How to Make a Short Film in 2021 – Complete Film Guide

Almost every successful filmmaker has started their career by creating short films. The reason is that it requires significantly less budget, thus increasing their chances of being produced. If you are an aspiring director that wants to step into a filmmaking career, you should definitely start by creating a short film. No doubt, it seems like a daunting task at first, but in actual, it does not require that much hassle as expected. Creating your entertaining short film is quite simple yet technical. With the proper pre-production, equipment, and knowledge about the basics, you can make our short film. Good filming ideas and utilizing basics techniques can create a fabulous short movie.

What is a short film?

A short film is a motion picture of no longer length in running time and can quickly become a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture with a running time of 40 minutes or less. Short films can be anywhere between one to forty-five minutes. Moreover, the best short films are just like any extraordinary film.

How to make a short film:

With today’s technology, creating a short film has become much more comfortable and has become comparatively a much simple endeavor for most of us.  If you have your computer, a digital camcorder, and editing software, you are all set to go by just adding some decent actors, an outstanding script.

Brainstorm an idea for a short film.

Brainstorm a short story that is no longer than 10 minutes. Focus on one central theme so that the short story does not seem complicated. Identify your genre. Try to make it relatable by adding exciting events from your own life. Keep in mind the scope of the story of your short film.

Write a short script.

It is better to write the script by yourself. The script of short films is simple, which includes a beginning, climax, and end. A ten-minute film will only be a few pages long. If your budget is limited, it is better not to include explosions or expensive digital effects.

Search for scripts online:

If you do not have any idea what to write, you can browse for scripts that other people have already written. In this way, you can get a lot of ideas for our story. If your budget allows, you can also buy a script.

Scout for Filming Locations

A good location is an essential aspect of the success of any film. The script determines a film’s locale. Therefore, choose the site according to the script. For instance, if a movie takes place outdoors, one needs to find a safe, legal, and comfortable location to film. If it takes place indoors, one needs to find an indoor spot where there is no interruption—select location which does not cost high budget places such as banks or supermarkets.

Actors for the movie:

If you have a high budget, you may hire professionals; otherwise, you can put out a casting call for the script and hold auditions for the movie. If your account doesn’t allow this, then you can ask your family and friends to act in the film. Your actors must embody the character to make it feel real.

Recruit a crew.

This is a must needed part of film making. A crew will help you with the various aspects of shooting. You cannot do all on your own you need skilled people for cinematography, production, lighting, editing, and sound. Keep in mind your budget.

Purchase or rent filming equipment.

If you don’t have filming equipment such as a camera, lights, and camcorder, you can either buy it or rent. Always choose equipment that meets your needs and your budget. If you’re on a small budget, you can rent filming equipment. If you have a larger budget, you can always buy an expensive DSLR camera.

Shooting the film:

When you are done with all pre-production tasks, it’s time to shoot the film.

Rehearse the scene.

Once all preparations are done, get the actors onto the set. Have them go through the script multiple times. Then, make the actors rehearse the scene and let them know about any modifications that you want to see in their acting.


Costumes are the backbone of any character. It is the filmmaker’s responsibility to fulfill all the character requirements, such as clothing and makeup. Make sure that your actors seem similar to the character before you start shooting. Do not just throw the costumes; try to be as accurate as possible.

Film the scenes in the movie.

You do not need to shoot the movie in chronological order. You can shoot according to your feasibility. It would be best if you shot all the scenes of the same locations once so that you do not have to revisit the spot. Go for the easy scenes first, later organize them during post-production.

Editing of your short film:

Now comes the most crucial part of the filming that is editing.

Upload the film to movie editing software.

Download or buy movie editing software. Try to consult the professional if not possible; you can also do by yourself. First of all, upload the video files into video editing software. Organize each of the scenes; once the files are correctly organized, you can start editing.  After you are done with editing, our short film is good to go. Some of the famous movies editing soft wares are Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Windows Movie Maker.


To make your movie a success, you must make the content keeping in mind your audience because, in the end, your audience will make it either a hit or a flop. So it would be best if you looked into the above mention tips and tricks deeply so that your short film becomes a hit.

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