Making Your First Short Film

Making Your First Short Film from Pipeline Artists - Symposium on Vimeo.

Goes with saying: making a short film is the steppingstone for a burgeoning filmmaker. It's a must if you want to one day helm a feature, and for those who aren't sure where their path leads, a short film can teach them so much about all facets of development, production, and post.

But where to start? What’s a good first short film project? What might leave you overwhelmed with too much to do? How do you assemble a team when you don't have the connections? How do you cast actors? How do you get it through post? How do you get people to watch it and justify the expense???

*... breathe ..*

Multi-hyphenate director/producer/screenwriter/Chapman professor Kay Tuxford (The MisEducation of Bindu) will walk you through step-by-step how to choose a good first short script to write, produce it, and get it in front of an audience.

By the end of this presentation, you'll have a toolbox filled with information on the dos and don’ts of short filmmaking and the right frame of mind to finish a short on budget and with a plan in place.

This presentation will include:

  • Developing the idea and what things to look for when selecting the concept.
  • Assembling your team—what crew do you need + tips to get them on board.
  • Casting actors—where to find talent and how to get them excited about your project.
  • Things you need to know to prep for production!
  • A post-production checklist
  • Film festival tips and tricks, as well as distribution options

*Slides and templates will be available for attendees after the session.

[Recorded July 20, 2022]



Kay Tuxford is the writer of the recent indie dramedy The MisEducation of Bindu, executive produced by the Duplass Brothers.  A graduate of Chapman University's Screenwriting MFA program and a Knott Scholar, Kay's writing placements and wins include Austin Film Festival, the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, and Script Pipeline. Straddling the analytical and the creative, Tuxford graduated in 2002 from Northern Arizona with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry before transitioning into filmmaking. Her emphasis focuses on outside-the-box roles for women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is loved by her family and probably only just tolerated by her cat.

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