Short Film list

Part 3: Lights, Camera & Action!

The Short Guide to Making an Awesome ShortSo it’s almost Day 1 of production! Are you ready? This part is a bit harder to prepare for since all the preparations should come in the pre production, and every film requires different elements of preparation.

Lets start with some technical parts. Make sure you create a checklist of everything you need, especially if you are the one taking care of all the props. And if your not the one, make sure that the person doing the list doesn’t forget anything. This should also include a mechanical list (camera, lenses, tripod, crane, lights..) anything that you need on the set. For any rentals or pick ups try to have everything in possession the day before, if not possible, go as early in the morning as you can. And don’t forget to organize transportation of all your crew and equipment! This can all be done a day or two before production if you have a vehicle, if you don’t make sure to plan that as well.

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Take good care of your actors!

Remember chances are they are doing this on their free time, for fun. If your location is in a difficult spot to get to, make sure you have someone go pick them up, and always offer them the service, even if they have their own car, at least you’ll be sure they’ll be on time. Also don’t forget to give them a ride back after the days is done.

Short Guide Production ChecklistDo not forget to feed your actors and entire crew! This will not only make you look professional as a production team, but will also keep your cast and crew happy. Shooting days are long, and even though you’ll be busy from beginning to end, most of your cast and crew will be on stand-by waiting for hours, so make sure you have a few chairs and snacks to munch on. Sandwiches and pizzas are great for lunch breaks. If you absolutely have no budget for food, make sure to warn everyone to bring their own lunch. Last thing you need is an actor passing out on set!

Back to technicalities

Be organized, have an assistant director next to you at all time with all the time sheets and shooting orders on hand. The assistant should always be one step ahead of you to prepare you for the next shot. Might not sound like a fun job, but this position is one of the most underestimated in the business. It can save you time, patience and money, ultimately making your film look better because your spending more time on the actual film.

Be patient with your shots and actors, especially if their not experienced. Make sure your shot is exactly how you want it, and don’t be pressured by actors on standby looking annoyed or tired while waiting for their scenes, if they are professionals they should know that’s how it is, if their not pros, make sure to tell them during the auditions.

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