Wondering how to write a script for short film! Short films are great medium to draw attention of movie lovers. Film Festivals are providing great opportunity to showcase story telling approach to the world. But most of aspiring film makers struggle to figure out where to begin. Plenty of information available to write a feature film script but very few guidance available to write short film script.Read: How to become a Screenwriter in Bollywood?
Read: Introduction to Screenplay (2019)
In this article we are going to learn how to write a script for a short film in five easy steps. Before proceeding further, forget everything you know about screenwriting until unless you read all the steps.
Step 01: Set Boundary
If you are targetting film festivals, then read the respective film festival guidelines. Are they allowing short films with certain length. If yes, then your script page length must be restricted. On an average, one page script translates in to one minute visuals on screen. So if a film festival is not allowing short films more than fifteen minute film, then your script should be in between 15 to 20 pages.
Otherwise, you can go for 30 to 45 minute long short film. So your script page length should not cross 30 to 50 pages.
Step 02: Prepare the story
So you know your page length of your script but wait before proceeding further you need a story. Story is about a character or characters set out to achieve something and some force keeps on creating obstacles one after the other until unless the character fails but the character either wins the goal or fails to win the goal at the end. Now you must have an idea, stream down to paper and prepare a story. Don’t bother about anything. Once your story is ready, go for multiple drafts till you get best polished story.
Step 03: Design the treatment
This step makes one screenwriter different from another. As a screenwriter as yourself how you want to potray the story on to the screen. Certain visuals may stream in your brain, note it down on the paper. Don’t bother about the format, length and grammatical errors. Just proceed and write down every stream of visuals you are getting when you imagine your developed story on a screen.
Step 04: Scene Breakdown
In previous step we get our treatment, now its time to break it down into scene. In this process you may get new scenes. Just add them as feel is required. Each scene should not be greater than two or three lines. One line scene narrative is best. If you want you can add slugline or scene heading to each scene. In this step the soul purpose is to list all the scenes from the treatment.
Step 05: Scene Construction
In previous step we broke down treatment into scenes. We have scene with one or two sentence description. Now its time to construct each scene. That is with proper scene heading, action details and dialogue if any. In this step we write actual scenes. That is what would happen exactly on screen with dialogues. As writer if you feel is required, then add transition in between scenes.
Remember: If you are targetting short film festivals, then avoid dialogue as much as you can. Try to show in terms of actions.