5 Easy Ways to Create an Engaging Short Film
A short film, in essence, is a film that isn’t long enough to be considered a feature film. They usually cover a single dilemma and resolve it in some way. However just because they’re shorter in length doesn’t mean they’re easier to make! Making such films requires the same skill set and creative thinking as do longer films, however on a smaller scale. Here are 5 helpful tips and tricks on how to create an engaging short film and thus increase your short film views:
1. The Backstory Dilemma
Most of us are under the impression that every film, or more so, the protagonist in every film should have a strong backstory. However when creating a short film, it’s important to understand the constraint of time one is dealing with and thus use time creatively. One shouldn’t waste time building a lengthy backstory for a short film but instead introduce the main character quickly.
2. Powerful Hook
It is crucial to draw your audience in from the beginning. A slow start will not captivate them, thus it’s important to have a powerful “hook” which is a strong beginning, something that will draw the viewers in. For example, a film can start a day after a murder and work its way backwards and eventually un-puzzle itself towards the end. Rather than going the clichéd way of starting from 0 and going till 10, working from 10 to 0 helps keep the audience hooked.
Needless to say, the character is the most important element in the short film. It is the character that the audience follows throughout and tries to relate to. S/he should thus be memorable and at some level create a connection between him/her and the viewers. Now, here it’s important to understand that every filmmaker is a different individual with a diverse view and take on life. It’s encouraged to demonstrate this variance by way of forming a personal connection to the character. There are many facets to our personalities and we never know which might strike a chord with someone else!
No one likes predictability, we all appreciate a little suspense, a bit of surprise and surely some major twists to stories that leave us in a daze. A good way to go about this is to build up a plot and then proceed to completely destroy it. Twists need not take place only at one stage but can occur at the start as well as the end. Keep the audience guessing but of course don’t overdo it, some stability is needed too!
Understanding that short films are visual media at the end of the day is crucial. The film need not always lay greater emphasis on dialogue but instead can show proceedings and events visually. Silences, pure reactions, background, location, all are very vital to a film’s engagement factor. Moreover, in attempts to create more mystery, certain essential points in the film can be depicted visually rather than in dialogue format. For example, prolonged exchanging of a look can indicate a person confessing to a crime rather than saying “I did it”. This will add a different kind of charm to your short film.
These are just a few ways to make your short film engaging. However, you may make a brilliant award worthy short film yet still not get the publicity it deserves. For that you need to learn how to obtain more views on your masterpiece. This can be done by publicizing it on social media, uploading it on Youtube, and more. Creating a website to promote your film is also a good idea. Making a captivating teaser or a trailer also helps spark interest and then leads to more views on our film. Note here that social networking is very important to gain publicity and recognition for your film. So go out there, make your short film, engage your audience and publicize your art!