different fun family things to do in Oregon?
    My sister and I get a budget of 0 to plan a day of fun. My dad doesn't know what will we be doing until we get there. I REALLY WANT TO DO A DRIVE IN MOVIE. but there are no kid friendly movies playing labor day weekend. I was also thinking about going to an old fashion soda bar and diner. We have already don't all the typical Portland stuff like the zoo and parks and stuff I am looking for some unusual or different places. We want to have an adventure. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thank you :)

    • ANSWER:
      Aha, a budget of 0? It is enough to have a fun-filled day. You said you don't want all the typical Portland stuff, here suggestions for something special to do in Portland or. Hope you like it.

      *3D Center of Art and Photography (1928 NW Lovejoy St.)
      Since you want to watch a movie, why not pay a visit to 3D Center of Art and Photography? This museum features the best in antique and contemporary 3D imagery. The highlight of the museum is that you can watch as many short films as you feel inclined to. Some of them are truly amazing. Best of all, the admission to the museum is very affordable. People (15 years and over) are charged and youth 14 years and younger are free. So, you can use the rest money to have a wonderful dinner with your sister.

      *24 Hour Church of Elvis (408 N.W. Couch)
      This is a fun exhibit at a museum and gallery called "Where is the Art?" Maybe you won't spend too much time there, but it's still a lot of fun. Put in a quarter, press a button and the screen will talk to you. Sounds interesting, right? I think you will love it.

      *Portland Aerial Tram
      I think most kids love to soar above the city. What about you? If yes, take Portland Aerial Tram. The tram is in the shape of a futuristic-looking pod running above the city. It runs between the South Waterfront district and Oregon Health & Science University. The roundtrip fare is just per person.

      *Forest Park
      You mentioned you want an adventure. Then, what about a hiking trip? If you are interested in this idea, Forest Park is just an ideal destination for a hiking trip. This is the nation's largest urban wilderness, with the 30-mile Wildwood Trail where you can glimpse as many as 175 different species animals.

      The above-mentioned attractions are all inexpensive. That is to say, after a one-day exploration, you still have money to enjoy a dinner. When speaking of Portland dining, there are many kid-friendly restaurants in Portland. Here are some top recommendations.

      *Portland Farmer's Market - SW Harrison and Montgomery South Park Blocks (highly recommended)
      *Piazza Italia Restaurant (Italia cuisine) - 1129 NW Johnson St.
      *Three Square Grill (New American cuisine, burgers) - 6230 SW Capitol Hwy
      *Chez Jose (Mexican cuisine) - 8502 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
      *Bombay Cricket Club Restaurant (Indian, Middle Eastern cuisine) - 1925 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

      You can choose your favorite one according to your flavor. As I don't know your flavor, the above-mentioned restaurants may not be your likings. If so, you may choose your favorite restaurant from this link:
      http://www.portland-hotels-oregon.com/restaurants-portland

      Have a wonderful day!

  40. QUESTION:
    How to convince my dad to let me go on a road trip this summer?
    So I'm seventeen and over the summer two of my best friends and one of their boyfriends are going on a two week road trip and they invited me. It sounds like a lot of fun and I really want to go but I'm worried that my dad won't let me because I'm not eighteen yet. I don't even know how to approach him just to ask if I can go. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Short story

      "babe I'm so excited for this movie!"
      "I have no clue how you drag me into these movies every time! I'm whipped."
      "No your not! Your just in love! And this ones supposed to be really good! All the reviews are so good!" 
      "I swear you say that every time! You just know how to get me to do things, one day I'll figure out how to say no!"
      "no you won't, you can't say no to this smile!"
      "You know me way too well."

      I knew every time that Sara picked the movie, it's was going to be a chick flick. And yet, I let her pick the movie every time. Over the years I realized that if she doesn't like the movie, I can't enjoy the movie. And every time she picks the movie its a special night! She gets dressed up and then both of us are happy. And tonight was no different.

      I was waiting downstairs watching the lakers game when she walked down. She knew how she looked and made sure to get my attention so I knew it too. As I took my eyes off the game and set my eyes on Sara I felt like we were kids again. Chills were sent down my spine, I remembered how lucky I am. Her apparel was so simple, nothing more then a dress and a sweater. But to me I knew she would be the best looking one there. She had a glow about her, one that I could remember all the way back in high school. 

      I've known Sara since we were in junior high together. She was that sweet innocent girl that was always more mature then the rest of us. And I was that obnoxious jock that thought he was a big deal because he was captain of the middle school football team. We always knew who each other was, but wouldn't talk to each other in a million years. Then we hit high school, and I realized she was just the type of girl that completed my personality. She had probably spoken 10 words to me in three years in junior high. And somehow she knew better then I knew myself. I fell hard, and eventually she fell too. We grew up together, went through so many firsts together, and now remain together. She knows everything about me, and yet it never gets old.

      As I looked at her I got really red. 
      "well now that I swept you off your feet, now you have all night to sweep me off mine." she said.

      The tall task wouldn't be easy, but I had done It many times before. After we dropped the kids off at the babysitters, we went to dinner. I wasn't the classiest guy in the world, but I'm not the cheapest either. So we went to Freddie's bar and grill, it was a local restaurant and it had some really good steak! She got a salad, like usual and after we went to the movie. It's always nice to get away from everything and just be with Sara. When we got to the movie theatre a big screen was flashing, "Opening night, Harry Potter and the goblet of fire!". Sara loves Harry Potter, she's seen every single movie and read every book at least twice. She's an avid fan, with dedication I don't think I could ever show for something. Some may call it geeky but I just call it impressive! 

      "Jim! I'm so excited!" she said as she looked at the screen.
      "It better be good! That's all I got to say" I replied.

      We walked in the theatre got our tickets and gave them to the employee by the door. We found our seats and got ready for the show. After what seemed like half an hour of non-stop previous the opening scene finally showed! 

      Everyone shouted, "wooooooh!" 

      As the film started to get interesting I noticed I was more into it then Sara was! What can I say? She has good taste! Sara realized it too. Then she leaned over to me.

      "Hey, can I get some popcorn?"

      I reached into my pocket for my wallet, but it wasn't there.

      "shoot! I left it in the car. Do you want me to go get it?" I said
      "oh no, I'll go get it just give
      Me the keys." she replied

      I gave her the keys and she went out to the car. She was a little bit tipsy from the wine she had at Freddie's, to he honest it's a miracle she even found the car! She unlocked the front door and reached in the glove compartment for my wallet. Unfortunately (for me) she was so intoxicated she couldn't control her own body weight. And she rammed her hand so hard, she broke through to another level. In that moment Sara was confused, because it was another level of room. So was drunk but she wasn't oblivious. She saw a camera and a hand gun. As she looked at the camera she saw various pictures of me and friends that she had met. But she knew something was happening in these pictures. She saw a transaction was happening and knew that the man she was married to wasn't exactly who she thought he was. For the moment, she hid the camera and tried to fix the glove compartment. She knew she had to wait until we got home to reveal to me what she now knew. When she got back to the theatre she had no popcorn and no wallet. 

      I asked her "What took her so long?"
      She replied saying "I just needed to go to the bathroom and decided I didn't want popcorn."

      I knew something was going on because Sara either had to drop a huge dump or s

  41. QUESTION:
    Business class question: How should a photography studio deal with cheap photographers?
    This is for a Business course and the question is how to deal with businesses that seriously undercut your business. I picked a difficult area to study and report on but I did this on purpose as pricing a business takes some serious thought. The area I picked was opening a Photography studio.

    I've been looking at this for a long time, I checked with a couple local photographers and one charges and includes a CD, but won't give you any prints. Another charges for the sitting fee then you buy your print package. With the cheapest print package the cost is around 0. This lady opened a shop in the local mall. All her pricing was a-la-carte and priced per unit. unit price was and was either one 8x10, two 5x7 or eight wallet. On top of that she waived her sitting fee when you ordered or more. She did nice work but her store only lasted 3 months at the most, then it was gone.

    Next we had to do some figuring on what we would need to charge to offer that service. I could never figure out how places like WalMart could offer .95 for a sitting fee in their studio and include a free print package. Then someone I knew went there. Turns out the .95 price was only good for one child (what if you have 3 kids?) and they only got a 15 minute session and got to pick one pose. The so called "fee" print package was printed on substandard paper in a consumer lab. I about fell on the floor when she asked me to borrow 0 because she was short the day she went, she thought she would only need to spend .95 so she didn't have enough cash with her and she was about 0 short.

    When I reviewed the lady who was charging a sitting fee, she'll give you up to an hour in the studio, let you change clothes a couple of times and even give you some outdoor shots in the park. When I started pushing a pencil, she's making less than per hour because she edits at least 40 proofs per client. She also uses a high end pro lab which costs several times more than a consumer buying a set of prints at WalMart. I don't understand how she keeps doing it, because many people around here think she's high priced.

    When I did the math, the cheapest a professional photographer should charge is 0 for the sitting fee and by the time they walk out they should have paid at least 0 total. Two of these clients per week is the minimum you could have to make ,000 per year. I allowed for taxes, insurance, studio rental, etc when figuring.

    I know form experience, a customer walks in the door and asks "what are your prices?" You show them your price list, they shake their heads and walk out the door. Nobody is going to ask what photo lab you use or what they get for a sitting, they want to know how much. The sad thing is, there's always someone cheaper out there. There's really nothing that can be done to prevent someone from buying a 0 entry level DSLR then offering senior photos for a sitting fee.

    I do have to admit, I've seen some darn nice photos come from some cheap photographers, but they clearly aren't going to make it and they are causing clients to think photo sessions should be cheap. So then when a customer comes in and asks for my prices, what it the best way to present my prices? If I just hand them a price list, someone is going to shout OMG! and walk out the door. So I have all these people undercutting me, but I need to charge enough to justify my business, how do I do that?

    • ANSWER:
      Puppy has a good idea.

      Offer a quickie, economical package

      Having some of your premium portraits hanging on the walls of your office and studio will go a long way to show the quality of your services.

      Our studio provides everything from the portraits Realtors use on their business cards to full production facilities for producers of music video.

      We keep our studio active by renting it to pros who do not want to invest in a studio, but need to rent one from time to time.

      We also hold workshops, seminars and classes in photography for those just learning how to use a fully adjustable camera to working pros who want to expand their services.

      There are many ways to produce income other than shooting portraits.

      We are currently working on an agreement with a local newspaper to supply coverage on weekends or when their staff is short handed.

      I am sure you can think of many other ways to increase cash flow.

      There are a lot of "guys with cameras" who think that having a nice shinny camera makes them a pro and they do NOT depend upon their skills to earn an income, so have no clue to what the cost of doing business really is.

      This happened in the late 1960's and early 1970's when a person could buy a Petri 35 mm SLR for under 0 and with that, they thought they were instant photographers. It took about a decade for those "photographers" to become frustrated and give up, but now with dSLR's and people willing to under cut working pros and use the machine gun method of shooting to get one good shot, it may be that owning and operating a photo studio is going to come to an end in another decade or so.

      Too many photo editors in today's news and editorial agencies, cannot really tell the difference between a well composed and exposed image from an iPhone snapshot. This is really the root cause of the waning business of photography. The dumbing down of photographic quality (the deliberate diminishing of the intellectual level of the content of literature, film, photography, schooling and education, news, etc), based on economics and the willingness of photography buyers to buy from "guys with cameras"

  42. QUESTION:
    Movie consisting of short films about taxi drivers in NYC?
    I'm trying to remember a movie I watched that was a compilation of short films (I think) about taxi drivers in NYC. Does anyone have any idea what movie i'm thinking of? I think it was about different taxi drivers but it may be the same one. I don't remember much more about it but I think some lady was stranded somewhere on the streets at one point and another short film was where a kid tries to pick up a girl in central park or some place like that.

    • ANSWER:
      There is a movie called "The Taxi Driver". I will give you the link to it's website so you can see if that's it.

      https://www.msu.edu/user/svoboda1/taxi_driver/

      Hope this helps.

  43. QUESTION:
    What is functionalist point of view in this documentary?
    I'm watching a documentary for sociology class called, "Bowling For Columbine" and I need to write a short paper on the functionalist point of view. I am having trouble fully understanding the definition of functionalist and how it relates to this film.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Queen,
      You might start your paper with a short summary of the functionalist perspective. Remember that a sociologist analyzing a social system from that perspective is looking for the beneficial outcomes or functions that various social patterns fulfill. We're interested in systems maintenance.. how does the pattern under consideration help to maintain the overall system. It's assumed that patterns of interaction that persist over time always have some systems maintenance purpose or function. Think of the organs of the human body and what they do as an analogy. The heart pumps blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to cells and carries away waste products. So the shape and activity of the heart can be explained as fulfilling those functions. Beyond that functionalists suggest that individuals are also getting something out of behavior patterns. Their needs are being met and that's why they participate in the pattern of activity.

      Once you've described functionalism you can turn these ideas on an analysis of the Columbine killings. Describe some of the behavior patterns Moore included in his film. Why, for example does the Bank he visited give away guns in exchange for large deposits? Try describing some of the patterns of the high school. How are kids self-segregated? Why do the killers wear what they do? Who benefits from the pattern of gun ownership and use in the community and in the U.S. at large? How do you explain bullying? Etc. Regards.

  44. QUESTION:
    What was your dream job as a kid?
    I am making a short film and I need some ideas for people's dream jobs when they were a kid.

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      an insult comic, believe it or not, and politician like Abraham Lincoln

  45. QUESTION:
    What are some good summer bucket list ideas?
    Crazy ideas, like rebellious things. I'm doing it with a few friends and we need a lot of crazy ideas to add to our lists! (We are all 15 and 16 so don't make it like little kid stuff, please!)

    • ANSWER:
      1. Go for a walk/run/jog in the woods/park.
      2. Get some chalk. Play hopscotch and draw.
      3. Read a good book in a hammock.
      4. Go on a nature hike.
      5. Play some tennis/basketball/badminton.
      6. Go to a farmers’ market. Buy at least one weird thing you’ve never eaten before.
      7. Have a water balloon toss or fight. Whichever you prefer.
      8. Go to a yoga class.
      9. Go on a bike ride.
      10. Make a nature photo collage.
      11. See how many laps you can swim in a row. Keep practicing. Then see how many you can do by the end of the summer.
      12. Look at stars one night.
      13. Play Bingo with the old folks (never admit it when you won, or give winnings to the person sitting beside you. It’s not nice to take from the old people)
      14. Write a novel/short story. Base it on true events or just completely make it up. You can even write about things that you wish would happen in your life.
      15. Convince a random person that you’re their long-lost third cousin.
      16. Write messages on note cards. Stick the note cards in balloons and blow them up. Hang the balloons on friends/neighbors porches. When they pop the balloon they read the secret message
      17 Pick wild flowers and then play ding-dong-ditch, leaving the bouquets on people’s doorsteps. It will brighten their day (or leave ones with bugs in them on people’s doorsteps that you don’t like.
      18. Take dog for walk and runs.
      19. Have a Nerf gunfight.
      20. Have a picnic.
      21. Have an overnight movie marathon.
      22. Buy and use and develop an underwater camera.
      23. Sketch a flower.
      24. Bury a friend in the sand.
      25. Go fishing.
      26. Sleep in your backyard.
      27. Create a photo journal.
      28. Write a play.
      29. Make green eggs and ham.
      30. Sketch your pet.
      31. Have a high tea, only use iced-teas.
      32. Watch the sunrise.
      33. Watch the sunset.
      34. Make a collage out of old magazines.
      35. Swing.
      36. Skip stones at a lake.
      37. Give your dog/pet a bath outside.
      38. Leave notes in library books for the next person to find.
      39. Run through a sprinkler.
      40. Sleep until noon – once.
      41. Tie-dye your bed sheets.
      42. See some fireworks.
      43. See a professional baseball game. Cough cough Cubs.
      44. Play mini-golf.
      45.Get together with some friends and make a movie. Don’t forget to write a script, make costumes and pick the best location.
      46. Leave initials (and possibly hand print) in wet concrete.
      47. Go to the zoo.
      48. Spend an entire day in a grocery store
      49. Play Tag In The Rain.
      50. Get Bikes.
      51. Bike five miles.
      52. Go to the YMCA.
      53. Write a complaint/satisfaction letter, just to get free stuff.
      54. Go to Quincy.
      55. Fill up a whole coloring book.
      56. Destroy a watermelon.
      57. Hang out with friends.
      58. Learn a new hobby.
      59. READ books.
      60. Go to the library.
      61. Stand in 2 different states at once.
      62. Go to build-a-bear.
      63. Stay outside for 12 hours straight.
      64. Legitimate photo shoot.
      65. Celebrate a foreign holiday the way the natives do.
      66. Get a tan tattoo.
      67. Convince someone you’re from a foreign country.
      68. Wake up every morning before 9:00 a.m.
      69. Water fight. Including but not limited to: balloons, guns, hoses, and buckets.
      70. Superglue a quarter to the ground.
      71. Bake Dog Treats.
      72. Go 24 hours without food.
      73. Write a note on a stranger’s windshield with dry-erase marker.
      74. enter a photo contest.
      75. Buy a goldfish.
      76. Answer phones like buddy the elf.
      77. Bake a batch of really cute cupcakes.
      78. Go a whole week without technology.
      79. Watch a meteor shower (Aug. 13).
      80. Write a letter to the editor.
      81. Pick an official summer song.
      82. Go To An Outdoor Concert.
      83. Mow the Lawn.
      84. Plant something edible.
      85. Spend one whole day barefoot.
      86. Help an old lady cross the street.
      87. Create something made out of duct tape.
      88. Play tennis in the rain.
      89. Sleep in a car for a night.
      90. Go To A Fair.
      91. Watch a foreign film.
      92. Have everyone you meet for a day sign your shirt.
      93. Jump into a pool fully clothed.
      94. Carve your name into a tree.
      95. Stretch every day
      96. Go to an “Open Late” restaurant past midnight
      97. Continue into my journey of photography. Yes, this means experiment on Molly and nature, anything and everything.
      98. Buy Ice Cream From The Ice Cream Truck.
      99. Go to a midnight movie premiere
      100. Go a whole week without technology.
      101. Go 48 hours without shoes on.
      102. Face Paint.
      103. Go to an aquarium
      104. Eat Kabobs.
      105. Learn 10 new words. And actually use them.
      106. Go movie hopping.
      107. Cover a car in sticky notes.
      108. Build and start a campfire.
      109. Go Flower-Picking.
      110. Have a Disney movie marathon.
      111. No facebook for two weeks.
      112. Have A Spa Day.
      113. Make a time capsule to open after college graduation.
      114. Finger paint a picture and then frame it.
      115. Say ‘yes’ to everything for one day.
      116. Carve a watermelon.
      There are more on the website down below
      Happy summer
      Alicia

  46. QUESTION:
    Can teachers make videos with students?
    I am the founder and president of the film club at my high school. This is the first year. We make short films and I thought of an idea where a not so popular kid attempts to get a prom date. In the film, the kid gets advice from various teachers. Do you think would do this / be allowed to do this? The advice would relatively make or break the hilarity of the film.

    • ANSWER:
      Yeah they probably would be able to do that, it really matters on your school. You'll have to ask a teacher.

  47. QUESTION:
    I need some advice on making a short film immediately!?
    I'm making a short film, And it's going to be on a beach, the only problem is i don't know what to make it about! I need to have it simple because i don't want too many people in it, but good enough to get an A, i'm going to edit it so if you've got any ideas they'd help a lot! THANKS.

    • ANSWER:
      it could be about a mother who goes to her car to get some more sunscreen or something, & when she comes back her kid is gone & she thinks he drown, so she calls the lifeguard to help her, but really he had gotten lost trying to follow her to the car or something...

  48. QUESTION:
    I want to go to jail for atleast one night what should i do?
    I just want to see how it's like. Will they allow 14 year olds spend the night there? Plus it will be soo hot to show other kids my mugshot! Do you get to keep the cute little orange outfits?
    Sinister, would PLEASE stop following me around on this site?
    what's a troll?
    MUG-SHOTS ARE REQUIRED UPON ENTERING A LAW ENFORCEMNT FACILITY!

    • ANSWER:
      What if someone wanted a real answer to a question like this?

      I was 14 once and yes, that would be cool to have a mugshot you can fool your friends with.

      When I was fourteen, my friends and I took an 8mm camera to the jail. It was the real old fashioned jail with bars and everything.

      The police agreed to pretend to arrest my friends as I filmed it. No way would they do anything like that today. Too many insurance problems and times are just changing.

      Ask your teachers about a scared straight program. I think it's a good idea for every young person to experience a short stay at a detention facility.

  49. QUESTION:
    What are some VERY general estimates of film costs?
    I have to do a movie project for a high school class and it requires a budget breakdown. I was wondering if anyone knew how much a crew costs, how much cgi costs, and how much studio space costs (you can base estimates on other movies).
    General estimates are more than sufficient.
    Also, please, if you provide an answer can you site your source or at least your name so I can give you credit? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      your question is impossible to answer because the real answer is "it depends." let me see if I can break it down for you a bit:
      to make a movie you probably need:
      a director
      a cinematographer (guy in charge of lighting)
      a sound guy (guy in charge of recording sound)
      a writer
      two actors (or more)
      an editor
      when I did school projects they all got paid zip.

      but if you were to pay them, it would probably be based on number of days they worked. how do you estimate that? depends on your script length. a page of standard formatted script runs at one minute for each page. So a 2 hour movie is about 120 pages long. how long is yours?
      a crew can be as complicated as hair/make-up, wardrobe, props, grip, best boy, script girl, etc., etc. etc... or if you did them like we did, everybody held multiple jobs.
      plus, a camera
      some film....
      what you need is to find a production budget spreadsheet. or read Robert Rodriguez book on filmmaking.
      are you shooting film? or digital. Film requires you to process the film and transfer it so you can edit it. Digital saves you money. you can look at what you shot right away and import it into your computer to edit.
      Digital is also more forgiving - meaning you won't have to rent or borrow lights to see what's going on in the scene. you can use "available light" to shoot your scenes.
      you also need to consider paying for rental of locations, costumes, props and stuff like that. and food for the cast and crew. again, if you use the rodriguez method, he created a script using stuff he already had access to and people who were already interested in doing it for free.and they made spaghetti to feed everybody.
      cgi? that's crazy talk unless you know somebody who can do that as a favor. other things you'll have to consider after the shoot is paying for music, sound effects, color correction, dubs, titles... and the list goes on. check out web sites like filmmaker.com to look for answers to your questions.
      I'd suggest you find someone who owns a digital camera and make him/her the director. find someone who has an editing program on their computer and make him/her the editor. then get together with some friends who want to "star" in a short film and brainstorm simple story ideas. It could be story as simple as wimpy guy trying to make it through the day without the neighborhood bully catching him, or a poor girl trying to raise money to buy a new swim suit for a cool pool party, or a kid who's afraid of the dark trying to make it through the night when his parent left town.
      George Washington by David Gordon Green; Straight Out of Brooklyn and Mariachi are three films made by guys who did a lot with very little.
      If you do this right, you should only have to pay for digital film tape and some DVDs to burn. You shouldn't try to be "professional" and budget studio space or hire actors. since you're learning the biz, do it with others who have a desire to try something without pay.
      as a student, you should spend more time worrying about telling a story that people want to watch than going for a high budget "studio" effects.

      in film school I made a 5 minute movie about a women who was driving around the neighborhood on her way to get her new dog. the trick was, she was really stalking the neighborhood and when she found the perfect dog, she jumped out of the car, grabbed it and took off. it was a shocker ending that film festivals loved. simple idea - One actor, one car, one director, one camera guy. one editor. one dog.
      everything starts with the script. do you have one?
      hope this helps.
      what you're doing right is asking questions. keep doing that. it's the only way you'll learn what you don't know.
      good luck.

  50. QUESTION:
    Can my mom call immigration on my boyfriend for smoking weed?
    So my boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 2 years and we live together. We been living together for about 5 months. For about a year my mother has hated my boyfriend because he smokes weed and she found out I was doing it to. We live in California, its practically legal and everyone does it. We're in the film industry which is present in it too. We both are productive, creative people with steady jobs and no kids. I just partake in it rarely but its not something that really matters in my life. But I've had enough of my mother fighting with with me about him. She's says she didn't give me life for me to live it this way. And she has the right to feel the way she does but she GAVE me life. Its now mine to do with it what I see fit. Im 24 years old my boyfriend is 29. Both of my older siblings smoke weed and on a regular basis. I tried talking to her calmly about it. Asking her to just stop the arguing because I'd rather enjoy my time with her than argue. And she refused to do this. She doesn't want to just let it go. And in fact she threatened me that she's take us and my boyfriend on the dr. phil show and prove that they way we're living isn't right. This threat doesn't scare me because my other is an immigrant and her english makes her feel self-conscious enough to not put herself in that position. But the only threat my mother did make (which I find very horrible considering she was once and immigrant her self) was to call immigration on my boyfriend (who is originally from the Philippines) for smoking weed. My boyfriend has a green card and has lived in the states for 7 years now. He qualifies for citizenship. Is it possible for a person to call immigration on a person for smoking weed? My boyfriend has never been arrested or caught with weed. He has no criminal record. How much value does this threat have? It concerns me because I can impinge myself spending the rest of my life with my boyfriend and the idea of my mother intentionally ripping us apart over weed disgust and infuriates me. She would rather end our communication and relationship than just drop the fight all together and let it go. So what should I do? how much do I need to worry about this? if at all? Should I kick his citizenship into gear and get it done asap? I wish I could resolve this issue but I don't think his habit is bad and I don't agree with my mother. So how can I fix this? because she is getting to the point of alienating all her children with her behavior. Thanks so much.
    I forgot to mention that my mother thought and STILL THINKS that my boyfriend is only interested in me for his citizenship.

    • ANSWER:
      Couple of elements in your lengthy question. First the easy part- If your boyfriend has a green card, he *can* get deported if he's convicted of a felony. As you pointed out, possession (or being under the influence) of marijuana in California these days is a very minor infraction. There is no more "Immigration." USCIS handles immigration matters, and it's doubtful anyone will be eager to chase your boyfriend for this offense.

      The bigger element seems to be your enabling her to stay involved in your adult life. You're 24, six years beyond the age where she has any legal influence over you. If you don't live with her, you don't have to do anything that she wants you to do with your life. She cannot "take you on the Dr. Phil show" because you don't have to go. Period, full stop.

      Should he become a US citizen? Yep. US citizens can't be deported for crimes.

      I don't know what you mean by, "I can impinge myself ...." (Look in the dictionary for "impinge.")

      What should you do? Ignore her threats. She can't harm you. And it's very doubtful she could harm your adult boyfriend for marijuana. Is she alienating her adult children? Yep. What should you do? Nothing. Remember, you are only responsible for your own behavior. No one else's. You can't change her behavior, so don't try. Maybe if you leave her alone for awhile, the time you do spend with her will be less stressful. Stop trying to convince her that marijuana is fine, because for her it isn't. That's clear. You can't convince her it is, and she can't convince you it's wrong. She should stop treating you like you're a child, and you should do the same. Hope you resolve your family's squabbles. ... Good luck!!

      PS - After posting my answer, I read Brother H's, and I have to agree a lot with what he says. If you get busted, the infraction may seem minor, but a criminal record will, indeed, follow you forever. The distinction is between local cops and feds. The feds may not be interested in a single-gram user, but if you do get a federal prosecution, you'll have a tough time. Locals may ignore small infractions, but if anyone prosecutes, that could be enough to trigger the feds- they'll put a detainer on your boyfriend, and when he's done with his short-term jail time (assuming he's not a dealer), he could be deported because he's an alien.


short film ideas for kids