Unit 2 Media
narratives in production
the rules of the game
Short Film Tips - Key tips for writing your short film
- Shorter = Better: Treat your audience with respect. No-one likes being bored. Get to the point fast, establish your film’s dilemma, work towards your climax and end it, leaving no time for your audience to get bored or restless. Better to leave your audience wanting more than to drag it out.
- Keep It Simple: Love, revenge, jealousy, justice, whatever your premise or subject, keep it clear and simple. Give your characters clear goals and obstacles so we understand their problem and care about their story. Every film is about one idea and only one. Too many ideas, characters, plots, themes or twists will confuse audiences rather than entertain them.
- The Starting Point: Once you have an idea, think about where you want to start the story. Your film must start with an event showing or leading to a character wanting something, helping to keep your viewer compelled right from the start.
- Avoid Heavy Drama: It’s not that you can’t deal with a serious subject, but don’t make it too heavy. The danger is your film could seem insincere and superficial rather than having the impact you were hoping for, especially if the acting wasn’t as strong as the writing.
- Substance Over Style: Audiences won’t care that there’s a cool car in your film if the story is boring. Focus on an interesting main character and a strong dramatic question.