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How to shoot a short film

I received a question which is also a request:

Dear Mr. Alex Hernandez:

Good morning. I know we haven’t met, but I’ve seen one of your short films and was fascinated by it. Currently I have a project in my head and I’d like to know whether you could help me produce a short film. I’m simply a writer and poet. Thanks in advance for your attention. Sometimes one must cross oceans to realize the impossible o what your own countrymen can’t see.

My dear friend,

I’m glad you liked my work. I don’t make short films anymore – it’s been years since the last one.

You say you have a project in your head… I’m afraid that film professionals aren’t lacking in ideas. Budget might be lacking, technical or human means, time maybe or many other things, but ideas are free and we all have dozens of them. And, the most important point for our purposes: each of us is in love with their own ideas.
To make a short film, one needs more than a project in the head. One needs a written, rewritten, finished script, polished to the max, because this max is the minimum required for others to fall in love with our project. Without a script it’s all words, ideas and vagueness that could grow into something or not… A good script will allow other to get a mental picture that -with luck- will move them to get involved. With much luck. Even professionals have a tough time to see their projects realized, and seeing on screen one in ten of your finished scripts is already an achievement.
The alternative is to do as I did: take the plunge, grab a camera, push buttons to see what happens, read about the topic, enroll some friends and shoot one’s own film. It won’t be perfect, but if it’s good enough it might be a good hook to invite potential collaborators to our next project.
All the best!

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