Write and act in your own short film

Follow these hints & tips

1. Start with the brief

Who is the client and what is the problem they want you to solve? How will you address the problem and what is your call to action? What do you want them to do?

2. Who is your target market?

Who are you speaking to? In this case, teenagers and what do you know about them? What do they like? This can shape the way you communicate to them. Use words and content that your teenage audience will understand.

3. What do you want to say?

What do you want them to know? Think about the issue and write a few key points about what you want to tell them. Will your script have a beginning, middle and end? Are you asking them to do something? Is there a call to action?

4. Plan your script and storyboard.

In planning your script and storyboard think about:

Where will the story take place? Are there transition scenes?
What characters will be in your story?
Will there be sound effects or images?

5. Build your script.

How will you communicate with your audience?

Consider your key points. State the problem in your first couple of shots. Ensure your opening lines include a good ‘hook’ to grab your audience’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or question, then spend the rest of your script revealing the answer. Don’t give it all away too early, you’ll want to keep it interesting.

Make sure there is a strong call to action at the end. We want to invoke behaviour change, like stop buying certain products or taking steps to protect the environment.

Keep in mind you must allow time for things like voice pauses and pace, sound effects, images, scene transitions, and sound effects. Check your timing by reading your draft script to ensure it’s within the 90 seconds.

6. Build your storyboard.

Apply your script to the storyboard template, then draw these key scenes to bring it to life! This provides a strong visual reference for when the short film is produced.

7. Final tips for Success.

Check the brief and your key points again to make sure you have addressed the client’s problem.

Don’t forget to read through your script and storyboard with fresh eyes and make sure it:

  • presents a firm position and is supported by relevant facts, quotes or examples
  • has smooth transitions between your organised ideas on the topic
  • states your final position (call to action) to increase the impact of your message

Remember to apply persuasive techniques such as:

  • humour, emotional appeal, rhetorical questions, irony, testimonials, body language and voice pause, pace, tone and pitch.

Consider impacts on timing such as:

  • pause and pace, sound effects, images, scene transitions, and music

Check your script and storyboard are within the 60 seconds.