Short Hand: A guide to making a short film

A BFI NETWORK x Film Hub South East podcast about making a short film. Each episode will guide listeners through a different part of the process, from development to post-production. You’ll hear filmmakers, industry professionals and expert voices as they offer their own perspectives on what it takes to create a great short film.

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Episodes

Wednesday Apr 13, 2022

In the tenth and final episode of Short Hand, we’re getting into the edit and calling upon the expertise of film editors Rebecca Lloyd (Cow, The Power, For Love), Mdhamiri Á Nkemi (The Last Tree, Ear for Eye, Femme), Ami Aripin (Strawberry Cheesecake, Exhale) and director and animator Renee Zhan (O Black Hole, Soft Animals) to shed light on their processes.n   Topics covered include: how editors decide which short film projects to work on, tailoring an editing style to the vision of the director, trusting an emotional response to an edit, eliminating dialogue, the particular challenges of cutting an animated short, intention, efficiency and the value of the editor.   ***   SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES 10 Lessons from Top Film Editors  Understanding the Power of Film Editing  MA in Editing at NFTS    ***   Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Apr 06, 2022

In the ninth episode of Short Hand, we’re thinking about how to make your short film set a productive, inclusive and safe space. You’ll hear from filmmakers Katie Sinclair (The Last Days, Signs), Ella Glendining (Octopus) and Jessi Gutch (Octopus, The Forgotten C) and psychologist and consultant Michelle White.  Topics covered include: how to support your film crew and keep morale high on set, establishing rules for good communication between the director and producer, things you might need to consider as the producer to make sure everyone has their requirements met, why good coffee is a must, the role of the wellbeing facilitator and psychological safety.   ***   SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES 6ft From The Spotlight  The Whole Picture Toolkit  Bectu  *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Mar 30, 2022

In the eighth episode of Short Hand, we’re going in for a close-up on working with actors and speaking to actor and filmmaker Romola Garai (Amulet, Scrubber) and director Stella Corradi (Sitting in Limbo, Killing Eve, Trigonometry) about trust, collaboration and cultivating performance.  Topics covered include: what defines a good performance, how to honour different approaches to acting, why perfection is a myth, working with child actors, how to be flexible and playful, effective communication, figuring out subtext and giving notes.  *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES Acting teacher Judith Weston’s website   Also watch a masterclass with Judith Weston via Sundance Collab  *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Mar 23, 2022

In the seventh episode of Short Hand, we’re focusing our lens on cinematography and speaking to DoPs Evelin van Rei (Farewell She Goes, Petra), Olan Collardy (The Chippie, Signs, They Heard Him Shout Allahu Akbar), Anna MacDonald (My Sweet Prince, Good Thanks, You?, V) and director Jimmy Dean (V, Suzie) to get their perspective on communication, collaboration and all things cameras.  Topics covered include: prepping for a shoot, choosing your kit, finding a shared cinematic language, thinking on your feet, lighting, recces and understanding space, embracing the emotional aspect of cinematography and how you know you’ve shot what you need.  *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES British Cinematographer  Filmmaker Magazine  Team Deakins podcast  Kodak’s Filmmaker Resources  The Kit Room  Emmyland  Notes on Cinematography, by Robert Bresson  Colour Theory  *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Mar 09, 2022

In the sixth episode of Short Hand, we’re thinking about how to crew up your short film. Hear from producer Ameenah Ayub Allen (Rocks, Ali & Ava), Alice Whittemore, a Development & Production Executive at Film4 and Anna Ginsburg, an animator and director (What Is Beauty?) about finding, hiring and paying people.  Topics covered include: what roles you need on set and where you might be able to think outside the box, getting references for your crew, looking after them and keeping morale high on set, getting HoDs approved by execs, what to do if members of your crew drop-out at the last minute, crewing up an animation and how different types of animations might affect who you need.  *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES Tools for finding crew  The Mandy Network  Freelance Rate Cards  ScreenSkills Freelance Toolkit  ScreenSkills Job Profiles  BAFTA crew directory, 2020-21  Look Beyond The List  Pact Toolkit on Finding Diverse Talent  Short Film Festivals Glasgow Short Film Festival Aesthetica Leeds Encounters Norwich  London Short Film Festival Where to watch short films… Vimeo   Short of the Week  Omeleto  *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.  

Wednesday Mar 02, 2022

In the fifth episode of Short Hand, we’re delving into the casting process and asking casting director Hannah Marie Williams (Dawn in the Dark, The Last Days), directors Nadia Latif (White Girl, They Heard Him Shout Allahu Akbar) and Fateme Ahmadi (Chandra, Bitter Sea) and Independent Talent agent Deborah Willey for their perspectives on how to cast your short film.   Topics covered include: at what stage you should be bringing on a casting director, finding chemistry with your casting director, how long the audition process takes, how you approach agents, how you know you’ve found the right actor, how hands-on the director is and working with younger or child actors.    *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES Hannah Marie Williams casting Equity, the performers & creative practitioners union in the UK Bitter Sea (dir. Fateme Ahmadi) White Girl (dir. Nadia Latif) Isabella Odoffin casting  *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.  

Wednesday Feb 23, 2022

In the fourth episode of Short Hand, we’re asking producers how they put together a budget: where they begin, where they get quotes and how they make sure everyone has enough money to do their job. You’ll hear from short film producers Emily Everdee (Mandem, The Call Centre), Jesse Romain (O Black Hole!, Cowboy, Soft Animals) and Cheri Darbon (For Love, Bufflehead).  Topics covered include: breaking down a script, communicating with your Heads of Department, who’s approving the budget, the difference between budgeting for live action and animation, tax credit, insurance, saving costs and being creative with how you spend your budget.    *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES The BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund BFI NETWORK budget template   Companies House   *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.  

Wednesday Feb 16, 2022

In the third episode of Short Hand, we’re asking producers what it is they do, how they learned they could do it and where they find people and projects to work with. You’ll hear from short film producers Mia Xerri (X to X), Iria Pizania (Talent Executive, Short Circuit), Sophie Reynolds (Vert, Enjoy), Helen Simmons (F*ck, Swan) and Loran Dunn (Lambing Season, Doggerland, Shagbands).  Topics covered include: reaching out and networking with other producers, adaptability, the skills you need to produce, the experience you need to apply to the fund, finding collaborators at your level, having a creative vision and taking risks. *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES Short Circuit, Scotland // https://shortcircuit.scot/  UK Producer’s Roundtable // https://www.ukproducersroundtable.com/ BFI Flare Film Festival // https://www.bfi.org.uk/flare Edinburgh International Film Festival // https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/edinburgh-international-film-festival   ***   Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Feb 09, 2022

In the second episode of Short Hand, we’re putting the spotlight on directing and asking our guests Ella Jones (Sarah Chong Is Going To Kill Herself), Harry Lighton (Wren Boys) and Edem Kelman (Princess), how they formulate a perspective and a vision, hone their craft and then disseminate that in applications or conversations to entice other people to come on board.  Topics covered include: gaining confidence and experience as a director, putting yourself out there, directing material you haven’t written, mentorship, formal innovation, why you should always be cutting, stretching budgets and finding your voice.   *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES Sarah Chong Is Going To Kill Herself (2016, dir. Ella Jones)  Wren Boys (2018, dir. Harry Lighton) Princess (2020, dir. Edem Kelman) // *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

Wednesday Feb 02, 2022

In the first episode of Short Hand, we’re asking ‘what is story’? And how can you tell a brilliant one with your short film script? Our guests are filmmaker and lecturer Lucy Brydon, script editor Jess Jones and screenwriter Edward Cripps.  Topics covered include: structure, exercising restraint, creating the circumstances for subtext to breathe, how to figure out what you’re trying to say, writing authentic dialogue, receiving and implementing notes and moving on after rejection.  *** SHOW NOTES & RESOURCES BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund  Cracked Screen (2017, dir. Trim Lamba)  Lucy Brydon on the development process for her debut feature ‘Body of Water’ // Little White Lies On Writing, Stephen King On Writers & Writing, Margaret Atwood Into the Woods, John Yorke An interview with Jess Jones on the John Yorke blog *** Short Hand is a BFI NETWORK & Film Hub South East production. Produced by Nicole Davis, with support from Independent Cinema Office. Edited by Graciela Mae Chico.

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