For most filmmakers (as most website visitors know), the story is a huge part of what constitutes a good short film. Because short films are, well, relatively shorter compared to full-length films, you need to be good enough in terms of making sure that you get the message across quite quickly, early on into the film. Failing to do so, of course, would mean leaving the audience quite confused, as well as dissatisfied with the fact that it’s too short to actually have an impact.
Hence, as any tech blog in filmmaking will most likely tell you, a lot of your film quality hinges on whether your story is good enough or not. What you need, therefore, aside from a good story, are ways to develop your story well. Here are a few steps to do so.
First step: look for a protagonist and an antagonist. Characterization is very important in order for you to let a story idea achieve its full bloom. This is especially true for your main characters. You see, these characters are mainly the ones responsible for moving your story along. So, if you can form these characters in such a way as to make them prime movers in the story, then that would be a great way to develop your story idea.
Second step: figure out a good setting. In a short film, this will partially be a practical concern and a story concern. Good settings provide tension and drama of their own, but you may not be able to fly to Bermuda to film a beach scene. Find a place to set your story that will complement the story you want to tell, but is also available.
Third step: put them in conflict. Stories need conflict to get us to care. What will hook the viewer into becoming invested in your story and in your short film? What does your protagonist want? What’s keeping the protagonist from getting it? The answers to those questions supply your source of conflict. Once you’ve got your original idea in place, start focusing on what it is that creates the conflict in the story and teasing it out as much as possible.
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