Producer Lindsay Guion Discusses the Essentials of Creating a Short Indie Film
Are you a filmmaker just starting out on your first project? Whether you are creating a short indie film or applying to film school; the elements to creating a memorable short film are the same. Check out these tips to help make the process as smooth and successful as possible, from hiring a crew to casting and funding your short film.
Funding– Once you have an idea (or a full script) individuals need to agree on a primary source of funding. Set down your proposed budget using as much detail as possible and consider all financial costs to ensure you have the budget to begin production.
Lindsay Guion, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of GUION PARTNERS INC, claims that utilizing an active social media following can help. Get your ‘fans’ excited about your project by sharing behind-the-scenes content and letting them in on your artistic process and then ask for their financial support. Offer your supporters something they cannot get anywhere else — such as an advance screening of the film, branded merchandize, or behind-the-scenes updates of the filming process.
Hiring — Whether you need help writing, editing, shooting, marketing or even with craft services; identify your strengths and ask for volunteers (or paid employees if you have the cash) to support the rest of the project. Lindsay Guion claims that it is important not to be understaffed, as a significant amount of work goes into film production.
Likewise, you want to get the most out of your volunteers and crew, so be mindful not to overwhelm them with unrealistic tasks. Set distinct job descriptions and daily shooting goals and then stay on schedule to best support your team.
Casting — No matter how good your script and artistic vision is, without the right actors your film will not make a mark. Find actors that fit your artistic goals and have the time and experience needed to take part. Whether it is local theater groups, college friends or professional paid actors; the right cast is critical to the success of your film.
Shooting — Spend the time and resources you need to create a compelling visual narrative. Scout and pick the best locations, ensure you have the proper film permits and invest in the lighting and sound equipment you need to get the best shots. Use your team members as collaborators, asking their advice and ensuring you utilize their experience and skills to the best of your ability.
Keep it short — Audience’s attention is harder to catch and keep and smaller screen sizes make shorter films even more prevalent and easy to consume. Shorter films are cheaper to shoot (and easier for fans to download and view), so make the goal to create the most impactful short film you can, without any excess.
Lindsay Guion on Telling a Meaningful Story
Tell a story and keep it personal — Short films should be about one main thing, told in a new and complex way. Whether it is a relationship between two people, a new way of seeing the world, or just one conversation between friends; use the medium of short film to push boundaries, both visually and emotionally; by telling a (short) story in an engaging, new and personal way. A short film should not be about plot points, it should be about small moments that last in the viewers mind.