Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to get your mini masterpiece made....

I have a short film called Tiger, about a tiger kidnapping and a battle of wits that develops between one of the kidnappers and one of the victims, a bank official's wife.

It's 10 pages long, is set in only one location, and has only five parts (three of which are speaking roles). I reckon it could be made in some style, with everyone getting paid at least a small amount, for five grand.

So what are my options for getting it made? Should I go down the DIY route or hold out for a proper budget? Since I can't be the only writer with a half-decent short script, here are some options for getting your short onto the big screen.

1. Make things easy on yourself by starting with a low-budget script. A 15 minute script with 10 locations is going to be a nightmare to shoot. Try not to have any more than 5-6 speaking roles and avoid anything that requires special effects or too many expensive props.
2. Enter competitions and apply for funding schemes. The main ones in Ireland are the Filmbase Awards and the Film Board's Short Scripts scheme. Competition is fierce, and you may need to have a director or producer lined up if you're approved - but this is definitely one of the better options.
3. Send it direct to production companies and hope that one of them will get behind your script and want to make it. I'm going to try this with Tiger, targeting production companies that have made similar shorts and have a good track record. I'll report back on how this goes!
4. Make it yourself. This could potentially be the most rewarding option, but it's by far the hardest. If you can't crowd-fund the movie or raise money via investors, you could find your credit card getting bent WAY out of shape. I wouldn't advise going down this route unless you have exhausted all other options - and even then, you will need a talented team to keep you on track.

Anyone have any other ideas on getting a short film from page to screen?

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