Category Archives: film-making

How to make no budget short film in India

The paradigms have change in India after Anurag Kashyap era that emerged with the success of DEV D, Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur. Rise of independent hindi film directors like Imtiaz ali, Dibakar banerjee, Vikas bahl and others have inspired an entire new generation of filmmakers to step in. While many can not make feature films directly, they have started taking small steps by making short films. Anurag kashyap made short films. Kahani director Sujoy ghosh made Hindi short film Ahalya. Now they made these films after they gained success with their feature films so, short doesn’t need to be stepping stone to feature but may be a successful format in itself.  Independent stake holders like Shamiana, India Film Project, Mami and others have provided wonderful platform to aspiring Indian short film makers. Shamiana the short film club regularly hosts short film screenings across India. Indian film project ( Earlier Ahmedabad Film project) is 50 hours short film making competition which has huge participation from across the globe. Best shorts films made by amateur short film makers from India and abroad are awarded certificate and prizes by Bollywood celebrities.  And with the rise of digital media usage, shot film and short videos are set to consumed in huge quantity in time to come. If you are aspiring to make short film, wait no more and make your short film today. Here is the detailed information on how to make no budget short film in India.

How to make no budget short film in India
1) Build a team of like minded aspiring film makers
2) Assign roles and fix responsibilities
3) Write story and screenplay for short film
4) Casting the right actors
5) Shoot the film
6) Edit them film
7) Make the final copy
8) Distribute the short film

Let us understand the Short film making process in detail :-

1) Build a team of like minded aspiring film makers for no budget short film
Ideally a director and producer is called film maker. But for the sake of this article we call each member of  entire team as film maker. A film is made not by individual but by team. Whether feature or short, a film is a collaborative process of multiple artists coming together to shoot at the same goal post. A short film making team requires writer,director,Sound recording artist,actors,Cinematographer,editor and Music director. These are skilled based requirements.
Short film’s budget consist of fees towards these artists. When they all come together to produce a short film, there is no requirement to pay the fees and it becomes the project of everyone in the team. Each team member is producer of the short film in proportional contributions.

2) Assign roles and fix responsibilities for no budget short film :-
This is the most crucial part. You may wonder how this point is different from point no.1?
Well there is a huge difference. While you make a team consisting various artists thinking they will perform their role best in making of a short film, you will be surprise to know that when you start shooting a short film, each and every team player on the set will start behaving like a film director. Not necessary that it has to happen. But if you ask any experienced film maker around, he or she will have a story to share in this context. While all artists come together to make a short film, a clear distinction should be made on paper and cleared to them what are the things that to be done by them only and when. It must be conveyed to each team member that there is a limit which should not be crossed by anyone. No one should come in way of another.  A film is director’s medium and when everyone starts directing on set, it becomes mess. The film may be for fun but film making is serious business. So, make roles clear, protocols clear.

3) Write story and screenplay for no budget short film
Story and screenplay for short film is more important  for feature film as later has lots of things to offer but a short film on 5 minutes or less or more has to dependent mostly on story and screenplay. In short film you have tell your story in such a short time that the role of film writer becomes way important than any other team member except Director. A short film writer must not follow the structure of feature film writing as you have lesser time to show everything.

4) Casting for no budget short film
Once the story and screenplay of a short film is ready, the next step in the process is to cast actors for various roles. The director has already cast actors on pro-Bono basis. As they are partner in the crime, you pay no fees 😉 But profit 😀 😛
Explain their role and lines well.

5) Shoot the no budget short film 
Everything is set and the team is ready to hit the floor on the set. Now, director and cinematographer will decide various location and composition for each scene. The cinematographer with his shooting equipments such a DSLR camera, handy cam or high end smart phone such as I phone and others will shoot the film as per requirements.
During the shoot, the sound recording artist will record the minute sound of things and props and everything else which will make the film feel real.

6) Edit the no budget short film
You are done with shooting the short film  and the entire video footage is ready in huge quantity. Everything you shoot doesn’t go in the film. It is editor’s task to give the final shape to the film as per script. He may cut the scene you thought was wonderful. Well you should allow him to do so if he can convince you. Be open to other views. As said before, film making is a collaborative process.

7) Make final copy
Once the director and editor agree on the final version, they need to make the final copy which will be called you ‘Short Film’. Be proud of it. It doesn’t have too be like what you had imagined before shooting. It is never the same. It just need to be give the same feel but need not be the same way you had visualized. Saying again, be proud of it.

8) Distribute the film
As you are making no budget short film, I am seeing you as an aspirant film maker who doesn’t care much about money making at this stage. If it is your first film or one of the firts, my advice to you is that upload it on all possibly video sharing sites to reachout the as large audience you can. Youtube is your first platform. Vimeo, facebook video are also there. Share the youtube video link to people using social media such as twitter, facebook, whatsapp. Share the film on whatsapp. Whatsapp may turnout to be the most powerful distributor as people have tendency to forward the content on whatsapp. If they audience like your short film, there is a chance to become it viral. As we have no marketing budget, this is surely a big win. Seach for more option online and make best use of them. The other way is to participate in short film clubs and short film competitions held online and offline.

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