There are lots of aspiring filmmakers out there who have hundreds of short-film worthy ideas, but as we know, movie making in Nigeria is a capital intensive project. However, there are many ways you can still get your film off the ground without having to break your bank account. One thing about Gen Z members are known for is their ability to DIY and here I am to help you ‘DIY’ your short film.
1. WRITING YOUR SCRIPT
It’s one thing to have a story in your head, but it’s another thing to turn it into a screenplay. For a short film of 10 minutes, your screenplay should be about 9-11 pages long. The rule of thumb with screenplays is that one page is approximately a minute on screen. It’s not a proven science but many screenwriters use it to guide the length of the screenplay. If you don’t know how to write a script, there are several sample scripts on the internet you can study to understand screenplay format.
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Write a story that speaks volumes, that addresses topics people want to watch, hear or read about. It’s easier to centre your film around a story that includes minimal characters and locations, it helps when sourcing for other elements to tie your film together. Once your screenplay is set, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
This is where collaboration comes in, the key to creating your film on the tightest budget. The main purpose of this article is to teach you how to make your short film without spending too much money and this is exactly what I’m doing. Collaborating with friends and other aspiring filmmakers helps you reduce the cost of production drastically. If you have a friend that’s into acting, pitch your story to them and ask them if they’re interested in making some magic with you. The same tactic goes with sourcing for film gear; cameras, tripods, dollies, lights and any other equipment you may need. Phones these days have ridiculously high Megapixels, so if you’re unable to get a camera don’t stress yourself. Just get a phone with good camera quality and a phone tripod, that can take you a long way.
3. LOCATION SCOUTING
Okay, you’ve gotten a few people on board, but where exactly are you going to shoot your film? Depending on what your story is about, location scouting should begin with your house. Does your house fit the location description in your story? Could moving your furniture and adding a few extra props help make the set up fit your story? If so, go for it. If not, think of neighbours close by, think of friends that could also help you out. If your film requires a precise location, I advise going through Air bob’s around that fit your description.
4. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
If you’ve been on an actual movie set, you’ll know things go left very quickly regardless of the amount of preparation put in. Things almost never go as smoothly as planned, but that doesn’t mean planning is unimportant. Plan every detail and have a backup plan for that too. You want your shoot to be as quick as possible to avoid incurring any unnecessary expenses, so make sure you have everything set before the D day.
With these tips I’m sure you’re ready to start your journey to creating your short film.