Nikon School

Preparing for your next short film

By : Nikon School Blog   |  6 Mar, 2017  |  156

Your next short film may well be your ticket to fame. Short films are in vogue today. Generations of film makers have struggled long and hard to make short films a genre respected by viewers and critics. Thanks to digital technology and affordable digital SLRs, short film making has become much easier than it was a decade ago. Not just that, rise of video sharing and social media platforms as well as growth in film festivals throughout the world have also made short film making a lucrative way to start your film-making career.

So, what are the first things you need to do to get started in short film making? Here are a few points to keep in mind before you take the plunge.


Many people get stuck right at the beginning and can't zero in on a suitable subject. While there are hundreds of subjects to choose from, it is a good idea to select a socially relevant topic. People can instantly connect to current social issues and you have a higher chance of getting a good viewership. Other than this, ideas that excite you can also become the subjects to shoot.


You can shoot your first short film even with an entry level DSLR, like the D3400. Ultimately, the content and message of your movie matters, not what you shot it with. However, do ensure you know your equipment well, as your expertise will reflect in the way you expose and focus the shots in your film. Read the user manual thoroughly to understand all video related features. Attending DSLR film-making workshops conducted by Nikon India will surely help beginners.


The film may be short, but it's still a film. Begin with a one liner, expand the idea into a synopsis, and then prepare a shooting script, complete with shot divisions. This is very important because you need to know exactly which shots to take and what the nature of each shot is. Many first timers start shooting randomly and lose their way due to the lack of a good script. Though not necessary, it is very useful to create a story-board, which is a collection of rough sketches to show each shot's composition.

Continuity and screen direction

Ensure there is continuity of costumes and props in related shots. Follow the basic principles of screen direction to ensure your short film is technically sound.

Sound, Music and effects

You can make an impactful short film with recorded or live sound. However, there may be many disturbances, especially if your film has dialogues. Investing in a microphone, like the Nikon ME-1, is a good idea.

Permissions and homework

Do your homework about locations you plan to shoot at. There may be restrictions on photography or videography at many places, and permissions may be required for those places.


Do not hesitate to ask for the feedback of your near and dear ones. Accept every form of criticism as a stepping stone. If possible, show your work to an established film maker, and work on your mistakes.


Though you can shoot a short film all by yourself, having a few people to help you out will be of great help. Ask like-minded people to be part of your crew. With a 3 to 5 member crew, you can accomplish a lot more than what you alone can.

Lastly, believe in your story, and do not be afraid to try new ideas to present it.

Comments (57)


Mr. Parag Jadhav


Mr. P C

Nice article. I was not aware amateur short films too make it to the film festivals. Thanks.

Mr. Debashis Jana

useful info

Mr. Hemant Kumar


Mr. Hemant Kumar

good one

Mr. Huzaifa Asger ali


Ms. Abhisikta Banerjee

When are these contests held? Also, what's the way of participating?

Mr. manoj kaswan

A better aim and a good thing which is used in photo graphics make easy and interesting a man

Mr. Simon Binay Purty


Mr. Simon Binay Purty

thanks Nikon for sharing this

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

amazing tips

Mr. Simon Binay Purty


Mr. Simon Binay Purty

very helpful

Mr. Sarath mohan

nice tips

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

well said

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

really handy tips

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good job

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good job

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good job

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good job

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Good job

Mr. Ravi Raj

quite cool...useful and interesting

Mr. varun kumar

good one

Mr. Mridumalay Das

awesome article, creative and as a beginner i came to know that shooting a film is not that hard, it was helpful.

Mr. Vignesh Rashinkar

good work.

Mr. Sourav Nandy


Mr. Ravi Raj


Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

It was useful to me

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Nice blog

Mr. mukesh sharma

very nice and clearly informing blog

Mr. Somnath Ghorai


Mr. George Jonsoi


Mr. Ishaan Kapoor


Mr. Ritu Das

Very informative and useful article

Mr. zeel Balas

come to know that shoot a film is how an easy task!!

Mr. somanath sahu

good article ,it must help to biggner but problem is regarding post processing.

Mr. rahul nag

awesome story

Mr. Abhishek Golatkar


Mr. Devendra Sadh

Nice Story

Mrs. Kabita Pradhan


Mr. Aditya Maity

Like it

Mr. Nanigopal Pradhan

Nice Idea

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Pretty nifty idea

Mr. Abhishek Golatkar


Mr. Gour Saha

very useful

nice work

Mr. Kalyan Koley

Really useful article

Mr. Ajmal Hussain

Never shot a video yet. I do have ideas to make videos in future. Thanks for the article

Mr. Vishal Sanwal

Gud Initiative

Mr. Subhankar Das

Really useful

Mr. Juman Jyoti Kalita

Mr. Kiran Puttaswamy Sir, as far as I know D5200 doesn't come equipped with slo-mo recording. Therefore, I as a minor will recommend? you to record the videos in 60fps. And then convert it into a slo-mo video 60fps: cause higher the frames per sec., smoother the video. Only a video which runs smoothly will look good in slo-mo. Do correct me if my information is wrong.

Mr. Parag Jadhav

Very Useful information.

Mr. harsh patel

this is nice such best

Mr. Kiran Puttaswamy

Nice information. If we need to shot in slow motion which frame we need to select in D5200.

Mr. Pratul Pal

Roshni was a nice short film... But how one can capture a shot without any eyesight?

Mr. Pratul Pal

useful tips

Mr. Pratul Pal

wow... nice