How do you make a short movie or video that people will want to watch? You need to:

  • Get the right equipment
  • Learn about film language
  • Get ideas from other filmmakers
  • Build your skills
  • Be organised
  • Get feedback

Get the right equipment

You will need a camera to film your own movie. You can use your smartphone, a camera, an SLR/mirrorless camera or a' professional'cinema' camera. You'll likely a mike plus a tripod or stabiliser to keep the camera steady, and you might want lights or reflectors.

If you are shooting on a smartphone, you can edit it onto a telephone or tablet computer - but it is easier on a pc.

Selecting equipment for low budget filmmaking

Learn How to use film language

Film language signifies how pictures, sound and editing help to tell the story.

Your movie will be far better if you know things like when to use a closeup and when to use a broad shot; just how to use the lens, camera angle, light and sound to produce a mood; and where to place your camera in order for your shots appear to fit together naturally. Find out more about movie language here.

Get motivated

View other people's movies to help you get ideas. Watch movies which are different to the ones that you usually watch: old movies and films from different states and in various styles.

The top filmmakers are movie addicts.

The creative thoughts section comprises some short films and other ideas to aid with your filmmaking.

Practise and construct your skills
Girl with a DSLR

Before you start on a huge movie job, make some easy short movies to build your abilities. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is definitely better to make them in your small clinic projects. That way, you can get used to your gear, figure out what it could do, and also find out how to tell stories with film. So if you are planning to make a documentary, then create a mini-documentary to practise. If you're arranging a drama, movie a single scene first.

Get the idea right


Would you understand what your movie's about? Try writing out the main idea in 50 words or even a tweet. If you can't do that, it is not clear .

You need to catch people's attention right from the beginning and give them a reason to keep watching. This is very vital for online movies.

And your movie ought to be brief: it probably needs to be much shorter than you believe.

Use separate shots that work together
Plan your film as a set of separate shots. Set up each photo carefully. Either keep the camera completely still, or move it easily and steadily.

You need to picture your shots so they'll look right when you edit them collectively. That means learning a few basic rules about where to put the camera and the best way to frame each photo. If you follow the rules, your picture will be a lot easier to understand and more enjoyable to see.

Get the audio right


Think about the sound as you're planning your film. Good sound can help folks understand the story, and influence what they believe about it. It can also make your movie appear to flow more smoothly.

Use another microphone if you can: if you can't, zoom out and get in close.

If your equipment does not allow you to record great live sound, create a picture that doesn't need it. But be careful to not use copyright music without permission. More about movie sound.

Adhere to an organised process
Making your movie divides up into three major phases.

Pre-production is the planning phase, where you workout your movie in detail. What you're going to picture, how you are going to film it, and what you are going to require. Planning might appear dull if you just wish to begin shooting, but it is going to save time and result in a far better movie. There are lots of ways to plan a film. You can develop ideas using a mindmap, write a detailed script, then draw storyboards to plan your shots.

Production is where you shoot your picture and collect additional stuff you might need (like audio, still pictures, archive material and so forth.) This stage will be much easier if you've planned correctly beforehand.

Post-production is where you select what you are going to put in your movie, edit it, add sounds and effects, and get it prepared to discuss. You have to be really organised relating to this process, which is generally different depending on the kind of movie you're making. Do not just import everything into your editing program and try to create sense of ityou should have a plan before you start editing.

Get comments


Before you complete editing your picture, reveal it to others and obtain their views.

Does this make sense? Is the narrative clear?
Is the timing right: Why is it the ideal length, and is your speed consistent?
How about the audio: Would you hear all of the dialogue?
Finally, does this feel right? Does anything feel wrong or awkward, and what do you do to enhance it?


Share your movie

Make sure your movie is backed up, then export or'talk' a copy in the maximum quality your program permits. (You can alway make a lower quality backup from a high quality backup ). Then make copies from the format you need for distributing your own movie.