Short Film Ideas For Students

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have any short film comedy ideas or scripts?
    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:
      Just make up your own idea. I write plenty of scripts, and most of them are based on the trouble me and my friends get into. One thing I did when writing a short film script when I had a writer's block was ask my self a question like, "what would my friends and I do if a really attractive foreign exchange student from France came to our school for only two weeks and we all wanted to date him?" Or whatever works for you, good luck on the test.

  2. QUESTION:
    How to film a scene in a school?
    I have a short film idea, and about 70% of the scenes take place in a school setting. There are scenes that are both in hallways and in a classroom. I really don't know how I am going to film this.
    My first idea was to film the hallway scenes during the time where everyone is packing up their stuff, and everyone who actually has a role in the movie would just film around everyone. For the classroom scenes, I had a crazy idea that probably won't work, and that was to make sure that first I have a class with one of my friends who wants to be a part of the movie in the term, and second that my teacher is cool enough to let me disrupt class and film for a few days.
    I think I'll do the hallway scenes the way I've planned (unless you guys can come up with a better way). My second idea for the classroom scene, though, was to get a large enough group of people, and either after hours, on a weekend, or even in the summer time, we ask for permission to film in a classroom, and I get some adult who can act as the teacher in the scene.
    Which method is better? And is there another method out there that I can use that I haven't mentioned to make the hallway and classroom scenes possible?
    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Either way is good. But I think it would be best not to disrupt class. Not just because class is important, but because some students are stupid. They're going to be making faces and throwing up signs. Its better to have students who are as serious as you in the classroom. I'd say film the scene in hallways with the smallest camera possible so that you get how school hallways 'really' are and not people posing for a camera

  3. QUESTION:
    How do you get permission to use a copyrighted song in a student-made short film?
    I have a few ideas of short films I want to make, but some of the songs are copyrighted (such as "The Funeral" by Band of Horses or "The Howling" by WIthin Temptation.)

    Can I still use the songs regardless of copyright issues because I am a student film maker or do I still need to go through the legal technicalities to gain rights to the song for my videos? If so for the second question, how do I do that?

    • ANSWER:
      You do not need any license for classroom use by students or teachers in a non-profit school.

  4. QUESTION:
    What are some good student film festivals to enter?
    Ive written and directed a short film, and would like to enter it in some film festivals. Any ideas which ones are the good/have categories specifically for student shorts? I am doing the Ivy Film Festival, and the festival on my campus, but was thinking I'd like to enter it in a few more if possible.

    • ANSWER:
      My friend Steve runs "Student Films Across America" - google it and get in touch with Steven Amos.

      PS- Good luck. Steve is a great guy. We went to college together. He will be able to help you out.

  5. QUESTION:
    Ideas about a short film at an ancient location?
    Hello, I'm a college student. Next week our class is visiting 'Mohan Jodaro', an ancient place recognized to be one of the first modern civilizations in history of mankind.. I have two handycams.. I was thinking about making an interesting short film at that location which should potray the beauty, depth and the special feel associated to that place. Any ideas and tips would be very helpful.. I also want to know what equipment should I must keep with me so that we don't get in trouble at the time of execution.

    Thankyou!

    • ANSWER:
      holy crap, you're gunna get executed for making a short film, wow! that's a bummer man....
      i'd make sure i had balls of steel and an invisibility cloak - can get them from diagon alley.....
      best of luck with that! :o)

  6. QUESTION:
    What Short film ideas do you guys have?
    I'm starting out to make a short film script. I am not yet a film student, but it would be nice to start out one.. Any ideas or tips will be much appreciated. :)

    • ANSWER:
      Depends what you wanna do.

      What's the type of short you're doing?

  7. QUESTION:
    What is a cheap alternative to a professional camera used in film?
    I am a student working on my own short film. The only thing that I am not sure about is the type of camera that I can use. I have no budget for this so I can't afford any fancy or professional cameras, but at the same time I want it to look professional and have good quality video and Sound. So basically I'm looking for a cheap alternative to a professional camera. Any Ideas?
    I do appreciate any help :) Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Rent instead of buying.

  8. QUESTION:
    What is the cheapest, decent video camera to shoot short films with?
    I want to try my first attempt at a 15-30 minute short film but have no camera and would like to know what is cheap that will do an OK job. Probably going to be dramatic with some live action such as street scenes with passing vehicles, people walking etc.I have no idea where to start any suggestions helpful. thanks

    • ANSWER:
      I don't think their is a best camera out there.

      It's all based on what you like, you know?

      My friend Mike is into video editing with after effects. He also uses video copilot to edit the videos and put in gun fires, smoke, explosions, etc.

      He used a photo camera at first, but then it started to lack quality.
      So we went to best buy and looked at the cameras. We found the Flip HD was the best. However, the price wasn't too competitive with Amazon.

      Since we are college students, we can get free 2 day shipping, or overnight shipping.

      We ordered the camera on Amazon, it was cheaper.
      Paid for overnight shipping, because we had a project on Saturday, and couldn't afford to wait until Monday.

      WELL, Amazon called up and said they have refunded us . It was because we ordered at the perfect time, where which if we paid for free shipping, it would have came Saturday.
      It's just like Newegg, you pay to have the order rushed, and if they don't rush it they refund you the money.

      Anyhow, we got it Saturday and started filming!
      We have a 2 Yr. warranty with Amazon. They have been great ever since.
      Wouldn't have bought it anywhere else.

      If you wanna see the reviews on it - here's the amazon pages we ordered from.
      Exact same models - we had a list of cameras and saved to my computer.

      Here is the white Flip Camera
      http://goo.gl/EJHR8

      Here is the camera we have. The black version.
      http://goo.gl/KyIMF

      I hope this helps you out for finding a great camera!

  9. QUESTION:
    How to make a short film with zero budget.?
    I am a high school student and I would like to make a 5 minute film. I would like to know some techniques that may help me, or a website I could go to. I have a digital camera and a tripod. That is it. I know that I can make a good short film, but all I need is some advice.

    • ANSWER:
      1. Choose your equipment, something that can record video. There are many choices. This process might take months or even years, but you have to keep looking. Make sure your video recorder works with your VCR or editing equipment.
      2. Learn a few features, and review how your recording device works. Learn how to start and stop recording, fast forward, rewind, playback, and anything else you might need. Save the special effects for your second or third project.
      3. Choose a subject -- what you want to make a film about. Remember, you'll need to complete the project. Think about who, what, and where you'll shoot. Form a basic idea for a story and if you're having trouble, read short stories for inspiration.
      4. Type out a script. Make sure to develop your characters with different personalities; your movie won't be interesting if everyone acts and talks the same.
      5. Draw out a storyboard, illustrating the shots you plan to use. Don't worry about following the storyboard perfectly. It's just a good idea to get your thoughts on paper and a great way to see if you can communicate an idea "visually" rather than needing the actors to verbally communicate the concept. The viewer is watching first and listening second.
      6. Find people who aren't busy and are willing to work hard on your film. Provide food for your crew. They'll appreciate it and be able to hang around longer.
      7. Shoot your footage. If you want to highlight your pet, you can shoot video of your pet eating, sleeping and playing and perhaps put it to music.
      8. Edit your film. Many cameras edit in limited ways and some have special effects. Learn how to "cut" pieces of your footage together and put music or speech over your video. Check your camera's manual or use a software package like iMovie to make your final cuts.
      9. One way is to use your VCR or DVD burner to make copies for friends and auditions. If your film is digital, you can also output your final edit to a readable format to send via email. Also if your film is in digital format you can upload to YouTube or another video sharing site. Check up with the website's video formats to see if you can upload your movie.

  10. QUESTION:
    Where can I get an idea/screenplay for a short film?
    I need to make a short film/cartoon as a final project, does anybody know where I can get a good idea? Where can I find a good short story or screenplay? I'd be willing to pay a little bit of royalties for a good one, but I'm just a student so I don't have a lot of money!

    • ANSWER:
      Find a nursery tyme that you can rewrite. It won't cost you anything and won't get you into trouble.
      Three Blind Mice
      Baa Baa Black Sheep
      Humpty Dumpty
      Etc.

  11. 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.

  12. 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:
      Contact your local theatre (or sometimes a school will have a good drama unit) and ask if they have any scenery flats or furniture. tell them what it is for and that you need it in order to progress and they may be able to help? Also, go to a courtroom, have a real good look at it and ask yourself if it reminds you of anything else that you may be more easily able to utilise, a church say or a village hall perhaps? Near me in Marlborough is an old Masonic hall that would pass for this so keep your eyes open, think creative and you may find it right under your nose?
      Lastly, does it have to actually `look` like a courtroom in a modern city? Old Eastern block, archaic rural community or Congolese, Arab or South sea island courtroom drama's might have a whole different space to represent? If they have asked you to do this as a `brief` for film school then don't fall into the trap of thinking of the first set of images that come into your head as they, the academic body, might want to see how you cope with thinking `outside the box` perhaps? (unless the brief is very specific) If your local courthouse wont let you film in there then try a local lawyer who might have influence and who might ask you to return the favour when you are famous???
      Stephen Hope this helps

  13. QUESTION:
    How could i get my short films viewed?
    So ive made a few short films and im going to put them on youtube but i want someone like a acting agent or someone to few them but how?

    • ANSWER:
      You could put them on your acting reel. But only do that if they include some of your best acting and are a good quality production. (http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/professional-tips/what-should-be-on-every-actors-demo-reel/ ) You can also post it on places like iFilm then include a link to it on your actor's webpage.

      It won't be the case where an agent sees a short film and thinks "Hey, I want that actor." Agents are too busy to be going around checking out short films on YouTube or other places (even viral videos). And if you send them a DVD or e-mail them a video file, it'll just get tossed in the trash. The idea that someone can do a couple of projects and get "discovered" is extremely rare.

      But once you build your resume up enough and make contacts in the industry and can get the attention of an agent - you can them direct the agent to your demo reel or to your actor webpage or to the website where it's posted so that they can see you in action. Or if you're submitting directly to a casting director (for another film - probably a short/independent/student film) you could give them a link to your other short films so they can also see you in action.

  14. QUESTION:
    What can you contribute to our short film?
    We've made up a story...
    a girl has just returned to school after a year her parents was killed in their own home. She tries to forget the incident by becoming a normal student but things were getting difficult. One day while going to the bathroom she sees a girl passes by heading to same direction. But when she got there she finds a dead girl lying on the floor. The school pointed out that it was just an accident, but for the main girl she thinks otherwise and believes there is a murderer in the school.

    Since then the number of students deaths were increasing and the main girl is getting obsessed who the killer is.

    To cut the story short, The girl investigates the killings only it ends with her being the killer. Having a dual personality.

    The problem is our teacher thinks this story is too common already and we need a more twist in the end. She suggest that we make the janitor in the very end of the story the real killer who also murdered the main girl parents.

    Can you give us your opinion, suggestion to the story. Or even your own idea of a story.

    Please be reminded that this is a 15min short film and we need to shoot it in a day only.

    Thanks ^-^

    • ANSWER:
      Instead of the janitor why not replace him with the girls twin sister who was snatched at birth by and old girlfriend of her father. She then tracks down with the aid of her mother to kill the guy who ditched her and his family,but then to complete the circle the ex girl friend kills the twin sister so the whole family is wiped out.

  15. QUESTION:
    what are the best programs to use to add toon animations to a video?
    i have ideas of short films i want to create but i want to be able to add interactive animations to the video. for example. lets say i had a scene of myself sleeping and i wanted a bunch of zzzs to come out of my mouth, which program would be best for something like that.

    • ANSWER:
      Best program is Adobe After Effects. You can do SOOOOOO much with this program. It is a industry standard for visual effects which is exaclty what you need. Its used in many commercials and movies. I own it and use it in every movie i make. There are tons of tutorials on things you can do with this program on the internet and im sure if you search youtube "text animation in after effects" you'll find something you can use.

      Its kinda hard to get used to at first but once you do the possiblilties are endless.
      Videocopilot.net has basic tutorial as well as advanced ones too!

      if you go to academicsuperstore.com you can find a cheap student version of Adobe After Effects CS4. (0-0) however im sure if you search youtube you'll find a video showing how to get it for free.

      Good luck with your video and message me if you need help.

  16. QUESTION:
    What is the best editing software out there?
    I'm a film student, and I'm looking for an editing software that has good plenty of effects or plugin effects available.
    I usually make short films and animations.

    I've heard that Avid and Final cut is pretty good.
    But how about adobe after effects, or adobe premiere? Are those mainly good for doing/editing animation?
    And among all those named, which editing software is the best in your opinion and why?

    Thanks for any help out there!

    • ANSWER:
      If you were a film student, you would know that Avid is the best editing software today. Several years ago, Final Cut Pro was giving them a run for their money, but that has all changed in recent years.

      Adobe Premier is a toy and shouldn't be bothered with unless you're just looking to play around at home to learn.

      After Effects is an effects software and is very cumbersome to edit in. Although, it might be a good idea to include it your repertoire to fill out your skill set.

  17. 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.

  18. QUESTION:
    I want to shoot a realistic fight secne?
    I'm a senior high school student and I love films. I mostly write scripts but this time apart from that im also directing and starring in a short film.In this film I want to have a fight scene between me and the "bad" guy. Changing angles and putting the correct music score will be enough to make it vivid or do you have any extra tips that would make more realistic? Feel free to advise on anything from the camera to the characters movement. Thank you in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      Here are some fun ideas where nobody gets hurt…

      1) Film only the feet scuffling on the ground. It gives the illusion of struggling.

      2) Film the “good guy” head on with shoulders squared. He draws his fist back and throws a punch at the camera. (Actually, to the left of the camera).
      Cut to: an empty frame, camera pointing towards the ground. The “bad guy” who got punched falls into frame onto the ground with a bloody lip.

      3) The camera is behind the bad guy. Bad guy throws punch and misses. Good guy grabs his shoulder with left hand and punches bad guy in the gut several times. You can’t see the punch but it looks real enough.

      4) Good guy puts his fist on the face of the bad guy and quickly draws it away. Run the video in reverse. If needed, run it at 2x the speed. It looks like the bad guy really got hit.

      Have fun!

  19. QUESTION:
    How can you find auditions for mainstream feature length films?
    I'm trying to find auditions for fim acting and I'm just found a lot of casting calls for short student films and commercials and the like. How can you find more mainstream film studio auditions?

    • ANSWER:
      If by "mainstream" you mean "studio" feature films, you're going to have to have a combination of things going on for you.

      1. You need to be in a major market (Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Toronto, London). That's where the feature films are cast, even if they shoot elsewhere.

      2. You need to have an agent pitching you to get meetings with the top casting directors, who cast those big films. We (casting directors) have far too many submissions coming at us to do our job without an agent or manager helping us filter out the most talented folks we need to see (vs. those who are just hoping to be famous).

      3. Until you have an agent, and until you're in a major market, you need to build up your own credits in indie films, student films, and community theatre plays. These things will help you get on the radar of casting directors and agents (see above) which will help you get closer on the studio projects, assuming that's what you're looking to accomplish.

      4. If you want an idea of what's casting, ActorsAccess.com tends to have most of the listings--including network TV and studio feature films--but you have to remember that MOST of the projects you're hoping to have access to are ones that will ONLY be put in front of agents (see above, again), as we don't NEED to see submissions from actors who simply aren't ready to be working at that level yet.

      (Note: This doesn't mean there's not work out there for everyone, just that we have a filtering process in place to help us do our job better. For example, I get over 3000 submissions per role sometimes on INDIE films! I can only imagine what the STUDIO film casting directors receive!!)

      (Also note: If you're ready to be on the radar of studio film casting directors, you already know your agent or manager is hustling for you; you're already showcasing for top casting directors; you're doing networking events and getting in front of top CDs. And many actors find a way to get on our radar just by producing their own work and putting it up on YouTube.com. You NEVER know!! A *big* part of our job is finding NEW talent. So, be "out there" so we can see you. And keep doing good work.)

      Hope this helps!

  20. QUESTION:
    can you give me an idea for a short film?
    I'm filming a short film with some friends over the end of December. We are film students! We have a lot of locations and a really high quality camera :) can you give me an idea to start with so I can write a script?

    • ANSWER:
      Write what you know about. Write about your town.

  21. 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!

  22. QUESTION:
    Is there a way where I can pay for a short film to be produced for me ?
    Hello,

    I want to make a short film, I have the ideas but I do not know how to produce one, is there a way like a website that can do that for me ? & Does it cost a lot ?

    Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      There are companies who do this, but they'd expect you to give them a really professionally-written script to check out first. They wouldn't get involved in anything that was amateur-looking or badly-written.
      They would, of course discuss your thoughts on the production, but they'd provide their own director, actors, camera-operators, sound technicians, etc, and make all of the decisions as necessary.

      It can't be done on a website - you'd need personal contact. And of course, it would cost a lot of money. You'd need to pay the salaries of all those employed and whatever charges the film company make. At a guess, I'd say if you needed six actors, and all those techies, and a director, you'd be looking at a minimum of ,000 (£45,000) for their pay alone, not counting the company fee, for a month's filming.

      You'd do better to get on a university film-making course and as part of that, you'd get to make a film with the other students, having first learnt all the processes. Then you'd really know what you were doing! The best films made also get entered into national competitions.
      Good luck!

  23. QUESTION:
    How can I get people to help work on a film?
    I want to make a short film, around 20 minutes. The budget will be around 20 thousand.i will write, produce and direct the film. How can I get talented actors to act in the film? How can I get a cinematographer, editor, lighting technician, people in sound department etc. I also woul like for Somoene to help me finance it. I have never made anything before

    • ANSWER:
      The most important order of things - you need to secure financing. Since you are an amateur, you should look to your local government to see whether they offer any grants for such productions.
      Worse come to worse, you'd have come up with it yourself. Work part time, scrap and save, as many others in your situation often do.

      It is very unlikely that you would be able to hire a full production crew and professional cast on 20,000. You would have to take on most of the roles yourself, or look for help from students from film or media backgrounds as you would want to reserve most of the budget for other important stuff ie renting equipment etc.

      As for the cast, you'd have to make do with amateurs or relative unknowns. This means you might have to approach people that you come across on the streets or on the net etc. There should be scores of aspiring actors/actresses out there who might be interested. All you have to do is find them and pitch your ideas to them. They might do it for a minimum fee or nothing at all, depending. Put them up for screen tests and see whether they are comfortable in front of the camera and whether have the acting chops to get it done.

      If you are producing, you have to learn to source your own financing, manage your own budget and shooting schedule, do your own hiring and casting, and arrange your own logistics. There is more work involved than you can imagine. If you could convince someone with a little experience to come on board, it would make your life a lot easier.

      Seek the advice of people who have been there and done that. There are plenty of amateur film makers with channels on Youtube, Vimeo, wherever. Just drop them a mail or something. I am sure they would be happy to share what they know.

  24. QUESTION:
    What is a good idea or plot for a short-film that is all about Science?
    Any good idea for a plot?
    Any topic that could be discussed and be filmed
    inside the school grounds? We're making a short movie that's
    all about science, and we don't have any ideas how to start it off.
    Any help/suggestions would be appreciated :)

    • ANSWER:
      Two students are working on a science fair project. One on the second floor is experimenting with chemical compounds and pours some reagents down the drain which has a leak that drips chemicals into the experiment of the person on the first floor resulting in remarkable results for that persons project. Pick two totally different personalities for the two students. Pick a reason for adversity between the students. Have the science fair judges astounded by the results.

  25. QUESTION:
    How to make a short film for a film festival?
    I am a high schooler who is thinking about entering a high school film festival. I have my idea, now i need to actually take the next step with making the film. The problem is, i dont know what to do. It takes place in a classroom setting, so i would like to film it at my school. The problem is, who do i go to? Do i have to go to the principal? Or can i just ask a teacher? Also, how can i get actors for it? I need a lot of extras, maybe like 30 students. None of my friends want to be in a movie. I want to be a film director, and at this film festival, i would have the chance to talk with professionals in the film industry. Do you think teachers will let me do this because it might help me with my future career? Right now, i am most worried about the people that will be in my movie. I was thinking that if the principal said yes, i could put up a flyer or something, or talk to the drama teacher to see if anyone would like to be in it. The only problem is i dont know the drama teacher, or any of the students who take part in drama. i mean, i know who they are, but i rarely talk to them and they probably don't know me. If anyone has made a short film before, could you also give me some tips?

    • ANSWER:

  26. QUESTION:
    How Would You Want To Fall In Love?
    I'm student writing a series of love stories for a screenplay I will make into a short film for this upcoming semester. And I need some inspiration in the writing process.

    Please Let me know a whole situation/scenario OR just brief Ideas of romantic moments or gestures. These could be fiction or non.

    I'm just trying to get the creative juices flowing and I thought I would ask and see what people would have to say. Love is topic that can always be talked about.

    • ANSWER:
      I'd want it to be a story worth writing...

  27. 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!

  28. QUESTION:
    How do you get an agent?
    I love to act (I've done some school skits and a couple short student films) and would like to get an agent, but I have no idea how to do this because I know no one in the entertainment field. I've asked professors but they were not helpful.

    How do I sign up for one? For example; the William Morris Agency? Or suggest any other good agents?

    • ANSWER:
      Well you can't really "sign up" for one. You need to get a mailing list of all the legitimate SAG/AFTRA talent agencies in your city. Then create a professional resume, take a good headshot, and write a cover letter. After you get those essentials, you'll have to do a mass mailing to all of the agencies. Most of the professional agencies have websites so you can check out their policies on whether or not they're get back to you and how long it'll take, but I say it'll be about 2-3 weeks before you get some sort of notification, either negative or positive. And then, after seeing how many calls you get you might have to make some adjustments, like get a new headshot or do some more work to build up your resume, network some more. After you send it off, you can follow up and pray.

  29. 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 : )

  30. QUESTION:
    Hi I have some questions about getting a commercial agent?
    First of all, if you are non union can you get a commercial agent and if so, how do I get one, where do I look?
    Secondly, how much experience do you generally need to get a commercial agent?
    How can I build up my resume before I get one?
    How can I get into short films, independent films, and indie films as a non union?
    When do I become a part of a union, when is the point that I will really need it?
    Thank you!!! :)

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, if you are non union can you get a commercial agent and if so, how do I get one, where do I look?
      ~yes. Any SAG or AFTRA agent is legit, but they don't accept just anyone.

      Secondly, how much experience do you generally need to get a commercial agent?
      ~It depends. Where do you live, what do you look like, do you have training, are you similar to any other people they already represent?

      How can I build up my resume before I get one?
      ~Through things like school plays and community theatre. Maybe even low budget student films and small local commercial

      How can I get into short films, independent films, and indie films as a non union?
      ~Low budget non union ones may post on places like craigslist. Just be careful

      When do I become a part of a union, when is the point that I will really need it?
      ~You can join any time you are eligable. But it may not be a good idea at first, because as long as you're part of the union, you can't do any non union work.

  31. QUESTION:
    I want to make a short film/cartoon, where do I start?!?
    Having been into short film for a while now and armed with a great, albeit twisted and dark idea, I have decided to bite the bullet and make a short film/cartoon. I cannot draw myself and am always astounded by how many people are shown on the credits of even the smallest films. Where do I start, get funding tell me EVERYTHING!

    • ANSWER:
      if this is your first time doing it, i'd recommend going to your local colleges and speaking with the people in the film department. a few of my friends (guys i used to play in a band with) have made a bunch of short films at school, and they were able to rent the gear from the school for a good rate. chances are there will be students who will be more receptive to your ideas than the average person, and they might be willing to help you so that they can add your film to their list of works, and potentially have their work graded and shown on the college film circuit. as far as funding, i'm not certain how you'd go about that. good luck!

  32. 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.

  33. QUESTION:
    What are good ideas to help a college student understand financial aid. Also, making it interesting?
    At my work we have already filmed a video. That did not seem to grasp many students attention. What are good ideas for which a financial aid office can inform students but also not bore them to death?

    • ANSWER:
      I would say:
      1- Make cartoon movies, where characters are interacting in funny situations regarding financial aid.
      2- Creating funny short movies regarding life situations involving financial aid
      3-Surveying students to find out what exactly catch their interest, like: How would they like to be presented financial aid information to them ?

  34. 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!

  35. QUESTION:
    How to think of youtube video ideas?
    Hi im really struggling to come up with youtube video ideas. My youtube channel is a gaming based channel, but the problem is that my gaming pc has broke so i cant record gameplay.

    • ANSWER:
      20 Video Ideas:

      1.Vlog – Just talk to the camera about your day, or something funny or interesting that happened today or the other day.

      2.Skit / Short Movie – Have a funny idea in your head? Write out a rough script, and make it a short film!

      3.Artsy – Do you like to paint, draw, make crafts, or create in general? Make a video of you MAKING something! People love watching these videos, as many other artists like being inspired.

      4.Talk about art – Even if you can’t paint a nice portrait, if art interests you enough to read about it, why don’t you talk about different types of art? Other art enthusiasts, fans, and students will watch your video if it is simple, sweet, to the point, AND informative.

      5.Music – Do you sing? Maybe you play the piano or guitar? Maybe you even make beats! Anything related to music, you can either post a video of you singing or playing an instrument, or even just post your song with some album artwork as an image for the entire video.

      6.Recent Events – Did something happen in the news that you just HAVE to talk about? Do you find yourself talking to your friends and family about things that happen in the news? Well, make a video about it, and you’ll have lots of other people listening to you as well!

      7.Celebrities – This can go into recent events as well, but celebrities are always doing something crazy or stupid (or both!) – talk about what happened, what you think about it, and ask others to comment on what they think.

      8.Tutorials – Is there something that you know how to do that other people WISH they could do? Make a video on HOW to do it (make steps, like step 1 – step 2 – etc.).

      9.Parody – Are you funny? Can you make something funny? Make a parody video, music video, or skit about an event, celebrity, song, and make it funny, and people will watch it, AND share it.

      10.Music Video – Whether it is a parody, or your own music, or just something funny, make a cool music video that is creative, and post it!

      11.Shoutout Video – Don’t go overboard with this, or overBORED with this – What I mean is, don’t make too many videos like this, because people usually don’t like them too much. But hey, make a video where you “shout out” or give promotion to other video makers. You never know, they might see your video and make one about you!

      12.Dancing Video – Do you break dance? Are you good at hip hop, ballroom, or any other type of dance? Make a video showcasing your skills! However, DO NOT make a video of you just shaking your ***, especially if you are underage. The only viewers you will attract will be men between the ages of 25 – 70. It’s been proven. Just trust me, you don’t want to make a “soft-p0rn” video, you want to showcase actual SKILLS you have with dancing.

      13.Rant Videos – Something bothering you? Do you think other people will have somewhat of the same opinion? Some people actually love hearing other people rant. Just don’t HATE on people though, actually go into detail about the things that bother you.

      14.Impersonations – This can be a strict impersonation video, where you impersonate a celebrity or actor/actress. Or, you can make this into a skit or even a song, all while you do your best impersonation.

      15.Gameplay – Are you a GAMER? Do you have skills, or even just like to have fun while gaming? Make a video of some of your best gameplay for a particular game, and instead of ONLY playing for yourself, you’ll have other people watching you play as well – and they may learn a thing or two

      16.Special Effects – Are you good with editing and special effects? It doesn’t matter! There are hundreds and thousands of great tutorials on special effects. Follow along with what other people have done, and make your own special effects video!

      17.Concerts / Events – Are you going to a concert, a show, or something that other people are going to or WANT to go to? Film parts of it, and upload it with your title being the name of the event. People who went, and even people who didn’t go but wanted to will be searching for this stuff.

      18.Interviews – Do you know some cool people? Maybe a DJ, music artist, designer, artist, etc.? Do a little off-the-ball interview for people to get to know this person.

      19.Question / Answer Video – Make a video where you let your visitors ask you questions (in the comment section), and then tell them you’ll make an “answers” video in a week or so – you get 2 videos for the price of 1!

      20.Animation Video – Make an animation! Spend a couple hours on it, or spend a few weeks on it! The better it looks, the more views it will probably get. Even if you don’t know how to animate, watch some tutorials, and do what they do!

  36. QUESTION:
    What Objects Would You Expect To Find In An Enchanted Forset?
    I'm doing a short film for a Creative & Media Diploma, where I wake up in an enchanted forest,
    Being a student I don't have a lot of cash, so things must be on a budget..
    Any ideas would be greatly aprechiated (:
    Have a Nice day (:
    x

    • ANSWER:
      A LOT of green trees, glitter, some sort of flute music playing in the background, a colorful river, fairies... elfs?

  37. QUESTION:
    Wondering what some good ideas for videos would be?
    I just made a new YouTube account, and I want to actually use it to upload videos, but I don't know what kind of videos I should make. I could do vlogs, or nail art, or cooking. What are some good ideas I could use for videos for YouTube?

    • ANSWER:
      15 Video Ideas:

      1.Vlog – Just talk to the camera about your day, or something funny or interesting that happened today or the other day.

      2.Skit / Short Movie – Have a funny idea in your head? Write out a rough script, and make it a short film!

      3.Artsy – Do you like to paint, draw, make crafts, or create in general? Make a video of you MAKING something! People love watching these videos, as many other artists like being inspired.

      4.Talk about art – Even if you can’t paint a nice portrait, if art interests you enough to read about it, why don’t you talk about different types of art? Other art enthusiasts, fans, and students will watch your video if it is simple, sweet, to the point, AND informative.

      5.Music – Do you sing? Maybe you play the piano or guitar? Maybe you even make beats! Anything related to music, you can either post a video of you singing or playing an instrument, or even just post your song with some album artwork as an image for the entire video.

      6.Recent Events – Did something happen in the news that you just HAVE to talk about? Do you find yourself talking to your friends and family about things that happen in the news? Well, make a video about it, and you’ll have lots of other people listening to you as well!

      7.Celebrities – This can go into recent events as well, but celebrities are always doing something crazy or stupid (or both!) – talk about what happened, what you think about it, and ask others to comment on what they think.

      8.Tutorials – Is there something that you know how to do that other people WISH they could do? Make a video on HOW to do it (make steps, like step 1 – step 2 – etc.).

      9.Parody – Are you funny? Can you make something funny? Make a parody video, music video, or skit about an event, celebrity, song, and make it funny, and people will watch it, AND share it.

      10.Music Video – Whether it is a parody, or your own music, or just something funny, make a cool music video that is creative, and post it!

      11.Shoutout Video – Don’t go overboard with this, or overBORED with this – What I mean is, don’t make too many videos like this, because people usually don’t like them too much. But hey, make a video where you “shout out” or give promotion to other video makers. You never know, they might see your video and make one about you!

      12.Dancing Video – Do you break dance? Are you good at hip hop, ballroom, or any other type of dance? Make a video showcasing your skills! However, DO NOT make a video of you just shaking your ***, especially if you are underage. The only viewers you will attract will be men between the ages of 25 – 70. It’s been proven. Just trust me, you don’t want to make a “soft-p0rn” video, you want to showcase actual SKILLS you have with dancing.

      13.Rant Videos – Something bothering you? Do you think other people will have somewhat of the same opinion? Some people actually love hearing other people rant. Just don’t HATE on people though, actually go into detail about the things that bother you.

      14.Impersonations – This can be a strict impersonation video, where you impersonate a celebrity or actor/actress. Or, you can make this into a skit or even a song, all while you do your best impersonation.

      15.Gameplay – Are you a GAMER? Do you have skills, or even just like to have fun while gaming? Make a video of some of your best gameplay for a particular game, and instead of ONLY playing for yourself, you’ll have other people watching you play as well – and they may learn a thing or two

  38. QUESTION:
    I want to shoot a short student film but all i have is an idea so far. Any suggestions on where to start?
    Should I buy a camera or rent one? What type of camera should I be looking for? Should I try and fund-raise some money for any costs that may come up? Any advice, suggestions, tips would be helpful! THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      You should buy a not so expensive camera with a lot of mega pixels and a good speaker

  39. QUESTION:
    How can i get started if i want to act?
    I have always wanted to act but never done anything about it. I was wondering if you guys have any sugestions on how I can get started? I have no prior acting experience, however I feel that I am pretty good at it and most of the people I know seem to think that I would be good on T.V due to my sense of humor. How can I go about finding good casting calls for movies, commercials, short films, shows etc. coming up?

    • ANSWER:
      If I was you I would look around your local area for an amateur drama group, and give that a try first of all to make sure you do really like it. If you find that you do, then you would want to look for an agent to represent you if you want to do anything professional. Look around and see what each agent offers. Some may only do TV and Film, some might get lots of theatre castings, but not many commercials, so look around and see what you like the look of. When you've chosen which agency you'd like to be represented by, contact them to find out what you have to do to apply. You'll probably have to send in a CV and cover letter. You say you've had no acting experience, but did you maybe do any school plays? Put even little things like that on your CV. Also put any other skills you have. Do you sing? Do you play a musical instrument? Had any dance lessons? Also include a recent photograph of yourself. At this stage it probably won't have to be professional, but if you get accepted then the agency might want you to have a professional photo shoot. When you're happy with your CV, write a cover letter briefly explaining that you'd join the agency. If they like the look of your CV, they will probably ask to see you in person. I'd be wary of an agency that just accepts you based on your CV. After they've auditioned you, they will let you know whether they want to have you on their books, and if they do, then they will tell you what to do next. Never give an agent money upfront, they will take a percentage of your wage from any job they get you, but you shouldn't have to pay them to be on their books. You might however have to pay for professional photos and things like entry into Spotlight.
      If they decided not to accept you, ask why. It's always good to get feedback, so you can look at where to improve. A good idea is to apply to more than 1 agency, as then you have more of a chance of getting accepted by 1, and if you're accepted by all of them, you have more of a choice as to where you go! Another good way of looking for auditions is to look on the internet. You can look for websites that casting directors post auditions onto, or ones with a lot of students making short films, and apply for some of those.

      Right I think I've finished now! That must have been the longest answer ever!! So, I hope that helped at least a bit, and good luck!!

  40. QUESTION:
    Can you help finish the story line for this short film?
    All I have to the story so far is that my sculpture teacher is actually selling the scultptures made by the students in the black market. and he is secretly a robot...Can you come up with a conflict and an ending? Thanks, I'm making this for my school's coffee house.

    • ANSWER:
      What diabolical plot does the teacher need the money for? Maybe so he can buy parts and make other robots to take over the school? Or even better -- maybe to turn his human students -- ala Stepford Wives -- into his minion robots? One student could see his classmates changing day by day, sculptures that look exactly like theirs on ebay or in a gallery, and he figures out something is up.

      The conflict -- protagonist doesn't want to be turned into a robot. Of course, no one will believe him about the problem and he doesn't even want to say, it sounds crazy!

      You can figure out an ending, it could even be kind of undetermined, the robot teacher gets away, could be at any school now....

      You should have a protagonist and his/her buddy. The buddy is an easy way to help communicate to the audience what the protagonist is thinking. The protagonist talks to the buddy, the audience hears.

      Your plot reminds me (evil teacher / not human) of an award winning play my son wrote. I don't know how you kids think up these ideas!!

  41. QUESTION:
    How to become a film director?
    I have no idea what course will I take in college (and school) if I want to be a director for films and movies. Is it expensive to enroll in a filmmaking school? How many years will it take?

    • ANSWER:
      Oh man, could I give you an earful. But I'll make it short.

      I put my ex-husband through 5 years of undergrad work in film and theater, and then 4 years of graduate studies to get his MFA in Film Production through UCLA.

      He now owes 0K just for the UCLA experience and works at FRICKING BARNES AND NOBLE because he won't do anything else if he can't be a director (but I digress).

      What I learned from being around film students, film moguls, actors, writers, directors, and everyone else I hung out with for 4 years in LA... having a degree in film doesn't mean s**t. You have to have a product that someone likes. Many directors start as writers and get to direct their own work... in fact, for new directors that's almost the ONLY way you're going to get in.

      So, write a spec script and get it out there. Or, make an inventive short film and get it into festivals and posted on web sites. Keep working and trying new things. Don't forget television, lots of people got started that way and made their way into film. GOOD LUCK!

  42. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to display information on a poster to high school children aged 13-14 yrs?
    I am a university student creating a a poster about child labour in Britian today which is suitable for 13-14 yr olds. I am planning to use short paragraphs and pictures but am looking for other ideas. Are cartoons too young or would they draw attention? How about anything interactive? Any help would be much appreciated!

    • ANSWER:
      See if you can show it with pictures, rather than with words. Like they do in film. Cartoons can be good at any age, you'll be able to figure out what is age appropriate. If there is something with an ah ha factor, you might think about putting open-up flaps with something underneath. However, that will mean a lot of touching of the poster.

      If you know any young teens, ask them what they think. They're usually very blunt with their opinions at that age. = )

      Good luck!

  43. QUESTION:
    Actors: is it a good idea to submit a link to your previous work?
    Is it a good idea to submit a link to your previous work when you send in your resume and headshot for an audition? Why or why not?

    • ANSWER:
      Many actors have their own website - even new graduates.
      On this they have lots of photos, headshots, ordinary snapshots which are flattering, photos from plays and shows they've been in, and full-length photos. They also have a full resume, biography, a list of credits and links to their showreel, voicereel, and any short films and student films they've done (and which they're proud of).
      When the actor sends a resume and headshot to an agent or casting director, the website address would be included under 'contact information'.
      In the covering letter it would be a good idea to mention that if they are interested, they could check out the website for links to the showreel, etc.
      Just make sure that anything they can see is seriously good, professional and really impressive.
      Never include Youtube links or amateur stuff.

  44. QUESTION:
    Where can i find acting audition in my area?
    Hello,
    I am 13 years old and want to begin getting into acting and I have no idea where to start. I dont want to take acting classes or hire an agent. I hope this wont prevent me from becoming an actress. I have no idea where to start and basically all I want to do Is audition but I dont know where or how I can find local auditions in my area. Please help!

    • ANSWER:
      Big directors will contact agencies for actors, and to get signed with an acting agency, you need experience.
      So, as for getting into acting. You need to get experience. No-one gets perfect the first time, or stars in a huge Hollywood blockbuster, first off, unless incredibly lucky. So, work your way up. Do theatre in school, that is a good start. Then look at some theatre and acting opportunities outside of school, the easiest thing to look into is amateur/ community theatre. You can google for that, or ask via your local library and theatres for the contact details. Then, with a few of those under your belt you can start getting some headshot photos done, and look into approaching agents. Keep on with community theatre and short/ student films while you do it, so you have an increasingly large resume. Not all of that will be paid, but you need the experience and to show that you are active within the acting/ performing world.

      Be prepared for the massive highs, as well as the massive lows, and the times that agents will turn you away as well as the times they accept you. There are also websites out there that list castings and film/ theatre opportunities. However always remember, that you should not have to pay upfront to audition or join a casting agency. If they ask for upfront fees, they are probably a scam and not genuine.

      The best of good wishes for your future endeavours. :)

  45. QUESTION:
    I am a senior in high school who is going to major in film in college. What programs?
    I've made multiple films with iMovie and what not but I think I am ready to start using and getting used to more professional programs like After Effects and Final Cut Pro. So, my question is, what program should I get if I want to add effects in such as explosions, muzzle flairs, etc. I have used Final Cut in some video classes army school but I wanted to hear someone else's opinion. I really started looking into it after realizing how much a student discount can get you. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Ok well final cut pro and after effects are two different types of programs.

      Final cut pro is an editing software used to compile footage, audio, and music into your project.

      After effects is a compositing software used to achieve certain visual effects (from color correction to explosions, etc.) Just one side-note: Professional movie studios do use after effects for many visual effects, but for 3D animations and things like that are done in 3D programs such as Maya, 3DS Max, and Cinema 4D

      You can use final cut pro for some visual effects if you don't want to jump in to after effects, but the effects will be ok and you will never be able to achieve as good effects. And if you want to add in explosions and muzzle flashes like you said, i suggest purchasing video copilot's action essentials 2. It has stock footage of explosions, fire, muzzle flashes, and much more that you can composite into your shot. You should check out filmriot on youtube for tutorials on many visual effects; some of which use action essentials 2. So you should, if you can afford it, purchase final cut pro x and after effects (you may need to look into plugins for after effects so that you can make more visual effects). You NEED to get away from Imovie, I used to use it and now looking back at it, i have no idea why it took me so long to move on from it. Final cut pro X, apple's most recent version of final cut, is very user friendly especially if you have used imovie before. After effects may require a short class or maybe you could find some tutorials on the internet. You should also know that if you want to use after effects then your computer is going to need a lot of RAM.

  46. QUESTION:
    Any ideas for a dissertation topic for a Broadcasting student?
    My course is mainly about tv production, radion production including things like editing, camera, sound, lighting, perfomance, and dealing with things like dramas, short films, radio plays, documentary, new media, so anyone has any suggestion for a possible dissertation topic for my third year? its driving me a bit mental. Help!

    • ANSWER:
      You know how to but not what? If you try using search dissertation/ topic you might get an idea.
      The following its not you but I found: How to Write a Dissertation
      The subjects you have written here are not suitable? You might like to think about the effect of ads/propaganda on the masses. The changes soaps make to attitudes nationally?

  47. QUESTION:
    What should i make youtube videos on?
    I do vlogs, music videos, skits, and tags. Im running out of ideas. I have a high quality camera and use sony vegas pro. I need ideas for skits and tag?

    • ANSWER:
      20 Video Ideas:

      1.Vlog – Just talk to the camera about your day, or something funny or interesting that happened today or the other day.

      2.Skit / Short Movie – Have a funny idea in your head? Write out a rough script, and make it a short film!

      3.Artsy – Do you like to paint, draw, make crafts, or create in general? Make a video of you MAKING something! People love watching these videos, as many other artists like being inspired.

      4.Talk about art – Even if you can’t paint a nice portrait, if art interests you enough to read about it, why don’t you talk about different types of art? Other art enthusiasts, fans, and students will watch your video if it is simple, sweet, to the point, AND informative.

      5.Music – Do you sing? Maybe you play the piano or guitar? Maybe you even make beats! Anything related to music, you can either post a video of you singing or playing an instrument, or even just post your song with some album artwork as an image for the entire video.

      6.Recent Events – Did something happen in the news that you just HAVE to talk about? Do you find yourself talking to your friends and family about things that happen in the news? Well, make a video about it, and you’ll have lots of other people listening to you as well!

      7.Celebrities – This can go into recent events as well, but celebrities are always doing something crazy or stupid (or both!) – talk about what happened, what you think about it, and ask others to comment on what they think.

      8.Tutorials – Is there something that you know how to do that other people WISH they could do? Make a video on HOW to do it (make steps, like step 1 – step 2 – etc.).

      9.Parody – Are you funny? Can you make something funny? Make a parody video, music video, or skit about an event, celebrity, song, and make it funny, and people will watch it, AND share it.

      10.Music Video – Whether it is a parody, or your own music, or just something funny, make a cool music video that is creative, and post it!

      11.Shoutout Video – Don’t go overboard with this, or overBORED with this – What I mean is, don’t make too many videos like this, because people usually don’t like them too much. But hey, make a video where you “shout out” or give promotion to other video makers. You never know, they might see your video and make one about you!

      12.Dancing Video – Do you break dance? Are you good at hip hop, ballroom, or any other type of dance? Make a video showcasing your skills! However, DO NOT make a video of you just shaking your ***, especially if you are underage. The only viewers you will attract will be men between the ages of 25 – 70. It’s been proven. Just trust me, you don’t want to make a “soft-p0rn” video, you want to showcase actual SKILLS you have with dancing.

      13.Rant Videos – Something bothering you? Do you think other people will have somewhat of the same opinion? Some people actually love hearing other people rant. Just don’t HATE on people though, actually go into detail about the things that bother you.

      14.Impersonations – This can be a strict impersonation video, where you impersonate a celebrity or actor/actress. Or, you can make this into a skit or even a song, all while you do your best impersonation.

      15.Gameplay – Are you a GAMER? Do you have skills, or even just like to have fun while gaming? Make a video of some of your best gameplay for a particular game, and instead of ONLY playing for yourself, you’ll have other people watching you play as well – and they may learn a thing or two

      16.Special Effects – Are you good with editing and special effects? It doesn’t matter! There are hundreds and thousands of great tutorials on special effects. Follow along with what other people have done, and make your own special effects video!

      17.Concerts / Events – Are you going to a concert, a show, or something that other people are going to or WANT to go to? Film parts of it, and upload it with your title being the name of the event. People who went, and even people who didn’t go but wanted to will be searching for this stuff.

      18.Interviews – Do you know some cool people? Maybe a DJ, music artist, designer, artist, etc.? Do a little off-the-ball interview for people to get to know this person.

      19.Question / Answer Video – Make a video where you let your visitors ask you questions (in the comment section), and then tell them you’ll make an “answers” video in a week or so – you get 2 videos for the price of 1!

      20.Animation Video – Make an animation! Spend a couple hours on it, or spend a few weeks on it! The better it looks, the more views it will probably get. Even if you don’t know how to animate, watch some tutorials, and do what they do!

  48. QUESTION:
    any ideas on how to start an acting career?
    I want to be an actress but I don't know wear to start. I have been in musicals and plays in my school. how do I get started. I know I need and acting agent but are those expensive? I really want to be on Disney channel I know it will be hard but do you guys have any ideas
    thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Hello there! :)

      You should keep auditioning for your school plays and you should also join a community theatre group outside school if you haven't already. You'll meet new friends, have fun doing what you love and you'll be building up your own acting resume without even realising.

      To get paid work you'll need to get an agent. The problem is getting one. When you make your acting resume you can send it to an agent and if they're interested they'll arrange for you to audition. However agents are mainly only interested in people who have went to drama school and got a BA in acting or went to a stage school or had previous professional work on TV/film/stage.

      You should build up a resume of roles you've played including a few supporting and leading roles and some shows from 'better' theatre groups before applying to an agency.

      You can also look around on Google for any short film auditions coming up around your area. Students and inspiring film directors often make these for film festivals so you could audition for one of them. If you get a role these are normally unpaid but you get free lunch and sometimes money for the bus ride home. They often want adults for these however as these normally shoot during school hours.

      When you're 18 you should consider going to a drama school for a BA in acting. It's a very intense course but a very great way to learn the craft and get seen by agents at the end of it all. Very competitive to get into in the first place though!

      Just gain some experience and do your research. Classes are beneficial but expensive, I would suggest to take a few and maybe take one before a big audition just to make sure you're prepared.

      Best of luck! :)

  49. QUESTION:
    How do I get into the music they play in the movies?
    I play alto sax and i think the movie music is the coolest music there is, but I have no idea how I can get into the "movie music" business. Please help

    • ANSWER:
      I am going to give you a practical straight-forward answer:

      I am a film music composer. Right now there is a film on Berlinale festival which I made music for and it is receiving very good comments.
      I work with various musicians and sometimes I work online with people in different countries. You can contact me at paco.irala at yahoo so I can hear some of your stuff and you might end up working for music scores sooner than you think.

      If you want to compose the music yourself, Well, the best thing is to study hard, see a lot of films and study their music, and then getting in touch with film students to make music for short films and getting experience. That worked for me.

      Best luck to you !

  50. QUESTION:
    any ideas for any short 5 min films I could make?
    I am a film studies student and intend to make some short films to enter into competitions however I need ideas. I want ideas for films that last up to 5 minutes.

    • ANSWER:
      It could be anything from a documentary about the cruelty of war on civilians to a comic take on various cultures. If you do comedy check out stand ups of Eddie Murphy. They are pretty good (Though they're long). Also why don't you like try making fake commercials of fake products. Like this one:-

      "Flepsi, the ultimate cola gamechanger of this generation"

      So on and so forth..................................


short film ideas for students