A Guide To Short Film Production Strategy For The New Filmmaker

Being a startup filmmaker means having to learn the nuances of what works visually and what doesn’t. It doesn’t always come naturally and there are several hurdles along the way. For those wanting to make sure they take the right approach and continue to develop a meaningful strategy, it’s important to begin with the right approach. Here’s a detailed look at the different components of a short film video production plan.

By implementing the right tips, it’s possible to see a considerable uptick in results.  

  1. Understand the Target Audience

The first thing a filmmaker has to do is understand the target audience. Each short film is different and cannot be compared to another. Remember, the concept of a short film is nothing more than its length. In general, you can have a short film in several different genres and each one is going to be unique in what it visualizes and what it has to say about the central theme. If you assume all short films are the same and are going to resonate in the same manner then you’re in for a real surprise. 

The goal should be to settle in and do your research as to what the target audience expects. Sometimes, your target audience is going to be mature but other times it’s going to be younger. These details go a long way in how you visualize certain details and what you show to the masses. If you assume each short film is going to use the same techniques then that is going to lead to a shoddy film. It’s important to analyze each detail and what others have done before you while focusing on this type of target audience. The beauty of being a startup filmmaker in this era is having a wealth of knowledge behind you. There’s a lot to learn as long as you are willing to open your eyes.

Get the target audience nailed down and use this as a launching pad for better resonating films.

  1. Set a Budget

What is your budget for the startup short film?

There is nothing worse than having a great plan in mind and then realizing you don’t have enough money to make it happen. Creating a short film is just like any other project and has to be built on the shoulders of a well-planned budget.

A Guide To Short Film Production Strategy For The New Filmmaker - Indie Shorts Mag

There are many ways of approaching this task but you need to take care of the financials as soon as possible. Anything short of this is going to leave you in the middle of the project without enough funds to complete the task at hand. 

What should your budget encompass?

The budget needs to look at everything based around the film, whether it’s hiring people, bringing in new equipment, clothing, and anything else that will require money to make happen. This is going to vary depending on the short film but you will need to have this information in hand as soon as possible.

Don’t assume you can wing it along the way, because films end up becoming disasters as you start cutting corners.

  1. Develop a Central Message for the Short Film

 A central message has to be a part of your video production strategy.

This means thinking about what the film is going to depict and how it’s going to go about it. In general, you are not going to come out in the middle of the film and explain the theme, so it has to be ingrained into the core of how the short film is shown. This is the only way to make it happen and it’s not always easy for startup filmmakers. A lot of the times, this is where films end up struggling because the message is lost somewhere in the beginning and that ruins how the film turns out.

Take the time to sit down and think about the message and how it is going to be conveyed.

Yes, this is just as important as any other part of the short film video production strategy. If you are unwilling to ponder over these details, there will come a point during the process where you’re going to be lost and there won’t be a way to get things back on track. When you have a central message, it can act as the heart of your film and how it is played out.

  1. Create a Marketing Plan

You will need to have a marketing plan because that’s the only way to spread the word about what you have produced. Imagine putting in all of the hard work to prepare a film and then not have it spread to the target audience.

Create a Marketing Plan

This is a concern many filmmakers have with their short films.

To make sure the right marketing plan is set up, you want to focus on the following details:

  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Blogs/Websites
  • Email Blasts
  • Industry Publications/Newsletters
  • YouTube
  • Sales Team

And More!

The options are endless as to how you approach this task and make it happen. It is not going to occur on its own and neither should you expect it to. This is all about putting in the hard work and making with a purpose. Until then you’re never going to get the film out in front of those who need to view it.

  1. Produce with Goals in Mind

Do you have a goal in mind as to how the film needs to turn out? What about the video production process and the timeline associated with it?

A startup filmmaker can struggle with these things because they assume everything is going to be perfect. Unfortunately, in the real world, you are going to have setbacks and those need to be accounted for in your goals. Set clear short-term goals and then work on them one by one. It will help clarify what needs to be done and how you need to go about it for maximum results.

Otherwise, you will get stuck on a step without realizing how much time is being wasted.

  1. Use a Free-Flowing Approach

This is an underrated tip that can help ensure you put together a beautiful short film with a great theme.

In general, you want to take the opportunity to have a free-flowing approach, which means you don’t chop things around or focus on the amount of recording being done. You want to allow things to flow to the point where you can easily transition between shots based on what works best for your film. 

A lot of young filmmakers will start editing on the go and this leads to a choppy short film. For your video production strategy to work, you have to set clear goals and then pursue a free-flowing approach as the short film comes into its own over time.

Final Thoughts

Being a startup filmmaker means juggling different factors and learning to adapt on the fly. It’s not going to be easy and most people struggle when put in a situation such as this. However, it’s the filmmakers willing to fight and respond well to adversity that are going to reach new heights. If you are ready to take the next step, it’s important to implement the right short film video production strategy as soon as possible.

Remember, when you have the right strategy in place, it helps create a strong foundation to build from. Otherwise, you’re never going to maximize your setup and get it to work in your favor.

About The Author

Dave Collins is the Executive Producer and owner of ANGRYchair. His background in TV Production working alongside some of the best content creators in the world, David Attenborough and Tony Robinson to name a few, place him in unique stead to produce refreshingly authentic video content with brands like Uber, Real Madrid, Oxford University Press and many others at ANGRYchair.

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