How to Write Short Film Step by Step Guide
How to Write Short Film

How to Write Your First Short Film: Step-by-Step Guide

Writing your first short movie can be super fun and exciting. Like telling a mini-story in film. Short films can be a very good way of entering into the world of filmmaking or story writing if you’re just starting. They aren’t too long, so you can learn and practice without getting overwhelmed. Placing Dreams Film & Television Institute is here to help you gain some knowledge on  how to write short films.  So,today  in this article we will learn about story writing and script writing.

What is a short film?

So, you want to know what a short film is? Alright I, got you! Short films are like small, entire stories on screen that’ll make you laugh, cry, or get all emotional in just a few short minutes. They are way shorter than regular movies, like about 20 minutes or something, so you get that perfect dose of entertainment on-the-go!

They’re not only short, but almost like films—like, full-on with a story and characters and everything, even resolution. They’re way faster-paced, which makes them unique and interesting for storytelling.

Short films are the best for feeding fresh minds. They are mostly very experimental, so you might come across some really innovative pieces at times, and sometimes even groundbreaking. You never know what kind of crazy, awesome ideas you’ll get when filmmakers are allowed a 20-minute time slot to get creative!

How long is a short film script?

Now, if you wonder what could be the ideal length of a short film script, let us read into it. For a 20-minute short film, your script should typically have around 20 pages. Assuming every page has a running time of one minute, that gives you a fair idea of how to format your story. What it means is that a page of script mirrors about a minute of real action in the film.

Worth noting is the fact that scene descriptions, action sequences, and dialogue all add to the page count of your script. These elements really help in setting up both the visual and narrative elements of your film; so while sticking to the principle of 1 page equates to 1 minute of film use makes the process easier, these elements are quite important. Now that you now know this, confidently, clearly begin writing your short-film script.

Why are short films important?

Short films are the game changers of new filmmakers. They are, so to speak, the taste test to show what you do and showcase your style and talent. You will get noticed on account of having previously made a killer short film, along with producers, studios, or potential investors who would want to work with you on some future projects.

Think about that! An extremely short film can be regarded as a calling card in the sense that it can communicate to the world what you are capable of doing and what you’re made of. Here’s your chance to let a story come into form: unique, imaginative, and captivating—practice for your filmmaking talent. And let me add my favorite part: It’s not only about you; short films can also be used to find and hook up with other talented folks who share your vision and passion for film. You can use your short film as a way of finding collaborators, building your network, and even finding investors who believe in you!

You may then ask yourself why short films are important. Well, it’s because they

Show off your portfolio to the best people in the industry, realize new ideas and styles, meet other ambitious filmmakers you would want to collaborate with, and it might just be the key to greater and more important projects down the line.

So if you are an emerging filmmaker, then my advice is, don’t underestimate the influence of shorts. After all, it is that calling card which really makes a mark on people’s minds and gets the career going with a real run!

Steps to write your short film:

  1. Watch other short films: As many short films as possible, watch them for inspiration and learning. Find them over the internet or find them among those acclaimed at film festivals.
  2. Read some short film scripts: Read some scripts to be able to appreciate how the story has been written for a film. That will definitely, give you ideas of what to do with your script.
  3. Ideas: Consider what you want to make your film about. Think about the types of moments in your life or things you love in other movies. Jot down your ideas. Story 
  4. Outline: Plan your story. Plan how it is going to start, what goes on in the middle, and how it is going to finish. This is called an outline.
  5. First draft: With your outline in hand, complete a first run at the script. Don’t worry about making it perfect—you can always fix it up later. 
  6. Rewrite and edit: When you have your first draft, read through it. Change it around to make it right. You might need to rewrite some sections or add new ideas.
  7. Keep it simple: Do not complicate your story too much, especially if this is your first movie. People are generally much more accepting of simpler stories.
Wrapping Up

Writing for a short film is a great way to crack open your filmmaking career. It’s an opportunity to flex your creative muscle, try out new things, and pick up some experience—a place you will learn from your mistakes. Don’t be scared to take risks and put yourself outside of your comfort level; that’s where magic happens. Ultimately, making a short film is about sharing your voice, your vision, and your passion with the world. That’s why Placing Dreams Film & Television Institute is here, making the impossible things happen by giving meaning to the dreams of aspiring students. With us, you will find resources for support, help, and guidance while turning your ideas into amazing films. So, if you’re ready to take the plunge and make a mark in the world of filmmaking, then Placing Dreams Film & Television Institute is the place to be. We’ll be right there with you every step of the way, cheering and helping you over any obstacles that may come your way.


Que: How do you write a short film for beginners?
Begin with just one straight and simple idea. Clearly create a beginning, middle, and end in the most simplistic way possible. Pay attention to the conversation and engaging characters. Keep it short and simple.

Que: How can I make my own short film?
Storyboard a script, and plan out your story. Make some calls, look out locations, and use your DSLR or smartphone to shoot the scenes. Collect the scenes you want, edit the video and add an audio track.

Que: How to write a 3 minute short film?
Keep the story simple—only one big conflict or theme. Be a cheapskate with settings and characters. If you really want to tell your story smoothly, then all you have to do is pay attention only to dramatic scenes and short conversations.

Que: How long is a short film script?
The ideal length of a short film script is 20-minute, your script should typically have around 20 pages. 1 page refers to 1 minute.

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