A short film is usually a film of 40 minutes or less including the credits. Making a short film requires various unique techniques because a short film is an entire story shown within a short time span. The first thing that a short film maker must keep in mind is that the story has to be very attractive. Short films are of short time spans so it depends on viewers if they want to watch the particular movie completely or not. To keep the viewers glued to the film it should have an element of curiosity from the very beginning, from the very first scene.
The selection of dialogues is very important. The script writer must know where to eliminate or add a dialogue but still make it understandable to the audience. The language must be very simple so that anybody can easily understand. If complicated language is used it is possible that the audience might lose their interest halfway. It is also important to have promising actors because usually there not many characters in a short film and it would completely depend on the 4-5 actors how they take up the challenge of compelling the audience to watch the movie completely.
The cinematography of the short film plays a huge role because most of the times the significance of various scene is brought into limelight by the variations of lights and camera focus. The next thing is that there must be one element that will distinguish it from all the other short films because there are thousands of short films coming up and there is always a competition. For example if it is a horror short film, it shouldn’t be a random story of a person being haunted by a soul, it can rather show that the person who is being haunted does not realize that the person with whom she/he has been talking all these days died a few years back in an accident. If it is a love story, it must have an end which would make people think over it time and again.
Every short film must have a purpose more than just entertainment. In the world where media has become the primary source of all information it is essential for the film makers to take up the responsibility of exposing the evils of the society. There must be a thought provoking substance in the movie. A short film is a film that keeps an impact in the viewers mind. Something that would raise a rhetoric question and they will be bound to think what is happening is actually right or wrong. For example there are various short films which have shown the true stories of rape cases or ragging cases. In 1999 there was an incident of ragging in a medical college. The students kept a hand of a corpse under the pillow of the junior and locked her inside the room. They even forgot to unlock the door and when they finally unlocked after many hours, the girl was found sitting on the cupboard and chewing the hand of the corpse.
Such true stories when made into films give the viewers an idea of the plight of students who are being ragged. Also when it is a true story made into film the audience find it more alluring to watch and know more about what exactly had happened. In case of fictitious story the movie should have a very unique concept altogether. Something that will make the audience wonder if what they had seen was actually true or how would it have been if it was true. For example, there is a Bengali short film named “Ahalya” in which a police inspector comes to a house in order to investigate the case of a missing person. It was reported that before disappearing the person had come to this house. The house is well decorated and there is a table where there are many small statues kept. It is little weird that as soon as the police enters one of the many statues fall without any wind or any touch as such. The police has a conversation with an aged person who is the owner of the house and has a wife half of his age. At the end of the film it is seen that the police himself has turned into one of those statues and he too now falls from the table when someone new comes to visit the house. Such creepy things do attract audience to watch more of such amusing films
Hence it can be said that in order to make a short film, the film maker must have an eye for details so that he can recognize the mistakes and rectify them and come up with ideas to make the movie unique.