Ideas to Help You With Your Short Films

When researching ideas for your new short, think about the important things like theme, sound, scene, site, lighting, tools etc. But also, give a thought to timing. Although a lot of people get it spot on, there are a surprising amount of people who don't actually think about how long their 'short' is going to be. Similarly, some people get so caught up in the frame of "Got to keep it short!". This can be just as damaging.

The idea of a short film (in a nutshell) is to grab you, lead you to assume (more on this in a later post) and leave you with a feeling. Now this feeling could be varied if the director wishes it, or with planning can tunnel you into feeling something very particular. Most opt for the first as it gives the most satisfaction in a short. Now take note of what I just pointed out...

"Most opt for the first as it gives the most satisfaction in a short."

That is the essence right there! It doesn't matter if you sit through a two hour 'blockbuster' if all you can think about after is weather your left but-cheek will recover from numbness. But what if you could create a four minute work of art that gets people thinking after for two hours? Two days?

So here we have a good question. How long should a short be? The answer is not simple, but I'll try to explain my theory here...

Is your short very short? 30 seconds to 3 minutes? As long as the content is good, engaging, thought provoking then it's great. In fact leaving people thinking like there could have been more is a good indicator, it means they want more! Now you can take this very basic argument up to say thirty minutes. Then ask yourself the question again. Is the content of the same quality as the three minute version? Is it dead in the beginning but exciting towards the middle? Could you cut the end of the short off and use only that, leaving vague hints as to the characters beginning? These are all quality questions which you should be asking yourself in the cutting room. Don't be afraid to film as much as you can. After all it's the editing were talking about here, getting the story across by cutting out as much filler as possible.

There was a book I read once called 'The Elements Of Style' by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. I can't remember the exact saying, but it went something like this...."Don't say something in three sentences when you can say it in one." (I'm sure someone can correct me on this )

The Elements Of Style
I believe this applies equally to the short film. Quality not quantity is your best weapon in pulling an audience in. Making them think! This is what a viewer really wants. Something to get them engaged in thought. Those are the films that stick in peoples minds weather they are shorts or full length.

All this being said, I don't want you to worry, and go the other way and make a short too short. This is your story and only you can 'feel' when it's right.

Try this exercise:-

Make a short. Say one minute. Film it, edit it, add music, the works.


Keep the same script. But extend the time to three minutes. Use filler. Same deal, add it all up and make it look nice and shiny.

Play the two movies back and note down which one you prefer. 9/10 it should be the one minute film. If not, that's not a bad thing, you can even take the task even further. Edit the movie back down a little. Maybe not as far as the one minute, aim for one and a half minutes. If you really liked the three minute version then you may find it hard to cut some pieces out. This is a good exercise however and a must for cinematographers. You will have to learn to cut pieces you really like if it makes the film better overall.

Please go ahead and try this and if you get time, post your results. Hope you found this useful. <3

Hope you liked this article, please visit me.

Andrew Barton

Original article

Importance of Rotoscoping Technique in Film Industry

Rotoscoping is basically a technique used in animation as the animators capture frame by frame live action so as to develop an animation film. Earlier the captured live actions were projected onto a frosted glass panel and were redrawn by the animator. This equipment used for projection is called "Rotoscope". Nowadays this equipment has been replaced by computers.

Today's visual effects industry explains rotoscoping as a technique used to create a matte for an element on a live action plate so as to merge over another background. The term rotoscoping usually abbreviated as "Roto" is used to is been used as a tool for visual effects in live action films. Rotoscoping mainly implies cutting an image from a background and then replacing it in another new background or Rotoscoping involves extracting a moving image from a video and replacing the background completely or partially with special effects. When using this technique, editors trace over live action film movement on each frame to use in a video.

Rotoscoping techniques used:

• Articulated Rotoscoping
• Garbage Matte Creation
• Matte Generation
• 2D Motion Tracking
• Rotosplining
• Paint Touch-up/Cloning

Silhouette FX is software used in visual effects industry so as to make the rotoscoping easier. This software is designed exclusively to perform rotoscoping. The main advantage for using this software is that it can be used as stand alone software or can also be used to support application with After Effects or Final Cut Pro. This software also helps one to check out all rotoscoping needs from one single point and hence reduces tedious work effort.

Mocha, software is dedicated entirely for rotoscoping. This software uses a planar tracker to help position, rotate, scale, shear and perspective-shift roto-splines. It has a number of spline tools, all intended to make rotoscoping a faster and easier task.

AE CS3 helps in producing innovative motion graphics and VFX for films as it provides needed speed, precision and powerful tools. AE is principally known for its powerful VFX arsenal. New AE comes to market with several rotoscoping tools which makes the process very easier.

Combustion is jam-packed with dominant artistic tools such as an in-context access to motion graphics, 3D compositing, color correction, image stabilization, vector paint and roto, text effects, short-form editing, expressions, Flash output, and much more. Combustion has very good set of rotoscoping tools. The simplicity in Combustion's roto tools lie in its point tracking and character control ability.

Fusion is a synergy of 2d and 3d tools for definitive and hardcore compositing. Its rotoscoping tools areas great as its other compositing tools since it works in a node-based environment. Mask inputs on a tile are normally drawn as blue arrows, though other colors may be used for pre-masks and garbage mattes.

SBL is an ISO certified global IT and ITES provider.We offers flexible and user-friendly image editing, graphics and animation services under a single roof. Our team of talented graphic design professionals, web programmers and project managers work closely with the client, giving in their maximum dedication, passion, and commitment to generate creatively striking output.

Original article

Filming Techniques - How to Position the Camera

Camera placement, angles, directions are all filming techniques, which will determine how individual images are translated to a film shot. Just like you need to sequence words to form a sentence, you need to sequence camera angles and positions for filming a scene.

How you film a shot with your camera, determines what your audience will see. For instance, a close-up shot will concentrate on the item and will show a blurry background. The object in focus magnifies manifold. A close-up helps the audience get in the mind of the character. A close-up of a face is a very intimate shot. It shows us all the expressions of the person.

The extreme close-up shot, on the other hand, magnifies details that we normally won't be able to notice. An extreme-close-up face of an animal's face, for instance, would only show mouth and eyes, and nothing more. This gives a very dramatic effect.

For each scene that you film, you will have to consider the following three pointers:
1. Length of the shot
2. Angle of the shot
3. Camera movement
This article will discuss the third pointer that is, how to move your camera according to the requirement of the scenes.

Camera movement
There are 4 main types of camera movement which you can use while filming. These are:
• Pan shot
• Tracking shot
• Tilt shot
• Hand held/zoom

The pan shot
In this shot, the camera moves on a fixed axis, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The camera is placed on a tripod or on the cameraperson's shoulder. The position of the camera does not change during the shot. The object to be focused is in the middle of the frame.

The tracking shot
In this shot the position of the camera changes. The camera is moved by means of a dolly, which is a vehicle moving on rails. Complicated scenes may involve a track laid on the set for the camera to move. This shot portrays movement.

The tilt shot
This is similar to the pan shot with the difference that the camera moves vertically. The tilt shot can be done with handheld camera or a tripod. When capturing the height of a building, for instance, a tilt shot can be used. However, be careful of any jerky movements.

The handheld shot
This delivers a dramatic feel to a shot. It has been used in documentary making. Handheld shots make viewers feel they are part of a scene. This shot is popularly used in recent horror or supernatural films such as 'Paranormal Activity' and 'The Blair Witch Project', which makes the scene more real and believable.

New Wave TV is an online video making magazine with articles on film making, filming techniques and tips, product reviews and buying guides. For more details, visit

Original article