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Ten Tips for a Creating Your Best Short
Tammie Stimpfel, HHM Film Slam Producer
2019 Winter Film Slam Official Time Period
The HHM 72-Hour Winter Film Slam event will occur in the Bay City, MI area between Friday, February 1 at 7:00pm and Monday, February 4 at 7:00pm. This is the Official Time Period.
Join us at 6 pm on Friday, February 1, at the Hell’s Half Mile Headquarters located at 701 Washington Ave, Suite 203, for the Criteria Kick-off we will cut you loose at 7 p.m. to begin writing your script!
The participating group/team must complete its film/video work in time to have it uploaded it to a location to be announced, on Monday, February 4, by 7:00pm. Only works that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition and eligible for the cash award prize.
All films received on Monday (on-time and late) will be screened at The State Theatre on Friday, February 8 at 7pm.
Wondering what can you do to create something good under such a tight deadline?
The most important thing to success is preparation, preparation, preparation.
You need to have locations, cast and crew ready to roll, but as a producer you also need to make sure you are ready.
Here are a few things that should be on the top of your list:
Tip 1: Pull together a solid production team. Although a one-person team has been done, it’s not recommended. You need a passionate team that will work with you and your vision. Trust their abilities and talents, and be open to their input and ideas. Filmmaking takes teamwork.
Tip 2: Cast good actors, not just bodies to move around on screen. It’s much easier managing people who understand the filmmaking process. If using someone new to acting, have them start small.
Tip 3: Tell a good story but keep the script simple. This means easy dialogue, limited locations for set up and minimal effects for your visual editor.
Tip 4: Visit all locations before starting production. It will not only help with blocking but will make crew set-up quicker by knowing lens usage, lighting and camera placement.
Tip 5: Pace yourselves. Give yourself and your team deadlines so you don’t run out of time to edit.
Tip 6: Know your script by heart. Learn the lines, visualize every scene in advance keeping in mind the message you are trying to deliver. Make note of where your required elements are in the script.
Tip 7: Create a storyboard. Storyboards are very helpful and unfortunately usually the first thing dropped on a tight time structure. Storyboarding will help with vision and strategy.
Tip 8: Rehearse with your actors! Getting the scene down before the camera rolls will help your editor tremendously.
Tip 9: Pay attention to sound. Nothing takes you out of a story faster than sound levels that bounce all over the place. This means while filming as well as in post.
Tip 10: Schedule nutrition breaks. Have food and water on hand. It’s easy to forget to grab something to eat when you’re in the zone and then you’re dealing with hangry cast and crew.