How to make a short film

The Recovery Street Film Festival gives individuals who have a lived experience of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction a platform with which they can tell their own stories through short films. However, for someone who’s never attempted this before, making a film may seem like an almost impossible task. Where do you begin? What equipment should you use? How do you put it all together? Luckily today’s technology makes it easier than ever for anyone to bring their stories to life. Here are three simple steps that will help take you from an idea all the way to a finished film ready to premiere at the Recovery Street Film Festival.

Step 1: Planning

Example of a storyboard

Example of a storyboard

This step makes all the difference when it is time to film. Here is where you brainstorm exactly what the topic of your film will be, and create an initial storyline and script (even if it just an outline). Remember: a good story has a beginning, middle and end. Although it isn’t mandatory, it may be helpful to create a storyboard as well. A storyboard is a panel-by-panel outline of each shot that helps determine the sequence of each scene. This helps you plan out the shots to get when filming in order to save time.

Step 2: Filming

Now you’re ready to go out and shoot your film! You may be thinking that you need a professional camera to do this but maybe what you need is already in your hand. These days it is possible to shoot an entire film using just a mobile phone. As long as there’s a camera on it, you’re ready to shoot. For more tips on how to make the most out of your mobile device, click here. Remember: videos take up a lot of storage space on mobile devices, so make sure there’s plenty of room before you begin.

Step 3: Editing

Once you’ve gathered all the footage you need, it’s time to get creative and edit it all together. Editing is where you can have fun with music and special effects, and even cut out parts you no longer need. This may seem overwhelming, but there are plenty tutorials available online to help at every step. But what program should you use? That all depends on you! There are numerous free programs available to download right onto your mobile device or desktop, including some that come already installed. For Windows devices, Windows Movie Maker is ready and waiting to help finalize your film, and for Apple devices there’s iMovie. Both are very user friendly.

And that’s it! That’s all you need to know to help get started with creating your short film. Need some more tips? There are even more resources waiting on the Recovery Street Film Festival website. Ready to enter the competition? Rules and instructions can be found here.