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19 September 2014
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Directors' tips

Here we've brought together some quick tips from former winners and finalists of the New Film Makers Award.


Image from Jame Weedon's film
Be original, board it properly, beg borrow and steal to get it made and believe in your idea.
James Weedon - 2002 New Film Makers Award winner


Never give up - be persistent - rejection is part of success! If you can't get funding have an auction (we did once!) Think of different ways to raise money for your film.

Ask lots of people to read your script before you shoot to see if it's working on paper. Rehearse as much as you can. Ask people to come and look at your edit to see if it works before you lock your picture.
Carol Morely - Winner of the Arts Foundation prize


Image from Andrea Arnold's film
Don't copy or follow fashion or try and second guess. Find your own voice, listen to it no matter how quietly it speaks and work really really hard to get it heard.
Andrea Arnold - New Film Makers Award finalist


Even if no official time has been allocated for rehearsal I will always try and find time to read and talk through a scene with the actors before they get on the set. So you are not using up valuable shooting time on discussion about the content and meaning of the scene when you could be blocking it and working out how to shoot it.
Peter Lydon - Television and short film director



Image from Dan Zeff's film

Respect the short film format. Don't try to make a condensed feature, treat it like a short story that works in ten minutes. Don't waste screen time - think about your audience - keep them entertained.
Dan Zeff - New Film Makers Award finalist


A short film that lacks the individuality of the director is a waste of stock. So anybody ambitious enough to take on the task has to be brave enough to do it justice. Yet at the same time, directors who fail to mine the wealth of experience of those around them risk disaster. The real trick then, is to strive to make the storytelling individual without letting it become self-indulgent.
Jon Sen - Television and short film director


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