Short Film Scripts

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Is there a Short Film script database out there?
    I'm looking to download award-winning short film scripts (such as the 2009 winner of the Sundance Short film category). Any suggestions on a resource/website to find award-winning short film scripts?

    • ANSWER:
      http://www.simplyscripts.com/genre/short-scripts.html
      this is all i could find sorry

  2. QUESTION:
    What would be a good assassin story for a short film?
    I am going to write a short film script within the length between 20 to 30 minutes. I decided to write about assassination and revenge.

    • ANSWER:
      http://wtc7.net/articles/kimball/thirdskyscraper.html
      People killed in government conspiracy and the survivor has to eliminate the powerful fascists who manipulate through media.
      http://mindprod.com/politics/iraqkill.html#KILL

  3. 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.

  4. QUESTION:
    How to end a script for a zombie movie?
    I'm wrong a short film script and at the end one of my characters die, I cut to a scene where they're having a funeral and I don't know how to end it...suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      you could try having it at the end zoom in on a persons face and theyre crying at the funeral (if dead person had a close friend/partner) then have them leave a rose at the grave and walk slowly away with some dramatic music in the background and then BAM closing credits. Or you could have zombies come at the funeral and kill them all. Your choice

  5. QUESTION:
    How to end a script for a zombie movie?
    I'm wrong a short film script and at the end one of my characters die, I cut to a scene where they're having a funeral and I don't know how to end it...suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      End it with the person who they're having the funeral for becoming a zombie (or imply that's what's going to happen).

  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:
    Is foul language a hindrance in short film festivals ?
    I am planning to direct a short movie and then I plan to enter into short film festivals. However, the script I have written has a lot of foul language. Will ithe foul lalnguage be any kind of hindrance in entering the film festivals? Please advise.

    • ANSWER:
      Usually any festival doesn't really have a "no cussing" rule or anything like that. It may hurt the film's standing if you have a lot of unnecessary cussing in it, but if that's the way your characters would talk, then there's no problem with it. And any festival that doesn't allow cussing is a festival that you shouldn't bother entering into.

  8. QUESTION:
    I just got my script for this short film I have to do what are some ways for me to get into charector?
    I just got my script for this short film I have to do what are some ways for me to get into charector?

    • ANSWER:
      Give yourself a history. Sit down and answer some questions about yourself -- write them down -- so that if anyone ever asks, you know. It may never come up in the script, but knowing your character's favorite color or food is important to "fleshing out" the chracter. Also, in addition to your own ines, listen to what others say about you but consider the source. Is some of what's said stemming from jealousy or rivalry? Or is it being said by your loving wife or husband? Finally, give yourself a brief history of what has happened to you to get you to the place you're in before the movie starts.

  9. QUESTION:
    I just got my script for this short film I have to do what are some ways for me to get into charector?
    I just got my script for this short film I have to do what are some ways for me to get into charector?

    • ANSWER:
      Read the script read the script read the script!
      A good way to get in character is to know the character. (yet still be fluid enough to take direction as given.) Ask yourself questions about the script and the character, then answer them as "the character."
      1. Why am I in the script?
      2. What is my "big scene?"
      3. Why does my "big scene" happen? How does it drive/ move the action of the film?
      4. Am I the protagonist or the antagonist?
      5. How does my character change throughout the script?
      6. Where is the character at the end of the play? What caused that to happen?
      Remember: every character is there for a reason, find out why you are there. Also keep in mind that this is life or death. Whether or not the character physically dies, it is important to view each choice are life or death so that it doesn't fall flat. (That does not mean be melodramatic) It is much easier for a director to scale back a performance than to constantly be asking for more.

  10. QUESTION:
    How do I know what genre my short film falls into?
    I'm in a television writing course and I'm not sure if my script for a short film falls in the category of comedy, drama , or dramedy... How can I tell what genre it is? Is there a way to specify what category it falls under.

    • ANSWER:
      If it's a short film, it falls under the category of short. Now, the sub-genre's of short films are most likely the same as regular films. But the genre of a short film is always "short."

  11. QUESTION:
    is it normal to write the ending of a script about halfway through?
    I'm writing a short film script at the moment and I'm about halfway through it and I'm a little stuck but the ending just popped into my head. I was wondering, is it normal to write the ending early and fill in the rest or is that a no no?
    Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      It doesn't matter what order you write in. Many writers start with a good ending. There really is no method that must be followed obviously.

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

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

  13. QUESTION:
    What kind of story would you want from a short film?
    My friend wants me to write a script for his short film that him and his friends are making. I'm an English major, trying to become a screen writer, but short films are not my area. I don't know what people would want from a short film (like 7, 8 minutes). What kind of story would you want from a short film?

    • ANSWER:
      Something unusual, something that catches my imagination, that looks in the world a new way.

      I would actually advise that you watch a few short films to get a sense of the kinds of things that happen in them. I've seen some amazing little stories put on the screen in a few short minutes.

      Also, don't be afraid to use stereotypes (obviously not racist ones) in a short film for your characters. Because time is short you want your viewers to instantly know who the characters are.

      I would check the web for a list of short films and then watch some of them.

      Good luck!

  14. QUESTION:
    How to get amateur actors for a short film?
    Hi, I live in London and I have an amateur short film planned out. I have a written script, and all equipment I need, all I need are people willing to be in it for free. Where do you recommend I go?

    • ANSWER:
      make a lot of fliers saying audition dates and post them all around town. then audition people for the roles. many people like the theatre, so there will be many people who will want to audition. good luck!

  15. QUESTION:
    How many scenes and characters should be in a short film?
    Hello

    I have to produce a ten minute short film and I am really struggling with my script. I have noticed that my original solo character is meeting with up to eight others and the number of scenes just keep growing and growing. What makes a good short film? And by putting all these scenes and characters into the story, can it confuse the audience. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Phew, there are so many answers to that question, probably because it boils down to the big question, "what makes a good short?". Some random thoughts:

      1. Keep banging your head to get a pristine idea of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY? Can you describe the movie in one clear sentence? This can be a real challenge. The better you know what you wanna say, the cleaer your story will become, and you might find yourself parting with some characters.

      2. 9 characters really sounds like too many. Try a new draft, with a goal to see what's the fewest you can get away with, while still telling what you set to. Do multiple characters serve the same purpose? Do you really need all of them, then?

      3. Please, give your precious draft to other people whose opinion you appreciate, and listen to what they have to say. If possible, watch for their reactions as they read. When do they get emotional? Ask them tricky and open-ended questions to see what they got out of the script, which will definitely differ from what you had in mind. That's fine, it's art, but pay attention to what confused them, and what they didn't care for. My motto is that the worst movies are not the ones you hate, but the ones nobody understands and nobody cares for.

      4. Learn from others! Search Netflix or Blockbuster.com for "academy award short", and watch some Oscar-winning shorts. Concentrate on the story. If you're serious, pick the ones you like, and count the scenes and characters, even transcribe the scripts.

      5. The true answer is, you'll struggle with these questions all the way to the final edit of the film. Writing can be painful, learn to enjoy it like a good masochist! :-)

  16. QUESTION:
    How can I direct my own short film?
    I have to submit two short films for my application to a film school. Since I can't write a script - at least a good one - and I want to become a director and not a script writer, I'm lost. I don't know anyone who can write a script. I've read a couple of books on writing a short film - including characters and structure - but I can't come up with anything that's good, original and possible. Any solutions?

    • ANSWER:
      get a camera and start filming then put it on youtube

  17. QUESTION:
    How should she be credited in this short film for our school?
    She wrote a short story. I made the script for the story.
    Should she be credited as the writer?

    It's a short film but our prof said to do it "right".

    • ANSWER:
      You write:

      [Film title]

      Written by [your name]

      Based on a/the short story by [her name]

  18. QUESTION:
    Do HIPAA banning filming or video taping in doctor's offices apply even after hours?
    I've written a short film script with a scene that takes place in a doctor's office waiting room. Would HIPPA laws against filming or videotaping prevent me from shooting in an actual doctor's office waiting room, even if it's after hours and no patients are present?

    • ANSWER:
      No, it only matters for patients. HIPAA does not apply to offices and other inanimate objects where patients are not present.

      The exception would be if you are filming patient records of any kind. No identifiable patient information can appear in your material.

  19. QUESTION:
    Where could I find two police officers to act in my short film?
    So I'm shooting a short film for one of my classes this semester, and the script includes two police officers, playing themselves. It's not a big commitment, I just need two authentic cops in full uniform with a squad car to shoot on location for 1-2 days.

    However, I've been having a tough time finding two able and willing cops to act in the movie. I just don't know where to look? Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      A police department typically has an office in charge of booking overtime jobs. In some cities it's actually handled by the union. The union typically sets the minimum hourly rate for the officers and the department charges an hourly rate plus mileage for the police car.

      Ask an officer on the street who you should file your request with.

  20. QUESTION:
    How do I get help making a short film?
    I have a script for a short film. Where do I find someone to take over production? I'm a writer not a film maker.

    • ANSWER:
      Okay well you can use windows movie maker if you use windows or if you use mac then iMovie can help (well that's if you have a mac book with a camcorder.) 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Good luck!

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

  22. QUESTION:
    Do you guys have any funny ideas for a short film about police?
    Do you guys have any funny ideas like Reno 911?
    I am writing a short film which is like Reno 911. It is about stupid FBI agents.
    Do you have any funny ideas about what could be in the script?

    • ANSWER:
      Yeah actually how about a short about an honest cop that is almost tooooo honest which results in hilarious situations.

      you see he is stupid honest lol

  23. QUESTION:
    What kind of animators do I need to make a short animated film after concept art/script?
    I can start the storyboard, but I don't have any animators. For a 2D short film, which ones should I look for? I'd like a list of ones usually used for short films.

    • ANSWER:
      I can start the storyboard, but I don't have any animators. For a 2D short film, which ones should I look for animators do I need to make a short animated film after concept art/script

  24. QUESTION:
    Do you need a short film portfolio to be admitted into Boston University's film program?
    I was just wondering if film and or script samples are generally required for all film programs, or usually the ones that are part of strictly art schools like Emerson and NYU. For example, would I need to submit a short film to Northwestern or Boston University?

    • ANSWER:
      For undergraduate, generally not. sometimes they ask you to make a quick little film and generally what they look for there is creativity. But From my experience applying to film schools, no. The point of film school is to teach you how to make films. Making movies is expensive unlike an art supplies where you can build up a substantial amount of experience and work for very little money. It would be practically discriminatory towards lower middle class to poor families who can't shell out the money for a equipment.

  25. QUESTION:
    Where can I have someone write me a script for a short film?
    I have an idea for a short film I want to create, however I'm not a good writer and am looking for a way to pay someone to write it for me within the next few days. Any websites or anything?

    • ANSWER:
      Well. To actually give full credit to the writer of the film. You should post auditions, on some sort of site. And have someone write a sample script, of a topic. And see how imaginative and creative they are with writing. And then ask them to write you, another script on your topic. remember give full credit! if you wrote it you'd want credit!

  26. QUESTION:
    Can someone make the plot for a short film about the Joker's childhood and how he turns phsycho?
    I want to write a script for a short film about this but I think if I make the idea it would be extremely cheesy and I want it to be quite a dark short.
    I'm pretty much having full blown writer's block right now.
    I'd also give you credit for it.

    • ANSWER:
      On the day the joker was born, thunder clouds mapped the skies. Nurses hurried about in the labour room and couldnt hear the screams of the jokers mother due to the thunder. But she still gave birth without help and it was only when one nurse pased her and saw the baby lying there that she came to help. But she was too late. the mother died due to the amount of pain. So the joker was passed onto a care home that was on the rough end of town. While there he was bullied by a mob and one time they hit him so much, a pint of his blood ended up splattered accross the wall. The joker had had enough and very secretly made a slingshot and sharpened some lego we got from one of the kinder carers. Using this he killed the mob and sent blood spraying accross the carpets. He felt a sensation come over him, a warm sensation. He had this idea of killing everyone in the care home. but he prepared this mass attack for months. when ready, armed with more lego and a strengthier catapult, he sent blood guts and bits of brain all over the walls carpets and stairs. Finally he killed the nicer carer and sent her organs flying into the sink, which was full of water. The water turned red with blood. This is only the beginning...

  27. QUESTION:
    When producing a short film, what must I have before we start filming? How do I get these requirements?
    I'm producing a short film. We have the crew, we have the script, and we have the camera, green screen, video editing software, etc...

    Where can I find out how to credit the following into the credits:

    the crew, the actors, and the things we used in the film.

    Also, what type of forms should they be signing, and where can I get those?

    I need to think of these things, because we may sell it.

    Thanks in advance!
    Selling it really doesn't matter.

    Just want to make it...

    • ANSWER:
      Not wanting to dash your dreams... but how do you hope to sell your short? Shorts don't generally sell- they make calling cards. But assuming you can sell it- then you need to know the business end, which you don't seem to.

      1st- There is a fairly specific order to credits. Watch a few movies and you will see what can come at the beginning and what comes at the end. And what positions come where on the list. ALSO, go through a few movies on www.IMDb.com see how the complete list of credits and misc. info is laid out.

      2nd- The Complete Film Production Handbook (3rd Edition- is what I have) by Eve Light Honthaner (I bought through Amazon a few years back) comes with a CD that has almost every form that you will need. REMEMBER- Every single person associated with your production needs to sign multiple forms. There are simple contact info forms, forms for your image to be recorded, forms to be allowed to use a person's name and likeness. There are crowd notices to put up incase you are shooting in an open area and someone becomes an inadvertant "Extra". Then there are forms for any distinct product or logo or artwork. And of course ANY music- there are so many forms for music depending on what you are doing with it.

      If you hope to sell the film there are a lot of different things that need to be done than making a YouTube video or even a film just for film festivals. No one will consider buying a film that does not have all of it's forms complete.

      I was told a story about how someone had made a short that was travelling the festival circuit and getting good buzz. Until Madonna heard about it. It seemed that in one important scene a car drove through and you could hear a couple seconds of a Madonna song. They did not have the rights and couldn't cut the music without losing the rest of the sound. The scene was cut out and the film did not work.

      I have a blog where I have begun talking about my trials and tribulations of making my 1st short film. Check it out or contact me if you want.

      http://onefilmmakersjourney.blogspot.com/

  28. QUESTION:
    i need inspiration for a short film and script, anyone help me?
    I need to make a short film on anything, about 15mins long?
    And then I need to write a script which can be as long as I want
    I'm just lacking inspiration
    ideas would be appreciated!

    • ANSWER:
      Maybe a film about a guy who becomes obsessed with a popular pornographic internet video and attempts to track down the girls in the film, but stumbles onto a government conspiracy where they used that video to implant a subliminal message into everyone's mind to get everyone to elect President Obama

  29. QUESTION:
    How do you type a short script film?
    For my broadcasting final I have to type a short script film about bulling in american schools, I decided to make it a comdey but im completly lost on how to start it off and type it, HELP ME!

    • ANSWER:
      Start at a funny scene half way through that instantly shows you what the main characters are like, after the scene do opening credits and then backfill to give the characters more depth

      Also i've found the program Final Draft is very easy to use for writing scripts

  30. QUESTION:
    How do you add a lot of story and depth to a 15 minute short film?
    I feel like I have to sacrifice so much character development and plot depth )=

    What's the best way to approach directing a short film that's limited to 15 minutes? What filming techniques should I employ? What should I keep in mind, do, and avoid doing?

    • ANSWER:
      I'm really no expert at this so take my advice carefully.
      Firstly I don't know how old you are so I'm just going to say make sure you plan everything out (e.g script and/or storyboard). Although some directors just work off small story/character notes about a page long, have everything they want in there mind and then shoot a lot of footage and edit it down. For example Gareth Edwards directing 'Monsters' (2010) did that and ended up cutting a 100 hours of footage down to 90 mins, however as you can tell that was not a short film.
      Anyhow in my opinion you've got to remember a lot of the time it's the little things that count. So you can still have the character development and plot depth, but you got to find little ways of making that happen at the same time. Try not to go into detail for things that don't really matter, and remember unless your characters are particularly 'strange', they're just normal people so don't make them say anything too obvious and that 'actions speak louder than words' if you get what I mean.
      Also if you're still having trouble try and simplify the larger things to make it more effective and at the same time easier for people to understand (just not to simple though, as people do like being fascinated even by short films).
      And finally if you have trouble shortening it down, just find the more effective and needed moments and edit it carefully.
      So all I can say is I hope this was helpful and don't take my advice too seriously as I'm only going by what I know, and I haven't been taught anything about film.
      Good luck!

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

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

    • ANSWER:
      Dear Music Dude,

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

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

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

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

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

  32. QUESTION:
    How to get exposure for a short film?
    I'm planning to make a short film....it might be between 10-40 minutes long, depending on how I iron out my screenplay. I was wondering how would I go about exposing this film and reaching out to more people, perhaps even garner the attention of a few studio executives. Thanks for reading. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • ANSWER:
      Making a short film, particularly one that attempts to 'garner attention from a few studio executives' is a worthy goal that requires a lot work before you write the script or shoot your film. First, I would suggest attending a number of film festivals and internet sites that specialize in short films before embarking on making your own short film. See what other people are doing before making your film. Second, do not make a short film that is from a 40 minute script. Third, I would buy Roberta Munroe's book" How Not To Make A Short Film". Read this book like it was a textbook! She knows more than you (and me and most everyone else) about making a winning short film! Trust me, she does. In fact, read her book and if you can hire her you are better off! The sooner you read the book, or hire her, before you shoot your film, the better your film will be. Best of luck to you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  34. QUESTION:
    How to credit a certain person in a film?
    My friend came up with a few scentences of an idea for a short film. He never wrote a script for it, and then trashed it and came up with another idea. I plan on branching my script off of the original idea. He wants me to credit him with "original script by_____." What is the rightful way to credit him?

    • ANSWER:
      "Story by..." is normally how they would credit them. In Natural Born killers the "story" was by Quentin Tarantino but the script they used was heavily re-written by another guy.

  35. QUESTION:
    How to find a location to shoot my short film?
    Where can I find a location to shoot my short film in Los Angeles? Is there a web site for those kind of things, or somewhere I can go?
    I need an office location.

    • ANSWER:
      What scenes does the script call for?

      All you can do is drive around looking for suitable sites for the location shots of your film

      Remember, you need a permit to shoot a film in Los Angeles or other communities near by

      You will also need to pay for security and other incidentals associated with shooting on location

      When you apply for your permits, you will see what else you need to budget for while shooting on location.

  36. QUESTION:
    Where can I go to find film financing for my feature film script?
    My goal is to produce and direct this script, as I have several commercials and 1 short film on my resume. The only big obstacle I see is that this script is a fantasy film like Willow or Lord of The Rings, so my resume might not be good enough?

    • ANSWER:
      Try Kickstarter.com If you give a good enough pitch for it who knows?

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

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

  38. QUESTION:
    Does written text count as dialogue in screenplays?
    I'm writing a short film script that is only allowed a single line of dialogue (University Assignment) Does describing what's written down on something, whether that be a piece of paper, a road sign, or the time on a watch count as a line of dialogue, or is that just spoken words?

    • ANSWER:
      In a screenplay, dialogue is limited to words spoken aloud.

      If there's a sign EAT AT JOE'S, that would appear in an action line.

      If the character reads the sign aloud, then it's dialogue--even if the character is alone and says it only to himself.

  39. QUESTION:
    Does anyone know anything their mum would say when you were a child to cheer you up when you were upset?
    I need a phrase or saying for a short film script that a young boy remembers his mum saying when he was upset. He says this to another boy to encourage him to open up and tell him what is wrong.

    • ANSWER:
      My dear mother would always say that: "You may be just one person in the world. But if you are lucky, you may be the world to one person." And also: "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. Don't be afraid to live your life."

      The last one suits your story more, I guess.

      :-)

      Hope it cheered you up and you could use it for your film script. Good luck!

  40. QUESTION:
    How many pages is a feature-length film script?
    The screenplay I'm currently writing is 53 pages. I would like it to be a feature-length film as opposed to a short film. Usually they say each page equals one minute of screen time, but what I've heard is that if the script has a lot of action in it, which mine does, it will make the movie longer. Thoughts?

    • ANSWER:
      low brow simplistic scripts with little dialogue will be fairly short - but still appreciably more than 53 pages. give it a little more thought. good luck !

  41. QUESTION:
    What are my chances of getting into NYU Tisch?
    College Calculator said 44%.

    I'm looking to major in Film & Television or Dramatic Writing.

    I've got a 3.0 GPA
    I'm heavily involved in Media Arts at my school
    I've got a great portfolio ( short films, scripts, etc)
    I'm in National Honors Society
    My SAT scores were 1680
    I don't have many other extracurricular activities besides MA
    I've got a strong essay
    I'm applying Early Decision.

    What are my odds?

    • ANSWER:
      My daughter applied ED for Dance and got in. She was one of two who got in ED dance her year. Don't let that scare you. Dance only takes 30 freshman total. If you have a killer portfolio and they love you, you have a shot. The 3.0 GPA is on the low side. The Extracurriculars don't mean much. It is 50% your portfolio and 50% academics.You cannot calculate anything regarding your portfolio and translate that into percentage numbers. It is too subjective. Even though I think they are looking for around a 3.5 for your GPA at Tisch, if they really like what you have done, they may still take you. If you went to a tough high school that has a great rep. they will take that into account. You may or may not be on what they call academic probation. They did that with one of the dancers who they loved who was 2 years ahead of my daughter's class. I am not really sure what her GPA was.
      Good luck and let us know how you made out.

      *EDIT: You can have a 4.0 and a perfect SAT score and not get into Tisch. You have to ace the audition/portfolio. However, with two people of equal talent, the one with the better grades will get that spot.

  42. QUESTION:
    How would I get someone to make a short-film from a story that I've written?
    I have written a short-story and would love to see it being made into a short-film but have no idea where to start or who to contact. I've have no directing or any type of film-making experience so probably would want to collaborate with someone to make the short-film...any ideas where to start?

    • ANSWER:
      You can contact your local college or other school that has script or screenwriting courses.

      What the writing needs to be formatted into is called a 'treatment' -- basically it's telling what's happening, not only with the actors, but also what the viewer is seeing (e.g. camera shots, music, whether it's an interior shot or exterior). It's really a fancy outline.

      Here's a site with some info. on treatments:
      http://www.stormforcepictures.com/writingascript-treatment.php

      Also, you can check out your local library which should have many books on this topic as well.

      Finally, consider having someone (a neutral person--not friend or family) read and critique your final treatment; if you can find someone like someone who is in the entertainment business or a professor of film that's the best.

      Good luck!
      PS: Be wary of blogs, and people phishing to steal ideas.

  43. QUESTION:
    How do I find out about short films? I'm an actor and I don't know where to start!?
    I want to act in short films but don't know where to start. I live in London and i'm 16. Please help...10 points for best answer! Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Hi - they are advertised on websites like CastingCall, StarNow, Spotlight, that sort of thing. But you should be careful what you apply for - make sure they sound professional, and when you go for the auditions, take someone with you. Some are cons, and they really want strippers, waiters, pole dancers or porn actors, but you wouldn't find out until you got there!
      If they are genuine, they will send you a script if they are interested in you, and then invite you for audition. Read the script thoroughly and if it's poorly written, full of spelling mistakes, ghastly sentences, weak characters or really bad content, you should refuse it and tell them why. Loads of these are student films, and some are so bad it wold kill your future career if you were ever seen acting in them!
      Some are really good, but there will be loads of other actors all competing for the role, so make sure you're ready. You should have had a good training at drama school and experience on stage at the very least. They are not easy to get into, even though they are short or student films, and don't expect any pay - if you're lucky you might get travel expenses.
      However, they are great experience, and some might even get you noticed. They also provide great material for showreels.
      Good luck.

  44. QUESTION:
    Interesting ways for characters to talk on Internet in a movie?
    So, I'm making a short film and in the script, I have two characters talking to each other over the Internet (like instant messaging) but I'm not sure how to film this without making it boring. Should I use voice overs? Does anyone have any ideas to make it more interesting?

    • ANSWER:
      me: well matey you could be givin them pirate accents
      you: arrrr tis a fine suggestion ye have therrrrrrre

  45. QUESTION:
    How to raise cash for a short film?
    I'm only thirteen but I have written a script for a short film that I think should be done right (a.k.a with a good camera, microphone) but I quite literally have NO money. My parents aren't going to shell out anything, either. How do I raise enough money to get my equipment? Are there grants available? Creative ideas welcome

    • ANSWER:
      First, register your script with WGA.org and the Library of Congress. Then, what you need is the advice of your local film commisions who may be willing and able to help a local young filmmaker find funding via local producers. With your script registered you will have some legal protection showing that that intellectual property is yours, because some people may act very nice in the begining like they're trying to help you and end up ripping you off. If things look like they're heading towards a real deal, get an agent to help you with contracts etc.

      To find local film societies, do a websearch. Type in your state name and the word film and see what comes up. You state may have 1 or several so check them all out and see what they have to offer.

      For agents, go to http://www.sag.org/sagWebApp/application?origin=page1.jsp&event=bea.portal.framework.internal.refresh&pageid=AgentInformation but because they are listed through SAG not all agencies listed here will represent writers and directors so you'll have to ask.

      These agencies all represent writers, but they're all in CA:
      http://wga.org/agency/agencylist.asp#top

      PLEASE register your script first! You do not have to be a member of WGA do do that. You do have to pay a small fee, but better than getting ripped off later, right?

      You can also do it yourself. Local business may be interested in being featured in the filming in exchange for a contribution. It's called product placement :-) There are also many indie production companies that have all the equipment and you may be able to work out a deal with them (they rent it out). Again I don't know where you're located, but your state film sites may have links to these companies. They are companies so it won't be free. If they think the film will make money they may front for your crew and equipment but will likely want points on the back end which is where you really need a pro to help with contracts. Do not agree to anything without someone who knows about these things on your side.

      good luck!

  46. QUESTION:
    What do I need to make a good quality movie and/or short film?
    I'm about to create a short film I need to know what type of computer would be best, camera, and what else will i need. I need the brand and everything. I am a novice so details will help and pretty much all the steps I need take. The film will be over a story I made in class. How do I go about getting it in "book form" Publishing Company maybe.I would greatly appreciate any answers or help I can get

    • ANSWER:
      Do you have a good script? A good storyboard? A shooting script?

      If you want to shoot film, you will need a camera like an ARRI 16

      If you want to shoot a video, a video camera with 3-CCD's like one of the Panasonic professional video cameras

      Link:

      http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/AG-DVX100B.asp

      The computer you will need should have a fast CPU, maybe two (Intel i7 CPU), a lot of RAM (16 gb) and large, fast hard drives. Which video editing program you choose has more to do with the one you have the most experience using. When editing video it is best to have a good 24 inch Eizo monitor and a second, smaller monitor to dock all the programs editing tools

      http://www.eizo.com/global/solutions/graphics/index.html#tab03

  47. QUESTION:
    Can some one who speaks spanish please translate this?
    I have no idea what it means and our spanish teacher says we must use it in our short film/script
    ¿como que no esta seguro de que tengo? ¡Pero usted es el doctor!

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      How come you're not sure what I have? But you're the doctor!

  48. QUESTION:
    What is the cheapest way/camera to shoot 3D short film (professional)?
    I want to shoot a short film in 3D but it seems the Red 3D camera is not yet available. Are thie any other affordable options out there?

    • ANSWER:
      Rent a 35 mm 3D camera. The cost is a write off and you will have no capital investment you will have to deal with later

      Panasonic and JVC have some 3D video cameras in the works, but as you said, they are not yet available.

      I am sure you have your script broken down into a shooting script and have your story board ready.

      Look at some of the 3D configurations people have made using two dSLR's.

  49. QUESTION:
    I would like to buy a film script anyone with a good idea?
    Interested in buying a script for ither a short film or a feature horror. anyone with ideas and don't charge a lot , pitch me an idea or message me.

    • ANSWER:
      I found a website where a guy lets you use his scripts FREE as long as you tell him.
      Here's the site:
      http://www.carlrossi.com/scripts.htm
      They short film scripts...if any of them look interesting you can use them!
      Hope I Helped!
      Would you mind answering my question?
      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Ah_w5It.vJsxggEoWNxIqL_sy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20090627172020AAJvgJ0
      Thanks!

  50. QUESTION:
    How to make a short film series?
    I have written several stories and would like to put them in short films, how can I accomplish this and where do I begin? Some of the stories are original some of them are fan fiction...

    • ANSWER:
      The first thing you should do is get your hands on the best camera you can. Either buying it, or borrowing it from someone. Use available lighting if you're going for cheap (borrow some work lights and can lights). Shoot outside on a cloudy day (the clouds diffuse the sunlight). Get friends and family to star in it. Get a decent editing program. (Sony Vegas has packages in all price ranges).

      Once you know you have the means to shoot these short films, finesse the scripts. Write them in proper form (celtx is a good program for formatting scripts, and it's free). Cast your actors, and let them have the scripts.

      During shooting, establish the shots. Do combinations of up-close, low angle, high angle, and far away shots. Also do cut sequences jumping from person to person as they talk. Use props and cheap effects. Dolly shots make your pieces look pretty good. You can make a track dolly by yourself, but I won't waste time saying how as there are hundreds of tutorials for them online.

      Once you have the shots, take them into an editing program and cut them together as you'd like. Find music (royalty free if you're going to do anything with these). Then finish them up on DVD. You can make a website for the series, get a fan base on youtube. Etc.

      For any specific questions on how to achieve an effect or anything else film related, you can email me and I'd be more than happy to help.


short film scripts