How to produce your own short films

Producing your own short film is alot harder than most of you may think. So you've got an idea for a film right? We'll thats a start! the next step is to mould your 'idea' into a screenplay. If your an actor/actress looking to make your own film, you might be familiar with how scripts should look and what sort of detail they need to go into. Remember the script can't tread on the directors toes, but needs to have enough information for someone who doesn't know you, or your idea, to have an idea of what your getting at. As a side note, a good script writing software is 'Celtx'. Ok, so you have your script, you need to decide if you will direct it yourself, or you are going to have a seperate director. Remember, if you get an external director in for your film, some of your ideas may differ slightly and you will have to compromise on many aspects of the production. The next thing you need to do is hire a DOP. DOP stands for director of photography. On low budget/small shoots, this could be the lighting director, and even the camera operator too. Your DOP will need to be someone with experience of lighting and cameras otherwise your film will go downhill from the off. All good camera operators will know about shot sizes, shot composition, white balancing etc.. things you perhaps didn't even know you had to think about? after that you will need a sound designer. In low budget shoots, they would take charge of sound recording and sound mixing post production. Ok, so you have a micro-crew put together, You still need to cast your actors, think about shoot locations (and the legality behind filming in specific locations), scheduling your shoots, equipment hire, props, costume and anything else your film needs to include to make it work. I suggest having alot of pre-production meetings with anyone who wants to be involved because they will all have questions of how you plan to make things work on your shoot. EG. if you have a car chase, whos cars are you using, how do you plan on insuring your camera operator to lean out of a car at 100mph?? So my advice, for your first short film, keep it simple! find a crew you you can work well with, bounce ideas off each other, and who know what they are talking out. At the end of the day, enjoy yourselves. If it all goes wrong and looks bad... who has to see it? Atleast next time you know what went wrong and how to avoid it.