Short Film Production Tips for Aspiring Film Directors

short film directing tips
"A useful guide for aspiring directors."

A creative person will always go through a moment in their life wherein they have to be a one-man team to continue pursuing their dreams whether it be a director, a recording artist, or a writer. It’s something an artist has to face. However, the 21st century has given us the gift of information. Courses are around the corners of our screen – easy to grasp and literally by a single click, we are educated. And this article will help aspiring directors to continue with their journey.

A starting director would probably be doing everything that is listed below as a lone wolf. Nevertheless, read on to make sure what you need to expect when filming your own moving picture!


A script is the text and narrative of your film. It contains the plot which can be divided into scenes. Scenes can be divided into sequences. To create your film, you must have a script. You can write the script or hire someone who can put words into the concept and story you want to tell. Whatever path you choose, remember to have a deadline. This will dictate the duration of your filming and what you will need.

Script writing for film


After approving a script, as a director, it is advisable to visualize your film using storyboards. Whether you can draw or not, you must have this to be your guide. Once you’ve created your storyboard your shooting will be a lot faster since you have pinpointed how you prefer the scene to go on.

Storyboard inspiration

Storyboard inspiration by Pako


Yes, you will also have to run under a budget. This is your balancer. Whether how grand or simple you want your short film to be depends on how much you’re willing to shell out. Others look for sponsors or even solicits from their relatives to have a starting money to continue filming. Without this, most probably your film won’t see fruition.


If you’re directing, producing, and filming your own movie most likely the cast you have are your friends or friends of your friends. This depends on how much budget you have planned for this film. Auditions will definitely not be on the list but that doesn’t mean you won’t get people who know how to act. The actors you’ll get are most likely in your position. That is actually an advantage since the people you work with would also like to build their portfolio, same as you, they’ve got nothing to lose. Thus, they’ll put effort in it. Also, as a director, your actors are your responsibility. If you casted someone who has literally no experience then you have to swoop in and give a little workshop.

casting gathering


A short film usually transpires in one location. This is because there are additional fees for this. When you finally pick a place to shoot, you also have to design your set on your own. Production design is actually a good practice for an aspiring director. With this, you’ll be able to get a sense of your taste and see it live.


Now, when you’ve settled things mentioned above, you can start with your filming. I’m sure you’re aware of the equipment you’ll need. What you can forget during filming is having safety shots. When you get the perfect cut, do it again. This practice is tiring but it will train you once you’re already in a professional set. It is also important to remember how you started at every scene to make sure to put it back on its same setting every time you cut. This is for making sure the continuity is on point. When you finally shoot a feature film, someone will do this for you but for now, it’s all on you!

Sound & Music

Simultaneous to shooting is scoring. Adding music and sound effects is something you should consciously think about. Music will set the mood in every scene thus it is vital what music our sound effects are plotted on every scene. A substitute music will do but definitely when you reach the editing period, you must have finalized it already.

Edit & Post Production

Lastly, editing. Editing is finally collating and finalizing your film. It is a dreadful process of cut to cut and adding effects. Video editors are seen all over the internet. You can buy a software which will also be a part of your budget, or you can opt for a free website editor. Website video editors are advisable for short films. First, it gets the job done of editing a short film. Other than this, you don’t have to think much of the budget.

Final Word

A short film is any film that ranges below 40 minutes. However, a short film that gets easily noticed is between 5-10 minutes. Despite all this information, this article is to provide you with a checklist. This checklist will give you a basic system on how to achieve a short film. The most important part is to get the eyes of the viewers with the narrative you want to convey.


About the Author:

Veronica Fortuna is content writer and PR outreach specialist at VEED.IO. She also self-published a poetry collection entitled Wait in Hope.

Jacklyn Chung

Marketing Executive at Explainer Videoly Pte. Ltd.
Being part of the Kasra Design family for many years, Jacklyn takes care of the marketing tasks, be it online or offline.