Short Film Scripts Wanted

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What is the chance of a short film script being picked up?
    I think I have a good short film script idea. My work is not known YET (lol), but I want to know the rate a short film script gets picked up. Are the chances better than a normal script? Serious answers are well appreciated. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Short films are rarely picked up. If you want to make it, you'll have to direct and produce it yourself. Thats how most shorts are done anyway.

  2. 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!

  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:
    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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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! :-)

  11. QUESTION:
    What is a good concept for a short film?
    I want to make a short film. Preferably a thriller, or a comedy. I'm fairly good with coming up with content, but as for a concept, I am at a loss. I just need a plot and whatnot. Characters and scripts and the development of the story I can do myself. I mainly want to do this to practice my editing. The actors would all be girls. 3 of them. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I think a good thriller would be an open-to-your-thoughts discussion in which the girls are lying on a lawn and watching the sunset while they talk about what they would do if the world ended. It would be interesting if they were teenage girls, and they all had very different answers, like one might say she would kiss the boy she has a crush on before it was too late, the other might say she would love to see her father again (giving the impression he left and she still misses him), and the third might say she would just like to graduate so she could move out of their small town. It would be interesting if the story were shot on a happier tone, with the girls laughing at times and promoting positivity.

      At the end of the film, the girls will all get up at once, and look past the camera at something that is not shown to the audience. All three of them will have expressions that turn from upbeat to concerned. One of them will ask, "What is that?" or something to the effect that a very interesting thing is happening out of camera view, which will entice the audience. Then, before anything is revealed, the camera goes dark, and it is unclear if the darkness was caused by the sun fully setting, or if something catastrophic has just happened.

      Just something I whipped up this morning. I'm a writer, by the way, so if you don't use this, I probably will! =)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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!

  17. QUESTION:
    How do you get copyright send something?
    I wrote a short film and I want to get copyrights on it so nobody steals the idea

    • ANSWER:
      You are confused on at least three levels.
      1. you already own copyright -- it was free and automatic the moment you wrote the script and did the film.
      2. You can optionally mark your film with copyright notice, since you own the copyright. You can optionally fill out an online form, upload a copy and pay a fee to the US Copyright Office yourself, and get a certificate that says you claim to be the owner of the copyright.
      3. Having done all that, you will not be able to prevent anyone with a copy of your film from doing what they want with it. You can, however, sue them for up to 0,000 for violating your copyright, if you registered it.

      As an aside, your "idea" is not covered in the copyright law. Only your particular expression of your idea is actually protected. Anybody can take your idea and make their own film and you can't stop them unless you keep your film a secret.

      I would not personally use legalzoom for anything. Thousands of people file their own copyright registrations every day with no problems.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. QUESTION:
    How much can I expect to make from a film option?
    I've recently been approached via email by a producer from a small production company. He is interested in optioning my script, but asked me to suggest a price we can agree on and I'm not sure what to come back with. It's obviously not a major company so I don't want to request too much. I also don't want to get cheated either. Their website seemed pretty legit and they have quite a few films under their belt, but I'm sure they don't have much money to throw at script options. It's important to note that my script is only for a short film to be used in an anthology and not a feature script. This would definintely effect the amount I would receive.

    • ANSWER:
      It all bundles down to how much you think your worth. How experienced are you, how confident are you with the script?..if you feel your worth more than what they can give you, move on the next buyer. If your just trying to get name out there because your starting out, take anything because getting money at all at that point starting out is rare. Most beginner script writers I know post their stuff for free online (it makes a name for them).

  21. 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/

  22. QUESTION:
    How much does it cost to register a movie copyright with the US copyright office?
    Getting ready to work with several individuals on getting a grant to make a short film for the state of IL and wanted to know if anyone had a straight answer on how much getting the copyrights for the script and movie etc would run me?

    Appreciate any input thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      You don't copyright a screenplay, you register it through the Writers Guild of America, West. You can do this here:

      www.wgawregistry.org/webrss

      It costs to register your screenplay. Registration is not copyright. It fixes a time when the work was first fixed in tangible form and protects your work for 5 years. When you sell your work, the entity you've sold your work to will copyright it.

      If you make the flick yourself, it's slightly different; you still register your work while you're making the film, and - when you're done - you hire an entertainment attorney, spend an hour of time with him, and let his firm properly copyright your screenplay and your flick at the same time. Do NOT copyright your production yourself; it's a stupid thing to attempt by yourself; you make one mistake and your work is unprotected.

      NOTES:

      - The idiot who said you don't need to register for copyright and went on to babble about 'tangible medium' is completely wrong, and makes stupid assumptions.

      - Copyright - much like Registration - fixes a specific time when the work was first fixed in tangible form (not 'medium'). it also provides you with additional resources for recourse if your work is stolen or plagiarized by another person or entity that is not provided by Registration (that means you get more money). Duh.

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. QUESTION:
    Any really good ideas for a murder mystery story?
    I am writing a script for a short film about 10-30 min or longer, and I want to write something like a murder, mystery, suspicious. Something like house of anubis, but no treasure, and no Egyptian gods or anything.

    • ANSWER:
      I advise you play the game to get some ideas from it. Even look up a "Walk-through guide" to help you if you don't like those sort of games.

      Return to Ravenhearst

      Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst takes a detective back to Ravenhearst Manor, a mysterious 19th century mansion constructed by Charles Dalimar as a symbol of affection for his love/obsession, Emma Ravenhearst. In the first visit to the mansion, taking place within Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst, the detectives explore the haunted dwelling and pieced together the mystery of the mansion's now-deceased namesake. In Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, The Queen has summoned the detective back to the now-decrepit mansion to shed some light on the manor's dark past and put the mysteries of Ravenhearst to rest.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_Case_Files:_Return_to_Ravenhearst

  27. QUESTION:
    How do you go about directing a film when you're an amateur?
    I haven't directed a film, nor attended film school. I've directed multiple animated shorts and I've written several short films but never have I directed a film and I'm still only 18.

    Would actors respect a short 18 year old baby faced man that wants to hire some actors (cheap) for a no budget film but I expect that it WILL attract attention because in my opinion the script is brilliant.

    But how do you go about attracting actors or even amateur actors? I mean everyone has to start somewhere

    • ANSWER:
      I'm 22, so it's been a few years since high school. I took a film class, so I know what "amateur" is like, believe me. Really, though, it's not about professionalism. I should know, because some of the students actually won in the local film festival, and they weren't professional. My advice: get some close friends together, then practice, practice, and practice some more. Also, why not try to practice in front of an audience? Your parents are nice to practice in front of, but why not try it in front of, say, a teacher? A teacher would be a bit more of a tougher critique then your parents would be. And, most of all, as I'm sure you know from your animated shorts, you have to accept criticism with your head held high. Don't look at it as something to tear you down, but rather to build you up. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? So start off with your friends and maybe family.

  28. 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

  29. QUESTION:
    What's a good camera for an amateur film-maker?
    I've been wanting to get into film making for a while (like short films) but all the cameras I find are really expensive. I don't want to spend a ton of money either, cameras in the 200-500$ range would be good.
    Thanks anyone for your help, Drew

    • ANSWER:
      To shoot film, you need a 16 mm or 35 mm motion picture camera

      What I think you want to do is shoot video using some kind of video camera

      What you don't seem to know is that getting a camera is only the tip of the iceberg

      You also need a fast computer with some kind of video editing program (NOT a free one)

      What you also need to be able to do is write scripts and break them down into a shooting script. Learn how to light your scenes and direct your actors.

      Again, many of us have gone to the uni to learn film making and all you have to do is look at the credits on even a short film to see how many others are involved in making a remarkable film (video in your case)

      The best camera for shooting video is really a video camera.

      Look at the JVC 1080P Everio GZE200AUS. It costs less than 0 on Amazon and will get you started.

      Until you get your video camera, work on the scripts you have now so you can start using the camera right away

  30. QUESTION:
    How do films get money to create the film?
    So say now an independant film compnay have got a great script they want to make, where do they get the money to make the film?

    • ANSWER:
      The short answer is by any means possible. The longer answer depends on the project and your assets as a filmmaker.

      The question as stated is a little misleading because most films at the festivals have already been "financed" and are looking for distribution so the film can get into theaters or on DVD and investors can get their money back, plus a profit. Sure you can go to a festival or a film market, like we have in Santa Monica, and try to meet investors that way. But those places are crowded with projects that already have actors and directors attached, so if you're going to a festival or a film market with a script and a prayer, then you're not likely to get very far.

      Independent films are generally financed by any person or business outside the studio system. I'd venture to say that there are very few independent projects that are financed the same way, and therein lies the creativity of producing. So there's really not a guide or a strict "how" independent films get made...the best I think I can offer is "why" they get made and how you can increase the likelihood that your independent project will get financed.

      In today's marketplace every filmmaker also needs to think like a producer, even if he or she isn't going to actually do the day-to-day work of producing the project. It will keep your exercise in creativity from becoming an exercise in futility. If you want your project to be anything other than a file on your computer, you need to assess the idea and figure out who you think you could take it to before you put pen to paper or eye to viewfinder.

      Take a look at your concept and make a list of what you think makes it "unique." Is it shot in a location that gives good tax breaks? That's an asset. Does it feature someone with a mental health condition that someone or some organization might be interested in seeing represented on screen? That's an asset. Do you know an actor that's bankable oversees? Does it have a built in audience? Those are huge assets. This doesn't even scratch the surface of all the different upsides your project might have, but you can see the thought process. As you start to evaluate both the project and your own connections, you'll start to understand how your project might be financed or if it can be at all. The more assets your project has, the more avenues you'll have to reach out to potential investors.

      And of course the larger the concept, the more money you'll need. If you think you can only raise money from friends and family, keep your concept small and you might look at sites like Kickstarter which may be good for a few thousand dollars. If it's a documentary, can you partner with an organization that wants to get your message out? If you're looking at a large narrative feature do you have the ability to sit in front of people who can invest large sums?

      And probably the best way of all to get your independent film financed is to have a really good idea. Nothing is as infectious as a great idea properly executed. If you can get people so excited about your concept that they can't believe it hasn't been made already, plus you have the ability to put it into motion once the financing set, then the money tends to find you. And that's the kind of film you should aspire to make.

  31. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have a good idea for a script?
    I have to write a script for a short film that will be about 7 minutes long. Nothing greater than PG-13 material. Thanks for the help.

    • ANSWER:
      i didnt make this play sooooo...yeah...Shakespearean Play Skit

      #1: For this evening's entertainment, we offer you this cultural classic, currently captivating crowds across the country at finer dinner theaters and thespian gatherings.
      Without further ado, we bring you, "The Marriage of the Princess". Please enjoy.

      (#2 enters, riding a horse, and gallups up to the door.)
      #2: Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Whoa.
      #2: Knock, Knock, Knock.
      #1: (as doorman) Yes, may I help you?
      #2: I want to marry the princess!
      #1: I'll have to ask the King.
      (#1 slowly turns around while #2 runs behind him, sits down, and puts the large pot on his head. He is now the King.)

      #1: King?
      #2: Yes?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wants to marry your daughter, the princess.
      #2: Oh, I'll have to ask my wife, the Queen, now won't I?
      (slowly turns as #1 drops his staff, sits down, and puts on the small pot. He is now the Queen and should use an appropriate voice.)

      #2: Queen?
      #1: Yes, what is it?
      #2: There is a man at the door who wants to marry our daughter, the princess.
      #1: Well, we must ask her then, mustn't we?
      (turns as #2 sits in last chair and puts kerchief over head. He is the Princess.)

      #1: Princess?
      #2: Yes, mother?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wishes to marry you.
      #2: Hmmm, tell him, No Thank You.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes King.)

      #1: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: I see.
      (#1 becomes doorman)

      #2: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes knight)

      #1: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: Darn!
      #2: Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. (exits stage)

      #1: (to audience) A few days later...

      (#2 enters, riding a horse, and gallups up to the door.)
      #2: Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Whoa.
      #2: Knock, Knock, Knock.
      #1: (as doorman) Yes, may I help you?
      #2: I want to PLEASE marry the princess!
      #1: I'll have to ask the King.

      #1: King?
      #2: Yes?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wants to PLEASE marry your daughter, the princess.
      #2: Oh, I'll have to ask my wife, the Queen, now won't I?

      #2: Queen?
      #1: Yes, what is it?
      #2: There is a man at the door who wants to PLEASE marry our daughter, the princess.
      #1: Well, we must ask her then, mustn't we?

      #1: Princess?
      #2: Yes, mother?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wishes to PLEASE marry you.
      #2: Hmmm, tell him, No Thank You.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes King.)

      #1: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: I see.
      (#1 becomes doorman)

      #2: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes knight)

      #1: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: Darn!
      #2: Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. (exits stage)

      #1: (to audience) A few days later...

      (#2 enters, riding a horse, and gallups up to the door.)
      #2: Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Clippity-Clop. Whoa.
      #2: Knock, Knock, Knock.
      #1: (as doorman) Yes, may I help you?
      #2: I am here to marry the princess, and I won't take NO for an answer!
      #1: I'll have to ask the King.

      #1: King?
      #2: Yes?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wants to marry your daughter, the princess, and he won't take NO for an answer.
      #2: Oh, I'll have to ask my wife, the Queen, now won't I?

      #2: Queen?
      #1: Yes, what is it?
      #2: There is a man at the door who wants to marry our daughter, the princess, and he won't take NO for an answer.
      #1: Well, we must ask her then, mustn't we?

      #1: Princess?
      #2: Yes, mother?
      #1: There is a man at the door who wishes to marry you, and he won't take NO for an answer.
      #2: Hmmm, tell him, No Thank You.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes King.)

      #1: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: I see.
      (#1 becomes doorman)

      #2: She says 'No Thank You'.
      #1: I see.
      (#2 becomes knight)

      #1: (doorman) She says 'No Thank You'.
      #2: (knight) I said I won't take NO for an answer - stand aside or die!
      (pulls his sword)
      #1: Go right in, sir!
      (knight gives him the sword as he walks by and sits down as king.)

      #2: (king) She said 'No Thank You'.
      #1: (knight) I said I won't take NO for an answer - stand aside or die!
      (pulls his sword)
      #2: Go right in then!
      (knight gives him the sword as he walks by and sits down as queen.)

      #1: (queen) She said 'No Thank You'.
      #2: (knight) I said I won't take NO for an answer - stand aside or die!
      (pulls his sword)
      #1: Go right in then!
      (knight gives him the sword as he walks by and sits down as princess.)

      #2: (princess) I said 'No Thank You'.
      #1: (knight) I said I won't take NO for an answer - will you marry me?
      #2: Well, Yes then!

      #1: (to audience) And, they lived happily ever after.

  32. 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!

  33. QUESTION:
    What ideas do you have about writing a film?
    My friend and myself are both budding film makers and having making several short films we have decided to move into a feature length film.
    We were originally going to write the script ourselves but then we decided to make it a collaborative creation, so my question is does anybody have any plot line or script ideas centred around the simple idea of a unknown hero who suffers from amnesia and doesn't seem to exist?

    Any ideas would be really welcome!

    Ciao

    • ANSWER:
      Your options are: We see this man become a hero and then lose his memory. He searches his history and finds out about his past. We get a report on why someone had to wipe his memory.

      Unfortunately, all these have been done. Wolverine is the most recent. TV shows like to play this idea a lot. Most times the main plot involves a war, a fight, or some sort of tragedy.

      To do something different: Have the hero become a hero by going against something inanimate: like a fire, storm, animal, drought or something that would affect us all - don't go alien. As far as not existing, loss of records, sun flare, fire, location is remote.

      If you want more ideas, email me.

  34. 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.

  35. QUESTION:
    Whats it the best was to begin writing a script?
    I am an actor and have wanted to write a script for a very long while to make short pieces of theater or short films. I have allot of ideas and they are always buzzing around my head but I am really struggling with actually getting them down on paper, does anyone have any tips on the best way to get it rolling? Thanks in advance :)

    • ANSWER:
      I usually just start writing dialogue but lately have discovered it's really helpful to start by outlining the idea. You can do just a simple sentence outline to get your idea down on paper. Take one of the ideas that's buzzing around. For example Giant pink poodle drinks all the water in the town reservoir.
      Okay so you have an image but not a story. Start writing down the order that things happen.
      There is a mistake in the science lab. One of the techs smuggled in her pet poodle in her purse because she couldn't bear to leave it home alone. Poodle spills somebody's jar of pickled beets all over himself. Radiation causes the poodle to grow to giant size. He escapes from the lab and wreaks havoc. List types of havoc wreaked. He meets and is befriended by (whom or what?) A bunch of things happen and the poodle winds up at the town reservoir thirsty. He drinks all the water.
      What results? Someone is saved from drowning? Criminals are prevented from escaping? The entire economy of the town is destroyed because there is no more water and everyone moves someplace else and one family moves to LA and they all become movie stars?

      At this point you might think tha the story is really about the movie star family and that the part about the giant poodle was all just back story. And in fact it probably wasn't a poodle at all but just an ordinary drought.

      Writing down an outline helps you develop your idea. You can work out your plot and get an idea of what wil work and what won't before you start doing the actual "writing." You can see the order things have to be in because of what causes what. You can see where various characters enter the plot and make adjustments if you find they should be introduced earlier or later.

      The important thing is to start. Ideas do nothing for anybody as long as they are allowed to just buzz around in your head.

  36. QUESTION:
    What should I ask from actors in their portfolios?
    I want to do casting for short films in the Spring and I need to know what I should be asking for from interested actors. I haven't done the casting before, so I want to be professional as possible.
    My film group needs to also build their own porfolios for experience.

    • ANSWER:
      You should ask for a resumé and headshot. Even if looks don't matter, it's important you get those photos to make sure you remember who you saw! Then, depending on your project(s), you may ask them to perform a 2 minute monologue or read directly from the script in what are called sides. Obviously, if the casting is more general and not for a specific project, a monologue will have to do. Make sure you specify that it is for film, and you will probably also want to ask for a contemporary monologue (but if your projects are set in a more archaic tone, ask for classical).

      Look for actors that clearly demonstrate skill, but also show a strong sense of professionalism. You're not just picking who's going to be on the screen, but who you're going to have to work with on the set. In a resumé, look to see that they have a fiar amount of experience, or at least a wide range even if the experience is minimal. Most importantly, consider how each actor would fit the role you are looking for. Make sure you talk to your director to get an idea of how he wants each character represented and what he wants the overall tone of the project to be, and consider that when you are deciding who will essentially become each character.

  37. QUESTION:
    I want to become a writer more than anything but I just don't know where to start?
    recently I've been thinking more about what I want to do with my life the shortcome of that is I want to write film script and even produce the film if i can but I just don't know where to start story wise?

    I don't have the money to buy all the software needed but I know I have some good ideas floating about inside I just dont know how to unlock them?

    is there any advice other writers can give on how to get started or even about how I can get my foot in the door writing for someone else?

    • ANSWER:
      Celtx is a great free screenplay writing software. I would start out writing short films and finding people to produce them such as college students. You can also get involved with writing competitions like the 48 hour film festival. Short films are a great way to start and get exposure. Write for others and become part of a team. Making connections is the best way to eventually sell that screenplay.

  38. QUESTION:
    How to hold an open casting call?
    I need some actors for a short film my friends and I are shooting during the summer. We've already gotten some of our friends cast but we need more people.How do I put the word out that we're holding an open casting call? What info do I put? Where can I put it up? How do I audition people?
    Sorry, I live in the US.

    • ANSWER:
      Here are the steps on hosting an Open Call.

      1) Create a list of breakdowns (description of characters that you are still looking for).

      Here is an example:

      "DETECTIVE TOM" - Any Ethnicity. Male. 40-50. Not balding. Dark Hair. Not skinny, not too heavy. He is an obsessive, nerdy, borderline-autistic who had his lunch money stolen as a child and is now taking it out on the bank robbers.

      2) Depends on where you want to host the Open Audition. If you have access to an empty studio, a class room at school, that would be ideal. Otherwise, you can yahoo-search any Dance/Acting studios that's local to the area for rental. Determine the Date(s) and Time that you want to do the Open Audition.

      3) Creating an Open Casting Call Note. On your note, you should include a brief description of your project, the story line, compensation, production dates and production location, and open call date, time, and location. Then after that, you should list the character breakdowns that you are looking for.

      Here is an example:

      Open Casting Call for Short Film “Thanks Mom”

      "Thanks Mom" it is a film that tells the tale of two young filmmakers who make it through all the obstacles of producing an independent film only to face their greatest challenge yet: their mother.

      Filming Duration: July 9 thru July 13
      Filming Location:Chicago, IL
      Compensation: No Pay, but will provide Meal, Credit, and a Copy of the final film.
      Open Audition Date: June 19 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm
      Open Audition Location: Champion Dance Studio, 12345 Yahoo Street, 5th Floor, Room 1280, Chicagoo, IL.
      What to Bring:
      Prepare to read sides. Sides will be provided at the location. (if any of these characters have lines, then you can extract those lines from the script onto a seperate piece of paper. These are call 'sides.' Give the actors at least 5 minutes to look them over, and then call them in to perform those lines) If you don't have any sides, you can simple ask the Actor to prepare a 1-2 min. monologue.
      Please bring a copy of your headshot and resume.

      Character Breakdowns:

      "DETECTIVE TOM" Any Ethnicity. Male. 40-50. Skinny. Dark Hair. He is an obsessive, nerdy, borderline-autistic who had his lunch money stolen as a child and is now taking it out on the bank robbers.

      "SUSAN" Caucasian. 20-25. An eccentric young mother who is a bit too overbearing, but loving and caring to her core. Good comic ability a plus.

      4) Depends on where you are located, you can post an Open Casting Call notice online. Mandy.Com and Craigslist.Org are two most popular internet resource for free postings. I would also recommend you to include an email address that you feel comfortable with exposing to the public on your notice. Just incase if any of the actors have questions. They can also email you their headshot and resume, so you will get an idea WHO and how many people are actually coming to the Open Audition.

      5 - A) Setting up the Audition. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the Open Call time. Outside of the room, prepare a 'sign-in' sheet (Name, Name of Role, Telephone Number, and Email Address) - so when the actors arrive, they can sign in. (You will call them into the room to audition in the order of arrival) You can also leave your sides outside, the actors can study them.

      5 - B) Inside of the audition room, like American Idol, the 'judges' should be sitting behind a table. It's ideal that you have 2 - 3 people hosting the casting session. If you are using Sides for the audition, make sure you assign someone in your room to be the 'reader' (the reader will read lines of other characters than the auditioning actor)
      The director should focus on the Actor's performance. (Have a pen and note pad ready to take notes) The coordinator can Film the audition, monitor the session (making sure everything is on time and on schedule), calling people into the room, sending people out of the room after they are done.

      5 - C) After an Actor comes into the Room, here is a typical list of things that will take place.

      a. Director ask the Actor if he/she has any questions about the Sides/Characters.
      b. The Reader will start reading with the Actor. The Coordinator films the process (Optional)
      c. If needed the Director can give adjustments on the Actor's performance. (Example: "That's a good read. Let's try it again, 'Susan' is actually very sad in this scene, because her husband left her for another woman....")
      d. The Director/Coordinator explains the production schedule, location details, and see if there are going to be any schedule conflicts. At the same time, answer any production-related questions that the Actor may have.
      e. Tell the Actor by what day the casting decision will be made. Either the actor will be informed by phone, or by email. (Example: "We will be making the decision by Friday via Email. Thank you for coming.")
      f. The Coordinator walks the Actor out, and call the next Actor into the room.

      5 - D) Bring an envelope to collect Actors' headshot & resumes. (Keep them in file, incase you are planning to cast for any future projects) And make sure that the Actor's contact information are indicated on their resume. If they don't have a resume, make sure their Phone Number and Email address is clearly written on the back of their picture. The purpose of the taping of the audition, is that later, the Director and everyone else who's involved in the production can review their audition, and then make their choices on who to offer the role. If you are not planning to film the audition, make sure the Director take REALLY GOOD notes on each actor's performance. So after you seening 60 people's audition, you can still remember who gave a better audition.

      7) Upon offering the part to the selected actor. You need to provide the full script, wardrobe options, and the day & time for rehearsals or production meeting.

      Final Note: Always be friendly and open minded. You want the actors to do their best at the audition.

  39. QUESTION:
    What questions do Detectives generall ask suspects?
    I'm working on a script for a short film. In the story, there is a man who is murdered. There are no leads but there are possible suspects. What would the detective ask in an interrogation?

    • ANSWER:
      Asking a direct question about his guilt will probably not be effective.

      Asking indirect questions such as "How well did you get along?", or "Do you know anyone that would want him dead?" would probably generate a better dialogue.

  40. QUESTION:
    How can I have my film made?
    I want to find someone in Melbourne to make my short film. I have a script I just don't know what to do next. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      Go to this link, then on the upper left you should find a link that says "post ad" or something like it. You can choose which category, I'd suggest "gigs", or "tv/film/video". you can let people know what you're doing, let them know if you're paying them or not, or if they just get their name in the credits. You can get a crew for everything you need. If you have no budget, probably mention that it's a good project for film or video students. Hope that helps.

      http://melbourne.craigslist.com.au/

  41. QUESTION:
    What kind of story can I make for a short film with the topic/subject "life is sweet"?
    So we got an assignment in Drama to make a short film with the topic/subject "life is sweet" and there are only three of us in a group and we really want to make a horror but we can't think of a story that would go with the topic... So can someonelease help me... You don't need to give a whole story just an idea that we can use... :) and we can have extra actors but they can't be main characters just extras...

    So please help :)

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      How many members are on your production team? Three?

      I suggest you have a brainstorming session with them and develop a few ideas.

      From the best ideas, write a script and have your instructor review it. There are many resources to help you write a screen play and your instructor may have a program like "Final Draft" you can use.

      After you have finalized the script, you will need to build a story board and a shooting script.

  42. QUESTION:
    How to become an autuer filmmaker?
    I want to become a writer/director that makes independent art house films. Similar to Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Haneke, Bela Tarr, Stanley Kubrick.

    I also do NOT plan on going to any type of film school. Instead I will use that money to make a short film.

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, congratulations on realising that film school is a harmful waste of time and money -- this in itself puts you way ahead of the overwhelming majority of aspiring filmmakers out there.

      My advice to you is as follows:

      - Develop some solid filmmaking skills by making two or three short films. Do not buy an expensive camera to make them -- simply use the best camera that you can get hold of for little or no money.

      - Before you shoot of these early films, invest some time in learning some solid editing skills -- what makes a smooth cut, how to assemble a smooth sequence, and more importantly for a director, how to direct shots in a way that allows them to be edited well.

      - I recommend that you both direct and edit your first few films -- you will learn so much that it will make you unstoppable, as well as putting you in a better position to communicate with crew members in future.

      - Having developed a good starting reel, the next step is to write or obtain some good feature-length scripts that you can use to make your feature films.

      You will get better with every film you make -- it is an artistic journey!

      You are on the right path -- I hope this helps and the very best of luck to you, fellow artist!

  43. QUESTION:
    Where to find a writing partner for film-script?
    I have been wanting to write film scripts for years. I have many ideas but procrastinating always got the better of me. So, now I realise the only way I can do this is to have a co-writer. Where do I find such people?

    • ANSWER:
      The quick, easy answer is for you to find others near you who have similar interests and ask them. If you are in High School, it is almost a guarantee that someone else there also wants to make movies so it is a matter of seeking him/her out. At that level, you can start by writing some very short scripts and then going out and making them on the weekends. Start small and have fun. You'll learn a lot about filmmaking in general, but even more about how to write a great script as you learn how the actual shooting and editing processes change what you originally put on the page.

      If you are in college or are on your way there, find a school that has a great screenwriting program. Visit http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com and click on the "Filmschools" link at the top for the most comprehensive WORLDWIDE list of filmschools available anywhere. Look at schools near you and study their available classes. Don't be afraid to contact the professors at the schools that interest you and talk with them about what you want to do. Going to a university that has a specialty class in screenwriting will put you in immediate contact with others who have similar interests as you as well as instruction on how to write better screenplays.

      If you are not going to a school at all and just want someone to help you write, your very best strategy is to first sit down and write on your own, even if it's not very good at first. If you have nothing but ideas to show, you won't be very attractive as a writing partner as whoever you ask will see someone (you) as not being very motivated or excited. They may see you as the "idea" man who wants the other person to do all the hard work while you sit back and tell him what to do. Whether that would happen or not isn't the point... if YOU want to be a writer, then you'll sit down and do it, partner or not. And no potential partner in anything will want to work with someone who doesn't share the same passion.

      To help you get started, I urge you to read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Film-Scriptwriting-Second-Practical-Manual/dp/0240511905/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

      Also, read every single page of this website: http://www.wordplayer.com/

      These resources (and more available at http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com) can help to guide you. But only YOU can make yourself sit down and write. Not even a partner will be able to make you sit and write, and no one should have to. If you are serious about writing and passionate about it, then you won't view it as something you HAVE to do... you'll WANT to do it so much that you will go crazy if you CAN'T. Writing screenplays is not easy for a lot of reasons, but it is something you truly want to do, then take the steps to do it for yourself and then when you're ready, reach out to others to co-write, although, you may find that at that point, you may not want or need anyone else. But the first step begins with YOU!

      Good luck!

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

  44. QUESTION:
    I want to become a film director, how can i start?
    im 15 and its my dream to become a film director and wondering how can i start?
    Should i try and write a script for a short film and then film it or what?

    • ANSWER:
      the way to start is to come up with a short film. then when you get the hang of directing enter in sone small film festivals, upload stuff on youtube. get you'r work out there for people to see. eventually someone will think it is good and maybe even offfer you a job

  45. QUESTION:
    Is the layout of a short film script the same layout as a full-length?
    I'm in the middle of writing a short film, I have all of the story written, but when I want to actually type it out on my computer, will I lay it out the same wat as a full-length film?

    • ANSWER:
      I think so. Some writerdirector types do it however they want.

  46. QUESTION:
    How can I improve my work ethic with my filmmaking?
    I'm a film student and make short films but my movies are getting worse and Im not improving as a filmmaker and Im getting worse... I got lazy and my pre-production on my last movie was horrible and the actors didn't know there lines and my shots weren't planned out and the movie was a train wreck... How can I be a better Filmmaker?

    • ANSWER:
      How can you be a better filmmaker? Keep doing what you're doing!

      Look, it's very important for you to understand that you are learning something from every experience. In fact, people tend to learn more from "negative" experiences than from positive. If everything always went the way you wanted them to, how would you ever progress as a filmmaker and as a person?

      People who haven't failed, aren't pushing themselves hard enough. Just saying that you're "getting worse" means that you're still out there trying and THAT alone means that you're doing better than the majority of people out there who only SAY they want to do something. Actually DOING it is a success in and of itself.

      So, keep making movies, but if you find that you're not advancing your skills in some way, here is my very sincere suggestion. Push yourself to do a larger project. I don't know what you've done so far, but instead of repeating yourself, put the camera down for a while and invest a lot more time into writing a longer form script. Write a feature length story that is A) produce-able within your capabilities and B) has potential to get noticed at a festival or bought at AFM or Cannes Film Market.

      To help you do this successfully, you NEED to learn everything you can about how the professionals make movies. What I'm getting at here is that if you want to become a successful professional Director, then embrace the specialization working protocol of "Hollywood" and bring on people who can help you. Find an experienced Cameraman who wants to shoot your movie. Find a Producer who will help you with the logistics. Find experienced Actors who are looking to expand their own careers with a promising project. Fill out your crew with people who are excited about working on a movie... YOUR movie.

      I've listed a few resources below that will definitely help you. There are a lot of different books and resources out there that claim to be helpful, but most are just out to sell dreams to gullible naive aspiring filmmakers. But there are a few honest resources out there that will actually help you to create the career and life you really want. In addition to those listed below, be sure to check out the "Resources" page at http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com for countless other websites and job-specific books that may be able to guide you for future projects.

      Creating success takes enthusiasm, perseverance, and passion and you seem to have all of that. So keep at it. You're learning from everything you do so don't let it discourage you. Just keep moving forward and you'll get there. Good luck!

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

  47. QUESTION:
    How can I build my portfolio if I want to become a film director?
    What are ways that I can make my portfolio look really good? Is having to film short movies and writing scripts the only way?

    • ANSWER:
      experience is the best way. you may have to put a lot of hours into things for little or no pay, but it will be worth it. check out myjambi.com and craigslist for people who need short films made or need editing work done---some are paying, some are not, but you can get good experience and a good rep. if you make movies for people, their success is your success so it has great payoff potential.

  48. QUESTION:
    What was the short film that was the inspiration for Dear Frankie?
    I just want to know? Could you help me out.

    • ANSWER:
      Courtesy of Wikipedia:
      Production notes
      In The Story of Dear Frankie, a bonus feature on the DVD release of the film, director Shona Auerbach and some of her cast discuss the project. The screenplay originated as a script for a 15-minute short submitted to producer Caroline Wood, who had requested writing samples from potential screenwriters for what would be Auerbach's film debut after several years of directing commercials. Auerbach was so enamored with Andrea Gibb's work she convinced her to expand it to feature length.

      Sometimes, a short film is made first, which then attracts enough attention to be made into a feature-length movie. That is what happened for Billy Bob Thornton, who adapted "Sling Blade" from his short film/previous screenplay "Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade".

  49. QUESTION:
    Do actors prefer cold readings or prepared monologues at casting calls?
    Hello. I am a student filmmaker holding a casting call next week for a short film. I am trying decide whether to ask the actors to do a cold read or the script or to come with a prepared short monologue-or both.
    Is there one of these options that is best for the actor? Does anyone have experience with what works best to see the actors abilities?
    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      I dont have experience as an actor but I would point you in the direction of diversity. do both that way you can gauge different aspects of who they are and how they preform. you don't want to restrict them to one option or the other.

  50. QUESTION:
    Wheres a good place to start an acting career?
    I'm 14 and my whole life I've wanted to be an actor I love acting and I've written some short film scripts that I want be feature length one day but I don't know how to get an agent or a headshot and I live nowhere near california

    • ANSWER:
      Drama school.... But at 14 you should b doing gcse drama if you like it so bad and anyway should you not have started younger because you'll b way behind.


short film scripts wanted