top of page

How to Make a Short Film

When making a film you should follow the 3 phases of the production process:
Pre-Production, Production, and Post- Production. 

1. Pre-Production

Pre-Production is comprised of brainstorming ideas, scripting, and planning visual storytelling, i.e., film tone, production design,
and camera shots, movements, effects, and transitions.


PRO TIP - Tech check all equipment prior to your shoot.

  • Charge batteries,

  • Prepare SD cards,

  • Choose your lenses, how do you want your images to look?

  • Select and charge/get batteries for microphones

  • Will you need any special equipment: gimbels, dollies, or a drone?

2. Production


Production is when you actually shoot your film, work with your cast and crew,
set-up your shots, set-up lighting, direct your actors, capture audio, shoot like an editor, execute any in camera effects and transitions,
and make sure you get all the shots your script requires. 


PRO TIP - Make sure you have proper scene coverage and shoot with the edit in mind.

  • Shoot the scene & check the script to ensure you get all of your needed shots. 

  • Check your background for miscellaneous equipment or items that do not belong.

  • Listen to your audio while recording.

  • How will you react when something goes wrong? Creative Problem Solving

  • Don't fix it in post, unless you REALLY have to. 

  • Get room tone from your location space, you may need it in the edit. 

  • Feed your cast and crew. People will perform better if you take care of them. 

3. Post-Production

Video Editors

Post-Production is where you get to bring your story to life by: 
Importing your footage, choosing music, editing your scenes,
creating effects, color grading your film, and creating titles and credits. 

PRO TIP - Paying attention to the details adds a professional level polish.

  • Color Correction is fixing a color problem, but Color Grading is using color to enhance the look of your film. 

  • Customize your graphics so they look/feel like your film (ex, and/or do something interesting with your titles, i.e., Masking Text

  • Balance your audio


Outdoor Film Set

Once you have a good story, and solid production 
and editing skills, you will want to elevate your work. 

Adding elements of complexity will, no doubt, take your film to the next level. 

Examples of ways to elevate your work: 

Storytelling Concept like A Twist or Story Symmetry
Set Design
Practical Effects
Digital Effects
Color Grading
Custom Graphics
Sound Design


Student Short Films

bottom of page