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How to Make a Successful Short Film

A practical and inspiring panel discussion on how to make movies that get noticed

2. Highlights

Table of Contents

  1. Crib Sheet (PDF) PDF
    Download this outline and use it to take notes. Includes resources and other information.
  2. Highlights FREE!
  3. Introductions (13:24) 13:24 FREE!
    The panelists discuss the writing process, where ideas come from and how to shape them, and what a short film needs to accomplish to launch a film career today. The big question: How long should a short film should be?
  4. Writing (12:11) 12:11 FREE!
    The writing process: dealing with feedback; discipline, deadlines, and community; avoiding insanity.
  5. Casting (15:36) 15:36 FREE!
    More on writing: overcoming writer's block. Finding a cast and crew. Should you work with casting directors? How to get people to work with you when you don't have any money.
  6. Financing and the Future (15:26) 15:26 FREE!
    How to finance short films and different approaches to raising money: hitting up people you know, sticking to a budget, self-producing vs. working with a producer, financing features vs. shorts. Is the short still the required calling card to the film industry? What happens when your short is finished and how to leverage it to advance your career.
  7. Q&A (14:22) 14:22 FREE!
    How to network in the film business if you haven't gone to film school; how to make a living; welcome and unwelcome surprises. What the panelists wish they had known before they shot their short films.
  8. Final Thoughts (12:01) 12:01 FREE!
    Final pieces of advice. Why are you making films? Where are there paying jobs? How big of a role does luck play? Budget nuts and bolts.

Video Details

Four filmmakers who cleaned up on the festival circuit reveal how they made their short films and moved on to write and direct great features.

You'll hear how they solved real-world problems like:

- getting a movie made on a beg-borrow-and-steal budget
- motivating the best people to work for food (really)
- writing when the well is dry
- dealing with feedback from everyone from deep-pocketed producers to well-meaning family
- creating structures that will help you produce work
- establishing a network without going to film school
- figuring out how long your short film should be to get maximum exposure

December 13, 2007

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