Thursday, 15 March 2012

Stop Motion Animation

Here are some stop motion animation tutorials and animated short films that will help show you what can be done with this technique.

Stop Motion Tutorial

Here are some videos about how stop motion works and what we will need to do this (sorry about the music in the first video).

T-Shirt War

This shows what can be created with a live action stop motion film.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Useful Websites

Here are a list of websites that you may find helpful when researching what type of short film you want to make.

Uscreen - This is a UK based film website that supports the making of films. It includes a number of useful tools such a storyboard editor.

Futureshorts - A website that showcases a number of short films from around the world.

Hitrecord - A websire that is run by the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It features a number of short films that are made by the 'Hitrecord' community.

Firstlightonline - UK based film organisation that supports films made by 14-25 year olds.

Skillset - UK media education website.

Information Movie Database - Website dedicated to listing information on films from around the world.

Film Education - UK film education website that features a number of interesting resources.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Short Film Examples: Part 2

Here are a few more examples of short films to help you get an idea of what can be achieved when making a film that is no more than four minutes long.

Post-It Love

This is a film I found on the 'Futureshorts' website. It is another example of how a simple idea can be used to create something entertaining.

This again shows that you don't really need dialogue to create a good short film. The film relies on a strong narrative structure and the use of music and humour.

Previous winners of the Cambridgeshire Young People's Film Festival

Here are the links to previous winners and entries of the film competition that we are hoping to enter.

Short Film Examples: Part 1

To give you all an idea of what can be achieved when making a short film, here are a number of examples of short films from around the world. 

Love Sick
The first is an award winning short film called 'Love Sick'. This is a well made short that lasts just over the four minute limit that your film will have to follow.


What I like about this film is the varied use of camera angles and the sense of urgency created by the editing and use of music. I also like the use of the voice over instead of character driven dialogue within the film. This is used to tell the audience what the main character is feeling and it also helps to create humour.

This film is another good example of what can be achieved in the four minute time frame that you will have for your short film. This film lasts just over two minutes and shows what can be created with such a simple idea and only a few minutes of footage.

The use of photography/still images in this film are very effective and can be used to show the progression of time. Again, the use of a voice over running through this piece also works. It is a good technique to use in short film's as it helps to deliver key information to the audience over a short period of time. It is also a good way to develop character's and can be helpful if you are lacking the acting talent needed for dialogue heavy scenes.

The next film is only just over a minute long and won an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

This short film has taken a simple concept and used it to make a funny piece that doesn't use any dialogue. All the humour comes from the imagery created in the film, from the vibrant colours and close-up facial expressions to the difference in size between the two characters. The use of music is also important in this film as it keeps the film flowing at a steady tempo.

The Golf War
The Golf War is a short film inspired by video games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. This is a spoof of the genre and replaces the battlefield for a golf course and the guns for golf clubs.

The Golf War has impressive sound design, using a mixture of on and off screen dialogue, sound effects and music. This film also uses a good variety of camera angles throughout.

An Ordinary Day
This film is another that uses a voice over to tell it's story. This is a really effective way to tell a story when making short films. Whilst searching for short films on the Internet I have come across many that use this technique.

Big Jet Plane
I found this video on a website called 'Futureshorts' which is dedicated to showcasing short films. This short film was made as a film to show 'a simple story of a girl dreaming of escape from her mundane life'. As well as being entered as a short film on the Futureshorts website this has also doubled as a music video for the song that plays over the footage.

This film shows a number of examples of how to use close-up and long shots in an effective way. The close-ups in this film are used to show the emotions the character is feeling. There are also a number of shots that have been slowed down in the editing process to give the effect of slow motion.
Short Film Competition

To start off with we will be looking at the different aspects of filmmaking, from pre-production to filming techniques and editing. A great way to learn all of this is to make short films. 

At the moment there is a short film competition running for schools within Cambridgeshire. This would be a great way to prepare and learn all the techniques needed to film the final feature film that the school is planning to make. Below is a link to the competition's website. Here you can look at all the rules that have to be followed when making your short film and you can also look at entries from previous years.