My First Fictional “Short” Film Experience

As we all know, we had the 8 – 10 page paper option, or we could have produced our own short film for the class. Since I am striving for a Multimedia Cinematic Production Degree, I believed it was absolutely mandatory for me to create a short film within the 3 1/2 months we’ve had. Though some classmates suggested that I release the air out of my head and settle for the paper, I sought to create my first fictional short film. Being a photographer & videographer for my small gig, Lavish Life Hawaii (, I believed that creating a fictional short film wouldn’t be so hard to complete within 3 1/2 months. Since I sort of did it on a daily basis making promo videos for models, though I never really had to do much preparation for a recording of a shoot. All I had to do was ask the model to look beautiful, move around and I slap a music track over it, BAM! Im calling myself a videographer. But developing a narrative out of the blank space in my head and thinking about capturing that blank space had its difficulties.

As I gathered my creative ideas together and developed something in my mind to film, I began to write my synopsis. Developing my synopsis first extremely helped get the ball rolling, keeping the story in my mind intact. Next came my scene-by-scene bullet-point narrative, storyboard, then script which served as my blueprint while shooting my vision. These elements changed many times prior to production as I polished rough edges in my storyline and being influenced by whats on TV. I can truly say that the writing stage for my film was a peace of cake. Its scary to even believe that I loved the writing process for it because I typically hate writing with a passion. But let something be your passion and you will find yourself writing about it all day through either text message or Facebook. I find it funny that some of us don’t even consider ourselves “writers” after writing a book worth of text messages about how they should be loved and treated. Some of us could of won a literary award by now. But a lot of us wont write for their amazing idea of a film or book because, I don’t know, not being scholarly enough? No, writing is highly effective in this career field regardless of how skilled you are, I am coming to find out.

Everything was easy going until I started gearing up for production. After writing for about 12 scenes, I come to realize that I should only be shooting for a short film, which is 3 – 4 scenes and lasts only 5 to 10 minutes traditionally. Thinking that I could pull off 12 scenes in a short film window, I geared up to shoot my first scene at my friends apartment. Production for this scene lasted 3 hours that night, and I believed it flowed very well. I figured that based on my script, I could crunch what was shot into one minute. When I got home to slap everything together, I found that the external mic picked up the wind from the ceiling fan and muffled everyones dialogue. I felt like someone stabbed me in my heart, while sitting still, looking at my computer in disbelief for a solid 5 minutes. I then decided to stitch what was shot together so I can visually see how it all flowed and dub it later. After putting together the 1st scene, I saw that the runtime for it was 5 minutes. At my rate, 11 more scenes would of meant a featured movie lasting around 1 hour, at least. I then spoke to our professor and opt to doing the final paper.

Yeah I got in over my head thinking it was a piece of cake because I thought I had all the skill, but there is a lot more to film making than just something that can be slapped together. I’ve gained a great learning experience starting up this film and I plan to see it through after the semester. I hope that writing about my experience would encourage some to develop their own narrative and see it through to production.

Im posting the rough cut of my first scene below. I would love your thoughts on it. No audio, just a track to give it a little vibe.

Synopsis: Darryl is dealer trying to clean up his act and start over from his harsh lifestyle, but with pessimistic friends and a dangerous Asian drug lord down his back, its difficult for Darryl to have hope. Asia, his one and only true friend keeps his head up through his complicated life and encourages him to give his problems to God. As he does, Darryl notices his enemies dropping before him.


One thought on “My First Fictional “Short” Film Experience

  1. I like your idea that we all can be writers if we didn’t think it meant we had to take it academically and that’s great that you enjoyed the writing process! It’s an essential step in the movie making process and if the writing isn’t good then the movie won’t be good! I really liked the rough cut of the first scene! I thought the music actually went really well with the scene and it was easy to understand what was going on despite the technical difficulties you faced! I really like the angles you used! Good job!


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