Short Films

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Looking to start producing short films, what kind of camera would you recommend?
    I want to produce short films and am looking for an HD camera that will give me decent quality, priced under 00? Also, I was wondering if there was a model out there where I could attach a mic to get better sound quality? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Getting a HD camcorder is taking a step backward in Video Quality. Hd camcorder Interpolate the video, which means every 4th or 5th frame of a video is of what is being video-graphed, the other frames are filled in by the camcorder, thus giving you not true video. MiniDV tape camcorders give every frame of every shot and usually cost less.

      http://simplevideoediting.com/learn/part1_camcorder_choices.htm

      http://simplevideoediting.com/learn/part2_connect_camcorder.htm

      Consumer level HD camcorders have 4 problems. 1) Blurry, fuzzy, out of focus areas closely around people in videos taken by consumer level HD camcorders. 2) Any movement, even a wave or lifting an arm, while in front of a recording consumer level HD camcorder, results in screen ghosts and artifacts being left on the video track, following the movement. Makes for bad video, sports videos are unwatchable. 3) These Consumer level HD camcorders all have a habit of the transferred to computer files are something you need to convert, thus losing your HD quality, to work with your editing software. 4) Mandatory maximum record times - 1 hour, 30 minutes, 8 minutes, 3 minutes – four different times advertised as maximum record time for some consumer level HD camcorders. No event I have ever been to is that short. Either take multiple camcorders or pack up with out getting the end of the event on video.

      MiniDV is currently the most popular format for consumer digital camcorders. MiniDV camcorders are typically more affordable than their HDD and DVD counterparts. Each MiniDV tape will typically hold an hour of footage at normal recording speed and quality. MiniDV tapes are available for purchase at not only electronic and camera stores, but also at drugs stores and grocery stores, making them easy to find while your on vacation. There are literally hundreds of MiniDV camcorders available; both in standard and high-definition.

      http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/zr960

  2. QUESTION:
    How does a live action short film get to be nominated for Oscar?
    how can a short film enter the race for a nomination ? besides being good and stuff, and from where do the academy members choose the short films?

    • ANSWER:
      You put your name in a bucket, light a match, and hope yours is one of the 5 names that remain after the rest light up the sky.

      Actually, I think it's more related to being a short film that wins another festival (i.e. Sundance) first. If it's not a winner of something else first, there's no way in hell it's getting selected for the Oscars.

      As far as which 5 they'll choose, maybe that's determined by the Academy's mood that day. It probably wouldn't hurt to have connections, though!

      Beyond that, good luck!

  3. 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

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

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

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

      The least expensive is probably the Canon XA10

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

  5. QUESTION:
    What is the difference between a short film and independent film?
    Are they the same? Why are they different category's? I've herd of independant short films...so I thought they were the same...or can they be both the same and two seperate things?
    I don't know if I'm making sense at all...but thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      A full length feature runs anywhere from 85 minutes to 2 and a half hours or a bit more. An independent film is simply one with private financing or financing outside of the traditional studio system. Short films are traditionally less than 20 minutes long. Just about every short film is an indie film as there isn't really a market for them. The closest a studio comes to a short film are the lengthy marketing trailers that you watch before other films or on the web.

  6. QUESTION:
    What would be a good idea for a short film?
    We have made "hunting sasquatch" short films a few times, but would like to make a different type of short film. Low quality and not much to work with, just alot of land and woods. There is only 3 of us to do the video, but we do have a tripod. What would be a good idea?

    • ANSWER:
      Mockumentaries are a great choice and sounds similar to what you are already doing. Woodland is a classic backdrop for a horror short film.
      Best thing about a short film is that you can imply the horror without actually showing any. Audio is the key!

  7. 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

  8. QUESTION:
    How do get involved with short films and student films?
    I would really like to get involved in short films and student film, but I don't know how to go about it. I live in London, and am 20mins away from central london. Does anyone know I can go about getting involved?

    • ANSWER:
      Local colleges are the best way to go. Find some nearby schools that have a focus on film making and submit a headshot and resume to them. Usually those directors are dying for new faces instead of the same old actors from the school. In fact, they're usually grateful enough to provide you a copy of the final product and (if you have enough work) will offer to help you make a reel in lieu of payment.

      Also, look at local audition postings. A lot of times there's a long list of theatre auditions and then a smaller list of local filmmakers looking for small parts in independent films. In America we have Craigslist online which is a free post and there are always a lot of opportunities there. Does London have an equivalent?

      And just for good measure, networking is such an important tool for film! Meet as many film-associated people as you can and meet their friends, then theirs... Schools are the best places to do that. If you're in a position to enroll in a film class (just a freelance class- not college level) you'll meet a lot of people there who are in the class, or even the folks teaching, who will be able to give you more contacts and places to find casting opportunities.

      These are things that worked for me! Best of luck to you!!

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

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. QUESTION:
    What are the copyright rules for adapting short stories to short films?
    I'm interested in adapting a couple of short stories into short films, but I am not sure about the copyright rules for this.

    • ANSWER:
      A copyright registration gives the copyright owners exclusive rights to not only the stories they've written, but also any derivative works -- which would include film adaptations.

      You'll need to obtain permission from the copyright holder, or it would be considered copyright infringement.

      Sorry for the bad news! You can look up the copyright owner's contact info on the US Copyright Office's website.

  12. QUESTION:
    If you want to get in to professional strait plays or short films as a teen were would you start?
    If you want to get in to professional strait plays or short films (or long) as a teen, were would you start?

    • ANSWER:
      Theatre all the way!
      Start with theatre training and than just take workshops and classes to help you learn the film style. Plus it's easier to get into theatre due to community and school which is everywhere, than film which is generally concentrated to specific cities.

  13. QUESTION:
    What camer should I get for only short films?
    All I film is short films. So far I've been using a 0.00 camcorder but it doesn't have very good video quality. I want a simple camera because I don't know much about them. I don't want to spend more than 0.00 thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Doubling your budget will not do much

      The lowest cost video camera you can find is one of the 3MOS consumer video cameras made by JVC, Panasonic, Canon or Sony ... About 0 to ,000

      If you are serious about shooting shorts (video, NOT film), you may want to rent the camera you need, one like this. The rental becomes a right off and not a liability

      http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/AG-HPX370.asp

      Doesn't your school have cameras you can check out for use to complete your shorts?

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

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

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

  15. QUESTION:
    What is a good video camera for short films?
    I am a short film maker in California, and I really need a better camera. I've been using a Sony DCR-SR62, but have been looking to upgrade for a while. I do not care about price, brand or size. I just need a better camera so that my short films come out looking their best. Thanks for any advice.

    • ANSWER:
      Recommend JVC Everio GZ-HD40.
      AVCHD/MPEG-2 dual-format camcorder; 1920 x 1080 Full HD recording in both formats
      Records to an 120 GB internal Hard Disk Drive; 50 hours of record time
      Includes hybrid storage option with microSD card (card not included)
      Features new CMOS chips with interpolation technology; HD Gigabrid Duo Engine
      Can shoot digital still images at 2432 x 1368

      The GZ-HD40 is the world's first AVCHD / MPEG-2 dual-format camcorder allowing access to the superior long time compression afforded by AVCHD, as well as MPEG-2's superior editing and post-production environment. The camcorder offers 1920 x 1080 Full HD recording in one formats to a 120GB internal hard disk drive.JVC provided the GZ-HD40 with a 120GB hard disk drive for up to 50 hours of AVCHD Full HD video recording, and a docking station with the requirements of the prosumer or high-end enthusiast in mind.

      Price: 9.95

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

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

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

  17. QUESTION:
    How to apply the short films to oscar awards?
    Hi,everybody anybody know how to apply our own short films to the oscar awards,plz reply me

    • ANSWER:
      You don't submit your short film to the Oscars. What you need to do is submit your short film to the big international film festivals for consideration - Berlin, Toronto, Venice, New York, Tribeca, Sundance, BFI London, etc. If you get into one of these festivals you'll be seen by critics and others in the industry, several of whom will hopefully nominate you for an Oscar

      You have to look on each festival site to find out how to submit.

  18. QUESTION:
    How do I get my short films seen?
    I have made several short films in the UK. I have used real crews and done everything professionally but I don't have that much knowledge about film festivals or how to contact industry workers to show them.
    Any help would be great!

    • ANSWER:
      Almost all film festivals (except the really big ones like Sundance etc) use a clearing house called Without A Box. You go to www.withoutabox.com and register for free; you can see all the festivals that are currently taking submissions and enter online. You pay the entry fees for whatever festivals you enter and then supply the festival with the content (usually on DVD) for screening.

      Check the rules for the festivals you enter before you upload to YouTube etc - many have rules which would make your film ineligible for competition if it has been widely available on the web.

      Good luck!

  19. 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!

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

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

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

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

    And I don't mean camcorders...

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

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

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

      RR

  22. QUESTION:
    What kind of video camera should i get for short films??
    I am a beginner and wanna start filming short films except i need a video camera. I dont really know much terminology and need some serious help. I want a camera in which you can film on and then upload it all on your computer and make it on a dvd or something. I have a windows XP so i would need something compatible with that. I only have around 0-0 to spend on the camera so i need something cheap yet it is a good camera (good sound, video, lighting, etc.) So can anyone help me with what camera i should get?

    • ANSWER:
      A miniDV camera is your best bet. They are cheaper than DVD or hard drive camcorders, but have the best video quality. Without knowing more information, I can't give you a specific model, but here are some things to consider. Look for one that has high optical zoom, 20-25x is good. Don't worry about digital zoom. As far as brand, I have had great experience with Canon, but most any brand should fine. To capture the video to your computer, you will need a firewire cable and a firewire port on your computer. Many camcorders do not come with a firewire cable, so you may have to buy one. If you don't have a firewire port, you can buy an adapter card that will fit into a PCI slot on your motherboard.

  23. QUESTION:
    What is the name of the Christian film that had multiple music videos and short films in it?
    I believe it came out in 1999. It had short films relating to the music videos. And at the end of the film there was a fight with the main character versus a black man with dreadlocks. Please help me find this film. It is so good.

    • ANSWER:
      idk

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

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

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

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

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

    • ANSWER:
      JVC Everio

  27. QUESTION:
    How much does it cost to produce a DVD of short films?
    I need to produce a DVD of 30 short films; can anybody give me any pointers on how to budget this? Any programs or services that anyone recommends to do this? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      You really need to call a local video "production" lab. Fees change dramatically from city to city.
      They usually charge by the hour.

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

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

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

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

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

  29. QUESTION:
    What equipment is needed for shooting short films?
    I love shooting short films and I'm considering making a documentary soon, but to do that I need to know what equipment I'll need. I realize it'd be smart to invest in a nice camera, separate mic and lighting. but what exactly do i need? and does anyone have any specific brands or models they'd like to suggest? Thanks so much.

    • ANSWER:
      Canon 7D or a 5D markII

  30. QUESTION:
    What are some good topics for short films?
    My film club is working on several projects of short films. what are some good topics for short films? it could be a romantic comedy or some action scene. use your imagination because anything will help. thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      you could do some sort of spy thriller, where someone has an important piece of information, or an important item in a briefcase and they're being chased down by some heavies around a building (you could use the one where you are based. it would really add to the effect if you were in a office building) and then they get whatever's in the briefcase and it turns out that they know him, or they're working towards the same goal...

  31. QUESTION:
    What are some good topics for short films?
    My film club is working on several projects of short films. what are some good topics for short films? it could be a romantic comedy or some action scene. use your imagination because anything will help. thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Demons from the underworld attacking earth.

  32. QUESTION:
    What would you like to see in a short film?
    My friends and I are going to start filming short films once I get my new video camera and we have some ideas and screenplays written. But my question is, what would you guys like to see in a short film? What would interest you? We're planning to post these on youtube so it would be nice you guys had some opinion.

    • ANSWER:
      romantic scene of course!

  33. QUESTION:
    Camcorders for a beginner looking to make short films?
    I plan to shoot short films, interviews, and nature scenes. Basically anything I can get my hands on at the moment. My budget would be at most 0-600 because I am a beginner and I don't want to be too overwhelmed to begin with. I have an Apple Macbook and that's what I would plan to be editing with, also what kind of editing program should I get? Any tips would be a great help, thanks for your time!

    • ANSWER:
      panasonic hdc-sd10 words with imovie (it sais it on the box)

      Its full HD and stuff, google it, its perfect!

      imovie rocks. If you are trying to make amazing effects, like ones you would see in the movies or on tv shows, then you should get FInal cut (like 00 and quite complicated)

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

    So any recommendations?

    Cheers. :)

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

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

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

    Please Help

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

  36. QUESTION:
    What short films are considered masterpieces?
    I love to watch movies, and recently i've become interested by short films. I'm hoping to watch some short films that can inspire me, and deserve the label of a masterpiece. Can anyone name a few?

    • ANSWER:
      "Ten Minutes"
      "Cashback"
      "Please"
      "The Story of a Sign"
      "The Heart of the World"
      "Kiwi"
      "The Life and Death of a Pumpkin"
      "For the Birds"
      "Ratrix Hero"
      "Geri's Game"
      "Snap"
      "Touch"
      "Finite"
      "Black Button"
      "Nought"
      "The Piano"

  37. QUESTION:
    What is a good camcorder to buy for a short film?
    I have to make a couple of short films for an upcoming project. I want them to look professional and am in need of a new camera. However, my budget is tight. Any ideas on a good camera to buy for that purpose. These will not be uTube and whatnot. They will be shown to an audience in a small theatre of sorts.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi,

      I did heaps of research few weeks ago as I was looking for something myself. With everything compared, I think the Creative Vado HD is the best over all for what it does, the sound, quality in dark & bright surroundings and it has a wide angle lens. Most places sell them for 0 but I got mine from OzDirect for 0 incl p+h.

      Vado comes with heaps of cool accessories you can buy from the Creative web site. And you can get a really cheap tripod from Amizon.com.

      Hope that helps :-)

  38. QUESTION:
    What's the best software for animating short films?
    I want to make some short films using hand drawn and computer animated images. What would be the best software program(s) to use for this? I have a PC with Vista, btw.

    • ANSWER:
      I think you want The Gimp, if you mean some gif animating pictures. http://www.brothersoft.com/the-gimp-61612.html?utm_source=answer&utm_medium=sweet&utm_campaign=photo The gimp is best to make gif I think. If you mean some movies then idk:)

  39. QUESTION:
    should i stick to writing short films rather than feaure length movies, at least for now?
    i started writing my first screenplay, i enjoyed it a lot and want to keep doing this.

    but i realized that im not ready for a full on movie. i was already to the turning pont of my character, and then i realized i was only 13 pages (or minutes) into the movie.

    i dont think im ready. should i focus on short films instead?

    • ANSWER:
      I think its definitely a good idea to start small. You'll get some good experience and practice that will help you a lot later on when you're ready to write a full-length screen play. And there's plenty you can do with short films too, so don't let that discourage you. There are a lot of film-makers interested in making short films. There are a lot of short film festivals and its a great way for new filmmakers and screenwriters to get some recognition and exposure. So go ahead and try some short screenplays and see where it takes you.

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

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

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

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

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

      May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

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

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

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

  42. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  45. QUESTION:
    How does one get funding for a short film?
    I am interested in putting together a short film but wonder where in the world I can get funding for my short. Producers must know something that I don't since their job requires them to find the money.

    • ANSWER:
      there are many many ways to get money for your short film:

      1. the first thing to do is reach into your pocket. if you want people to help you out
      you need to show them you believe in your movie
      2. go to your mom and dad. not joking dude. anything you get is good.

      3. check the web for funds. there is a lot of funds from the government depending what the topic of the movie is.

      4. endorsement. ask car dealership for a car to shoot in, for ex., and you will give them credit at the end of it.

      5. you can put stuff in the movie for money. for ex. close up of a zippo lighter for money from zippo.

      6. you can sell tickets before you make the movie to all your family and friends.

      7. you can sell shares in your " company" which will produce the movie and maybe sell it later making money for the share holders.

      8. lower yourexpensee. ask people to work for free. loan cars from friends to pick up the crew etc.that'ss about it... im sure there is more ways you just have to beCreativee

      good luck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  49. QUESTION:
    What's a good handheld-camera choice for an amateur director of short films?
    I'm looking for a solid & not too expensive handheld-camera to shoot some short films with a bunch of friends.

    • ANSWER:
      You might get better answers in the video camera group.

  50. 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."


short films