Screenwriter’s Guide on Writing a Short Film

If you want to make a career as a screenwriter in the film industry then short films can be great to start with. You can develop your vision and style for feature films by writing good short films. The screenplay you write should be appealing to the viewers. The tips provided in this write-up can help you in writing a good short film.

The process of writing a screenplay can be divided into three sections including:

  1. Finding out great ideas for short films
  2. Drafting an engaging script
  3. Giving a finishing touch to the script

All these aspects are briefly described hereunder for your guidance.

Screenwriter's Guide On Writing A Short Film

Finding great ideas

While brainstorming to find a great idea for your short film you should focus on finding unique as well as larger than life concepts. You can take ideas from strange news articles or your childhood strange experiences to draft a short film. You can also get inspiration to write a short film from a theme like friendship or identity etc. If it’s difficult to do on your own you may order it for cheap here: You can also focus your short film on a particular character. You can explore the life story of that character in a short span of time. While searching an idea for a short film you should also focus on a genre to make it more engaging for the viewers. It can be rom-com, horror, thriller or a period etc.

After getting a compelling idea to write a short film you can start outlining the plot. Suppose your idea is based on a character then you can develop the outline of the plot in six simple steps like:

  • Set up: to outline the setting of the character and their conflict
  • Provocative incident: to describe changes in the life of the character
  • Intensifying action: to develop your characters and their relationships
  • The high point of the character’s life: to show the entire drama
  • Falling action: to show how your character handled the climax.
  • Conclusion: the resolution of the conflicts of the character and their resultant.

In order to be more guidance, you can watch some of the successful short films.

Drafting an engaging short film

While creating the draft of your short film you should start with capturing the interest of the viewers for at least 15-20 seconds by using a strong image showing the character in some intense or mysterious action. Initially, you should develop the interest of your viewers by telling them about your character and his conflicts so that they can go on watching your short film.

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In order to make your screenplay effective and short, you should add a few locations and characters in it to make it more focused and tightly knit. In order to keep viewers engaged, you should add some strong, stunning and interesting visuals that can describe your character and the tone of the film. In order to make a scene sensible, you can add noises or sounds in the script by using CAPS.

While adding dialogues in the script you should keep them short and precise to tell most about your ides in a short time. Organize the sequences of the events in your story so that you can show the most in short time like by using flashbacks which can allow you to jump around the time easily. But it should not be confusing for the viewers.

The end of most of the successful short films remains memorable and surprising for the viewers. You can give a surprising twist at the end so that your viewers go on assuming what will happen now.

Give a finishing touch to the script

After drafting the outline of the screenplay the screenwriters should give it finishing touches as follows:

Read the draft loudly to check whether the dialogues are engaging and natural or not so that you can amend them. Get feedback from your peers, family, and friends by providing them your draft to read. It will help you in making it more engaging and interesting for your viewers. Format the screenplay to make it easy to read by using a suitable screenplay formatting software. Give a suitable title to your screenplay. The title should be short and memorable.

Your screenplay is ready to make a short film.

The next step of a screenwriter should be to find a producer to finance his short film so that his dream project can get a real shape.

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