Short Film Ideas

My name is Joe Vautour and I wrote(and rewrote) a full feature screenplay(95 pages).

I've always liked the martial arts and I've been questioning the role of religions in our world politics so I wrote my story on these two topics interwoven.

This had passion for me which created the motivation I needed.

Short films ideas don't have to be complicated as the length could only be from 5 to 50 pages of screenplay which isn't too much work. Just start by setting aside a certain time of the day and regularly spend time with it.

Short film Ideas may come from everyday life, personal experiences or fantasies you have had.

To get started just write down your creative ideas. This could be just a paragraph to a full script.

Some points to consider for short film ideas may include:

  • History
  • Comedy Short
  • How To
  • Musical
  • War Short
  • Documentary Short
  • News Short
  • Animal Movies(about your pet)
  • A short about your life

To get those creative juices started, let's look at Genres of films.

Genre's of films, as in literature and other fine arts, refers to the primary category under which a film is classified. We will discuss a number of genres and subgenres from the filmmaker's point in terms of themes and settings.

There are many discussions (arguments) about what standard genre's should be and this becomes even more complicated when you compare ideas from professional screenwriters to people on the street.

If you want to stick to a standard list of genres or make a new list of your own as some screenwriters have done, a filmmakers job is to take the audiences minds off their problems and stimulate their senses in some way.

Here is a list of film genres that you may consider:

  • Action Films
  • Adventure Films
  • Comedy Films
  • Crime & Gangster Films
  • Epics/Historical Films
  • Horror Films
  • Musicals (Dance)
  • Science Fiction Films
  • War (Anti-War) Films
  • Westerns (set in the American frontier of the 1800s).

Film genre categorization can be confusing. In addition filmmakers sometimes mix and match genres in attempts to come up with seemingly new material. This was obvious in the 'Back to the Future' series.

Movie themes can also influence their distinctness. They include:

  • Prison;
  • Fantasy (long ago and far away or magical other-universe);
  • History;
  • Futuristic (sometimes like but distinct from Science Fiction);

Another way to catagorise a film is by labeling the film's subject. These may include:

  • Art (intense focus on dialogue or characters' inner lives, such as My Dinner With Andre);
  • Crime;
  • Film Noire ("black film", having a frustrated existentialist or nihilistic theme);
  • Fantasy (here, this refers to the use of magic or mystical beasts and characters);
  • Sports;
  • Espionage ("spy movies" that can be set anywhere);

Sometimes a film can be catagorised by looking at the emotions it invokes in the audience which include:

  • Melodrama (these aim to appeal to onlookers' heightened emotions to convey the plot and are often looked down upon by film critics for being shallow or sappy);
  • Romance (in the modern sense of the word--focusing on characters' sexual love);
  • Tragedy (where the main character's demise is caused by a fatal flaw or by a lack of good judgment about something).

Films that are opposite to dramas are comedies. Sub-genre's from the main genre category includes:

  • Romantic Comedy;
  • Sci-Fi Comedy (typically a sci-fi spoof);
  • Action-Comedy;
  • College;
  • Screw ball (outlandish plots and often-nutty dialogue intended to invoke laughter);
  • Slap-stick Comedy (think The Three Stooges);
  • Black Comedy (which explores a morbid theme, especially death, but in such a way as to often invoke laughter throughout and to inspire deeper, serious reflection on the topic).

There are film subjects that revolve around a sub-category of the adventure genre. These include:

  • Action;
  • Martial Arts;
  • Disaster (depicting huge catastrophes' impacts on the characters);
  • Road (the film equivalent in style of Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man'; there are several variations on this theme).

Now go ahead and write that film. Life is too short. Just do it.


Now to Improve On Your Talents, Consider Some Basic Film Techniques

Having a concrete plot:

Think about your idea in a way that puts yourself in the audiences shoes and ask yourself, do you connect with the plot?

If the answer is no, chances are that your audience will not either.

For the practical side you should consider budget constraints. Having a written budget in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or professional software, you’ll be able to allocate your funds efficiently.

Without planning the financial aspect, your film could be over-budgeted and may not get finished.

Getting clearance consents:

All the actors, editors, music directors and other crew members, should sign a clearance form for the film. Speak to a lawyer in the industry for tips.

Trying to get these signed after the completion of the shoot can be next to impossible, so act get them signed before hand.

Cast actors that suit the role:

Casting is difficult on small budget short movies as you may only be able to afford your friends or family who work for free but have no acting skills.

If you approach acting schools, you may find some students who are willing to work just for recognition.

You should at least have a good looking pamphlet made, advertising your project to draw some interest.

If you can afford a professional actor you will have someone who may portray the character you envision with the most accuracy.

Pay attention to sound:

Bad quality sound effects often makes even a good short film bad to watch. Either beg, borrow or steal a boom mike, or a wireless mike, and your film will be appreciated more by the target audience.

Fix it now, rather than in post-production:

Most of the fixes on errors done at the post-production stage don’t appear very good and consume a lot of time. If there has been an error in recording, shooting, framing, etc. a scene, makes sure you rectify the mistake as soon as possible if possible.

Never zoom in a shot:

Zooming is a not a good idea for a short film, unless done by a professional photographer. Using the glider of the camera, a dolly or a cut would be a better option to concentrate on a particular object rather than zooming.

Know the clichés of movies:

Many often repeated clichés in short films include the use of dream sequences, or waking up from a dream acting alarmed.

Avoid shooting outdoors at night:

Shooting outdoors at night requires good lighting knowledge to get quality footage. If you don't have experience, try to avoid night shoots by rewriting your script.

If you are experienced then go ahead but spend some money on good lighting and position your actors so they maximize on limited light. Cameras have difficulty getting quality images in low light.

Start practicing with youtube.

Now go and make your short.



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