British Comedy Guide

Making a Short Film?

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 1:07pm
  • England
  • 708 posts

So I'm thinking of making a short film. Does anyone know how to go about it? I mean getting permission to film in streets and coffee shops, find people with professional cameras, permission to use copyrighted music, costs etc. etc. etc.

I've put it in the writers' thread because before I actually waste time writing it I wanted some feedback on the process.

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Mr Darkly

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 10:30pm
  • In a wardrobe with a lion and a witch, England
  • 49 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ 30th January 2014, 1:07 PM GMT

So I'm thinking of making a short film. Does anyone know how to go about it? I mean getting permission to film in streets and coffee shops, find people with professional cameras, permission to use copyrighted music, costs etc. etc. etc.

I've put it in the writers' thread because before I actually waste time writing it I wanted some feedback on the process.


You need to go to your local council and ask if there are any restrictions on filming in the town center or where ever you want to film. You will probably get written permission to film in your desired locations under strict guide lines from the council(eg) Noise. I suppose it would be up to the owner of said coffee shop to let you film in, on or around their premises.

Music is a tricky one. Best bet is go to soundcloud.com and have a mooch around for unsigned bands with the type of music you want for your film. There are some VERY willing bands who will let you use their stuff.

On the camera note. Rental is very expensive, but an I phone 5 will do the same trick if you have up to date mates. It's more to do with your sound and editing software. Coral is a good one, but then again its expensive. Just have a mooch around the net to see what's best for you.

One last note. When you are filming try not to use any named brand clothes. You could find yourself in very hot water under copyright laws. Stupid I know, but don't!..
Good luck, Mr Darkly.

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BoomBoomBoom

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 11:56pm
  • England
  • 102 posts

I did it a few years back. https://www.comedy.co.uk/forums/thread/29570/

For me, I got the actors on board first -- because they were in a (relatively) well-known film, that gave me a bit of a legup when I contacted a local producer that I found on a website. It was UKScreen or Mandy or one of those, I can't remember now, but there are a few sites to look at. That guy's team/friends became the crew on the short, and had their own equipment.

That film cost me about £800 altogether. The actors were paid, and everyone else had their travel covered. And the bus in the film cost about £350 to rent for a couple of days. Location-wise, it was just a couple of emails and calls between myself and the guy that was in charge of that kind of thing for the local council. Some councils will charge, though.

There were lots of things that I and others did wrong on the film, and it's always a tough experience. But rewarding, too.

Everything depends on the kind of film you're making: If it's something that you can make low-key and just want to put on YouTube, you don't need to worry about big equipment, local council permission and licensing music. But you can get a crew and equipment for free/expenses/very little if it's only a couple of days. There are lots of people at or just out of university that want experience making films.

Licensed music would be the biggest unavoidable cost if you really wanted your film to be completely cleared and there was a song you absolutely had to have.

Good luck with it.

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Badge

  • Friday 31st January 2014, 3:32pm
  • London, England
  • 9,490 posts

I recall from reading other threads that a common failing is poor sound, so invest in that. The best thing to do might be to go to the 'Showcase' section of this site, look at some filmed stuff there and PM anyone whose stuff you particularly like the look and sound of for their advice.

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Marooned

  • Friday 31st January 2014, 11:16pm
  • England
  • 623 posts

mobygratis.com
Moby grants free licences for his music to be used in independent or student films, etc if you apply.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 1st February 2014, 8:40am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,081 posts

Looked into it a little a while back then lost interest quickly. It's an extremely competitive field now, there are good major comps like BFI and Sundance and others so some top amateur film makers are in there with very sophisticated kit, trying to get their directorial breakthrough. Unless you have the time and money to hone your craft I wouldn't bother! A wobbly filmed picture, poor lighting and muffly sound is going to get thrown out straight away. Reasonable quality filming is not cheap. :(

You can hire crews, some advertise their services on line for writers, but you'll need a couple of grand, and how good is your script and idea really? Freelance pros (greedy yanks) are now flooding the big comps, so do you really want to waste your money on a punt?

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danphobic

  • Friday 14th February 2014, 10:47am [Edited]
  • london, England
  • 224 posts

Good thread. I want to write, film and act in a load of random sketches for YouTube. Mine would be a very indie blue peter approach. I'm an av technician by day so I have done a bit of filming and understand the importance of good lighting and good sound. I've got a shotgun mic and I am going to make an improvised shock absorber out of rubber bands or some kind of rubber doobrie. I'm planning on buying a very budget hd cam, something like a Gopro hero3. It's such a tiny camera that I reckon you could get away with filming on the street without too much hassle. Lighting is more difficult as it's difficult to power floodlights in a mobile environment, so I am looking at putting together arrays of superbright LED panels that are battery powered and mounting them on Mic stands. The colour temperature of those leds is actually pretty good. You just need to pick out all the details really and you can change the feel with after effects if necessary. I reckon all the kit could go in one of them upright shopping trolleys that grannies wheel around. Each scene would be practiced in a dry run scenario then we'd get the kit in our trolley and do some guerilla filming. I would do the edit. Since my stuff would be mostly dialogue and acting lead humour I really don't think I would need anything too advanced, I'm fixing my macbook and I seem to remember the preloaded Imovie software having some pretty good features. I think the most recent Imovie can do chroma-keying for green screen effects which would be very handy.
All I need now is the camera, a granny trolley and a troupe of enthusiastic writer/actor/technicians. hmmmmmmmmm.

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danphobic

  • Friday 14th February 2014, 11:52am [Edited]
  • london, England
  • 224 posts

Just a suggestion mods, would it be helpful to have a little subforum ( like the writing opportunities one) for discussions on filming, editing, internet based video etc? I'm very interested in this side of things and it would be a good place for amatuers to discuss tactics and technical factors involved in filming and making pilots or putting stuff on the net, specifically for comedy? I've had a look around for amatuer film makers websites for the UK and they all seem to be a little too industry based. For instance, if I mentioned using a Gopro camera and super bright led lights I would prob be trolled off the site. Maybe it veers too far from the comedy aspect of the forum ? Jsut an idea though :)

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short films

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 12:33am [Edited]
  • United States
  • 1 posts

Making a film is divided into three stages - pre-production (scripting, raising funds and planning), production (shooting the film) and post-production (editing, grading and visual effects). Shoot something small and simple.
Make a list of the resources you have available to you and work out what sort of story you can tell with them. Got access to an unusual location or prop? Make it the centrepiece of your film.
You can always consult film distributors like Largo Films that will help you take your short film and screen it across movie theatres.

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comedywriter dude

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 6:01am [Edited]
  • Australia
  • 225 posts

Well the number 1 program you need is adobe after effects, from there you simply type in film locations available; people put there houses, cars coffee shops ect on sites and you simply pay them a fee to use it. To get an entire street you need council approval, but small time you just buy a location on one of those sites.

You also need a script, to write the script you need to get final draft (Industry standard). You need actors that's not hard to find. Probably do a course in Marketing, because if no one sees it there's no point. You also need to get a press release writer to join to your youtube release. Seo content for your website. These days it really comes down to marketing, so make sure you do a marketing course so you get them views. If you want to by pass all off that apart from a good script. Then you pay the big bucks and do a finance course that includes what's called a "Managed investment scheme in the curriculum". Pay the big bucks for that you can get film finance on a decent script like Spielberg did and lucuas. The film industry is basically one big super fund, with a finance degree you get product disclosure security which if a film fails you don't get sued. That's really the heart of the heart of the business there.

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comedywriter dude

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 10:51am [Edited]
  • Australia
  • 225 posts

this is how it works, a person say rupert murdoch, gets a guy that has a managed investement scheme licenese if he does not have one himself he then creates the fox network and gets people to invest. Same with movies speilberg has one as does george lucus it is simply managed investment scheme licenses , once you have the license as long as you have the money you can put your house up for a movie and not loose your hourse because your a finiancial adviser and in the pds product disclosure statment put your house up but not loose your house and make a movie.

this is how producers and executives still make money while investors can loose but cannot sue , its quite unbelieveable really not many people not know the ins and outs of the system. It's quite an amazing loophole its getting the investors speilburg or anyone else for that matter with a degree in finance with a managed investement scheme as long as signed the product disclosure statement speilberg lucuas or even you can sit back if it looses the investors loose money but can't sue if it makes money you get a take , thats why when someone starts a show and there making money they quickly realise hey i need a managed investement scheme licence hence this translates to - producer executive producer who ever started the scheme first almosmt like a triangle but to late larry david had his first not to many seasons in seinfeld got his
you will find they al done a course in managed investment schems a simple course - alot of people dont realise what producer and executive producer means, who had the licence first or who implimented first or second investors come second co producerrs and down the line its all quite very awful

What then becomes really amazing is people like kevin james who realises this and then is signed to the same managed investment scheme ( but can't get out of it )by adam sandler lol happy gilmore productions (managed investment scheme) who is tied to a bunch of investtors and distributors tied to that scheme, its realy all quite amazing.
and he has to be under sandler.

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comedywriter dude

  • Friday 29th September 2017, 11:02am
  • Australia
  • 225 posts

Ray romano tied to a scheme by david letterma doesn't have the same problem cbs a government grant company thus ray romano worth more than kevin james without any movies.

So now kevin james is got his own managed investment schem company hence the quick firing of the lead actress in first season of kevin can wait.

In the end its all about a finaincial services managed investment scheme licence and make it big at same time

kevin basically stressin out big time

industry tutorial 101 get a managed investment schem licence before you start anything

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Shrekinit

  • Tuesday 7th November 2017, 4:04pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 17 posts

I've tried making a few films and shorts and one thing that definitely makes a difference is good editing software.Problem is that it often costs the earth, so if you're trying to keep costs down it's a good idea to look for software that you don't have to pay for: https://www.1and1.com/digitalguide/websites/web-design/premiere-pro-alternatives-the-best-freeware/

Another thing is to rehearse as much as possible without being "on set". get your actors to know their lines inside out before they get into costume. it saves you so much time during filming and in post-production.