Short films are a wonderful sub-medium of movies, the short story of the film world. They’re great as calling cards to garner attention, but also an artform in their own right. Making them is pretty much an initial goal of most journeyman filmmakers. How to go about it? Well this guide will certainly help, in the initial stages as well as seeking that elusive funding!
You know what everyone loves? Lists. So, what better than a list of lists! Here are five lists I’ve found useful; they’re focussed around screenwriting, but all writers can benefit from them.
- Top 5 Ways Writers Screw Up Their Characters by Lucy Hay
- 25 Things You Should Know About Dialogue by Chuck Wendig
- How to Maximise Your Portfolio by Lucy Hay
- 1, 2, 7, 14 by Scott Myers
- 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing by Chuck Wendig
Do you have any lists on writing you’ve found particularly useful? If so, please share them!
An older link, but no less useful for it. Jason Arnopp summarises Lisa Holdsworth’s talk on TV pitch documents. It also reminds me, I probably need to revise my own Pitch Template and include a variant for TV pitching, based around Danny Stack’s TV Outline Tips.
The BFI listed Ten Great Teen Films, supplemented by ten further submissions from the general public. Needless to say I, and many others, were dissatisfied with their list. So, a few frantic minutes of crowdsourcing later, here are our own submissions, in no particular order:
- Easy A
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Mean Girls
- Donnie Darko
- Pump Up The Volume
- Pretty in Pink
- Ten Things I Hate About You
- Boyz ‘n the Hood
- Empire Records
- Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Fish Tank
- Party Girl
- American Pie
- Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
- The Lost Boys
- St Elmo’s Fire
Writers would prefer a world with fewer gatekeepers, where publishers and producers could be approached with a promising pitch, without having to build relationships with agents etc. first. Well, opportunities like that did, and do, exist but there’s always someone poisoning the well, making things a little worse for everyone else. Some entitled writer who thinks way too highly of themselves. Behold, one such example, a screenwriter who single-handedly ensured that at least one producer will never read an unsolicited script ever again.
Addendum: Half the writers on the internet have commented on this story, but I’d like to point you to the response of The Bitter Script Reader, who not only comments on the writer’s approach, but also give some practical advice on how to make a good impression with your query.