How to Make a Student Film Essay

569 WordsFeb 21, 20133 Pages
Whether you’re a student or hobbyist, there are some common mistakes made in a filmmaker’s first film. Many students attempt to do too much with an extremely low-budget, short film. Worse yet, students will often make their first film too long. The same concepts that apply to feature screenplay writing apply to first film projects. The exception is with experimental film, where no rules apply except the creativity of the creator. Most beginners are assigned to tell a story by their instructor or are attempting a short story-telling film. Short films use the same structure and storytelling techniques as longer films. The difference is that turning points and elements such as rising and falling action are quicker. Turning points are when the direction of the story makes a sudden turn. Most script analysts consider a feature length film’s entire exposition to take up only about two to four inches of a script page spread throughout the script (approximately 25 seconds) (Singer,2011). Therefore, for a five minute film, there would only be about five seconds worth of exposition. This is a critical factor in student films and is a common mistake. Student films are often filled with exposition such as characters making long speeches about what previously has happened to them. For that reason, students are wise to consider making their first film with no dialogue. Then they might not encounter the problems associated with exposition. Use of exposition is one of the more difficult problems of making films. Students should first strive to express their story in one short sentence. This is also true for veteran screenplay writers preparing their pitch. Most often that sentence takes hours or days to write. It is an important step, as executives won’t listen to you after hearing that sentence if they don’t like it. Next, write a paragraph describing your story. One of the

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