Creating a Short Film is a 13-part training series that features some of the best actors and crew in the Seattle area, sharing their expertise on how to create a brilliant short film. The series is not just conceptual; author Chad Perkins and his team make a short film, The Assurance, and share the actual struggles and challenges that they had to overcome to get the film made. In this installment, Chad covers the basics of producing, the process that kicks off every new film, and sees it through to completion. Learn about the role of the producer, the difference between producing shorts and features, and what you should look for when selecting a producer for your script—or when you're a producer looking for the next great film idea.
Make sure to look for the follow-up episodes to learn more about screenwriting, directing, working with actors, editing and visual effects, and everything else that goes into filmmaking. This is a one-of-a-kind educational experience you won't find anywhere else.
- Starting a film project
- Finding financing
- Dealing with legal issues
- Producing shorts vs. feature films
- Learning from failure
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Voiceover] Hey folks, this is Chad Perkins, a filmmaker from Seattle. This training series is part of a collection of courses to teach you how to make a short film, start to finish. As part of this training, I made a short fantasy film called The Assurance, and documented the entire process, from writing and pre-production, to working on set, through post-production, to as a screening at an independent movie theater in Seattle. In this training, you'll get to see how we budgeted, auditioned actors, set up lights and cameras, wrote and record the orchestral score, how we did all of our visual effects, everything.
And, you know, filmmaking is really about problem solving, so we'll show you the first drafts and rough cuts, the challenges we had, the mistakes we made, so that you can avoid those pitfalls on your projects. This training consists of 13 separate training courses. Each course focuses on a component of filmmaking, and will be released in the general order of the filmmaking workflow. The first course is on producing. How do you get a project off the ground, and shepherd it to completion? The second course is on writing. We'll get an understanding on how to tell a story, examining some of the best Hollywood films, as well as how we created the world The Assurance.
Course number three is about pre-production, getting the script ready to film. We'll look at the meetings I had with our crew about the schedule, budget, designing the wardrobe from scratch, developing concept art, and more. The fourth course is on acting. We'll look at what acting is really about, and we'll show you our auditions and rehearsals, and why we made the choices we did. The fifth course is about directing, where we'll look at controlling the tone, running the set, and the many decisions that directors have to make. Course number six is all about working on set. What's the workflow like? What do all these people do? We'll look at all of that, as well as a tutorial from my wife Heather about how she created the special effects makeup for our film.
The seventh course is about cinematography. How can you use your camera and lighting to tell your story in the best way? Course number eight is about editing, and we'll see how we were able to re-edit our initial story to tell a completely different, and much better one. And course nine, we'll start to look at visual effects, creating environments, adding elements to shots, and removing objects from shots. Course ten is all about the stuff you think of, when you think of visual effects, magic, particles, explosions, you know, all the pretty stuff. These are all things that you can do at home for little to no money.
Course 11 is about color. This was a huge part of The Assurance, and is an often under used tool to transform bland footage, or even poorly shot footage, into something gorgeous. Course 12 is all about audio. We'll look at recording audio on set, composing the score, and recording it, sound design, (various sound effects) and mixing it all together. And finally, we'll wrap things up in course 13, by talking about how to market and distribute your film, including how to make marketing materials, like logos and trailers, and how to get your film seen by an audience.
I think it's a one of a kind experience, and not just learning about how to make films, but to see what it's actually like to solve problems, and struggle, and fail, and compromise during that process, and this has been years in the making, so thank you so much for watching this. Enjoy the training. - That's a wrap! (all cheer)