3 Essential Tips to Make Your Short Films Better
Art and Experience: Writing a short film? These tips will help you make the best out of your idea.
Short films can be a great calling card within the industry. They’re easy to pass around and can be even easier to make yourself.
So how can you get your short films to work for you?
And what if you don’t have any ideas to even start writing?
Don’t worry, we have your back. Premium Beat just released this video of three tips to help jumpstart your short film.
3 Ways That Can Help You Make a Great Short Film
1. Use the “100 Ideas Method”
When brainstorming, you can run into writer’s block or just be frustrated with what you put on paper. One of the best ways to just get into the zone is using a technique that Judd Apatow coined — The “100 Ideas Method.”
The Knocked Up director writes down 100 ideas. They can be as long as a treatment or as loose as a logline.
The important part is that no idea is too nuts. Or out of bounds. Or “bad.” Take any swing. Put ludicrous things down. You want a toaster that goes on an adventure? Feelings that have feelings? What about a park full of dinosaurs or a hitman who gets revenge for his dog?
All ideas are safe and no judgment.
The important part is that you get to 100.
Once you have 100 ideas down, you can refine it from there. How so?
Take your time and pick the 20 best. Flesh them out a bit more. Then, go to the next tip.
2. Write Stories the Way the South Park Guys Do
When South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are outlining their ideas, they have a specific way they tackle getting their beats in a row. Instead of saying “This happens, then this happens…” They say “This happens, therefore this happens, but this changes things…”
This helps enhance escalation and conflict in your story.
Instead of the “and” principles — which separate story beats — going at it from “therefore” makes everything happen for a reason.
When you’re writing, you want the audience to feel like everything is planned and linked. It can also help your process.
So try to hook the beats together and see what happens. And if that doesn’t work…
3. Start at the End
There are no rules about how you write and in what order.
If you don’t have a beginning, start writing the ending
Write out of order and work backward if you have to. If you know where it all ended up, do that scene, the scene before it, and suddenly you’ll be back at the beginning.
This gives you a lot of room to be creative. You can work back and subvert tropes, change character intros, and even plant things you know pay off at the end.
Work in any way possible. Just work.