Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How to Make a Short Film: Kelly vs The Philosophers

I often dreamed of making films. But like my goal to one day have superpowers they were just that: dreams. That is until college when I finally decided to put my money where my mouth was. (For film. Still waiting on the superpowers.) That’s where I made my first short film: Kelly vs The Philosophers. I didn’t have any experience filmmaking or making a short film. I wasn’t at a film school. But I knew this was what I wanted to do. So I decided to go for it.


First thing to make a short film I had to do was figure out if there was even interest in making films at this school. I had to gauge interest with my friends, filmmaking lovers at the school I knew, and the student body in general. I had to see if there were enough people who were willing to put the work into it. Check.


Second I had to make sure I had a story worth telling. That wasn’t hard to do, as I love telling stories and always have ones that I believe should be told. I’m really interested in making films that talkabout important ideas in a fun way. Since my school was heavy into philosophy I decided to do an action-comedy about a girl fighting philosophers.

(Left to right: Bryce Lewis, Megan Ristine, Brian Stewart,
 Rachel Kyle, Josh Simons, Taylor Pope, EC Hannah, Alex Foley,
 Hope Epperson, Jennifer Verzuh, Lara Jane, Josh Shabshis)


Then was the actual organizing and running of pre-production. To make this short film I needed to audition actors, be able to explain my vision, have a library to film in. I needed to have costumes (and therefore an amazing costume designer). I needed to co-ordinate schedules for filming days. Shouldn’t be any problem, right?


I had my first big conflict in this film too during pre-production. The person never did any work and kept demanding we move the date back. Eventually that issue resolved itself, but it taught me that this was something that was going to happen and I was going to have to learn to deal with it. 


First day making the short film was chaotic and stressful because I hadn’t put enough time into making sure pre-production was organized enough. But everyone was really good and pulled together and it worked out amazingly. But it still took way longer than it would have. Put a lot of time into that pre-production, boys. Things will go a lot smoother.

Close calls like this were very common on set


Once filming the short film was done, editing began. I was blessed to work with an amazing editor who helped turn all the bits of filmmaking footage into something magical. Making sure that you and your editor are on the same page with the vision will make sure he or she are able to be creative while still making the film you want.


After that, we set the premiere date for the film. A lot of people weren’t sure how good the short film was going to end up being. But the film ended with roaring applause from the audience. 

Now, three years later, that film has launched a filmmaking club that is preparing to have it's first year without me leading it and three more films.  That’s where my filmmaking journey kicked off and I’ve never looked back.

Watch the final film below and let me know what you think!