Making a Movie: Short Film Ideas for School Assignments

Making a Movie: Short Film Ideas for School Assignments

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Making a Movie: Short Film Ideas for School Assignments

Making a Movie: Short Film Ideas for School Assignments

If you are studying media or film at school, you may be tasked with making a short film at some point. Making a short film from scratch is a fun and challenging project, and it all starts off with a great idea. So how should you come up with an idea for your short film?

Choose Your Genre

Start by choosing a genre that interests you. What are your favorite types of films, both short films and feature films? Are you a fan of horror, comedy or drama, for example? This is the place to start because once you have chosen your genre you will have a strong starting point to begin thinking about ideas.

Let Your Setting Guide You

When making a short film for school, you will have certain limitations to keep in mind, and knowing these before you start out will help you to craft an idea that takes account of these limitations.

One of the most important limitations is the setting of your short film. Consider various settings for your short film and allow them to direct your idea formulation. For example, the woods behind your house may be the perfect setting for a horror film, and spending some time walking around could help you to develop the idea for your film.

Research Other Short Films

Watch lots of short films to get ideas for your own. That does not mean you should copy them, but you can study which elements work and which don’t. You will find lots of examples streaming online, and you might download some of the best ones using something like to watch at your leisure. Remember to respect intellectual property with video downloads.

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Use Your Own Experiences

You don’t have to make a biography of your life, but you can use your own experiences to help you come up with ideas. Have you ever had a scary experience? A situation in which you felt unsafe? Something that made you laugh? Has something strange or unexplained ever happened to you? Think about these personal experiences and use them to help you to form your idea for your short film.

Research Your Local Area

Find some interesting stories from your own local area to help you come up with an idea for your film. Does your village have an interesting past? What are some important events that have happened in your city either recently or many decades ago? Are there any interesting personalities in your local area, or even celebrities? Research your surroundings and you may just find the perfect idea sitting there waiting for you.

Get Creative with Your Short Film Ideas

You can make short films on just about any topic imaginable, and there is no right and wrong when it comes to deciding upon your idea. Use the above tips to help you come up with your own idea, and spend a lot of time on this before you start the actual filming. Once you have come up with a good idea, you will already be half way to making a great short film.

Lisa Harold is an experienced maker of short films. She often writes about filmmaking methods from storyboarding to camerawork to editing.