Step 1. Get a script together
A short film is a unique type of story. Because it is short you can’t use the normal opening story techniques of a feature.
Here’s some ways professional screenwriters create stories for short films. You need to hook your audience. These story techniques condense the opening into a few seconds.
- Universal moment: a short film favourite. Wedding, first kiss, national and religious holidays, championship sporting events
- Cyclical story: stories that tend to start and end at the same place, but there is now new meaning
- Time bomb: where something specific must happen in a certain time or else dire consequences will befall the character
Here’s some idea generation exercises. Can you write a hundred words on one of these? Could it become the basis for a short film?
– the office prank
– a day in the life of …
– the local bus stop
There are loads of tricks to generate ideas for shorts.
A script for a short need not be written in industry standard format. But it should be written in what filmmakers call a ‘Shot List’, a simple a one or two line description of each shot the camera takes.
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