Category: Visual Arts (Page 1 of 2)

The Influence of an Audience in a Sitcom

We all need a laugh. A stress-buster. And could there be anything better than sitcoms for that? Have you ever wondered how a sitcom like Friends is so popular with people?

We all know that the cast and crew have delivered a stellar performance, but it is us- the audience, who still celebrate the show, that keeps it evergreen.

A view of the Central Perk window

Audience Is Key

Believe it or not, to write for a sitcom and make people laugh is not very easy. Like every scriptwriter, a sitcom writer has to do their homework before developing the plot and the characters.

But, a tremendous advantage of writing a sitcom is that you can change your script as the show progresses. And the audience has mass influence over it without them realizing it.

Quite a few sitcoms are filmed in front of a live audience for indoor scenes. 

Types Of Audience

  1. Primary audience :

    The laughter you hear in the background while watching a sitcom is usually an actual live audience. Most sitcom producers allow a selected group of people, usually aged between 18-35, as their audience. The character and the lifestyle in the show reflect the audience or are familiar to them.

    Based on their reaction, the writers make changes in the script during the shoot and re-shoot those scenes. The Friends actors have admitted that having a live audience boosts their energy and encourages them to give their best. 
Live audience in a studio
  1. Secondary audience :

    Viewers are the secondary audience with no age limit and may not have direct experience of life seen in the show. Their reaction to a particular scene can make a vast difference in the show.

    In Friends, when Chandler and Monica get together, the viewers reacted unexpectedly- they clapped and cheered. This gave the writers an idea to bring a twist to their friendship.

    They made Chandler and Monica a couple who eventually get married in a later season when initially, it was supposed to be a one-night thing between them!
Watching from the comfort of home

And Action!

The idea of a live audience is to create a comfortable environment for viewers around the world. The audience plays a huge part during the production and also the airing of the show.

Based on their reaction, it gives writers the space for improvisation and makes the required changes in the script. But a live audience may not be present while filming cliff-hanger episodes since the makers don’t want to give away any spoilers. 

For every ardent fan, being able to reunite each night with the characters they have grown to love is bliss. The best part of Friends is that we can relate to the characters and never get bored watching it.

The love, wit, beauty, and chemistry of the cast and crew are still winning hearts. And this makes the show successful even after 17 years of its final airing!

Effective ways to learn graphic design during the lockdown

This lockdown period has given us all way too much time in our hands.

 

We can make use of this time to add a few skills that will help you grow in your career or maybe start a career while you develop your interests alongside.

 

Did you drop off all your doodling and drawing skills as soon as you finished your school and have been forever waiting to go back to your passion for drawing, this is the best time to get back to it. 

 

While doing so why not gain a skill that will improve your job prospects and introduce you to a whole new world constantly needing creative ideas.

 

Among the many skills you could learn during this quarantined time, Graphic design is one of the hottest options to consider and try out.

 

Teaching thousands of mentees, we know that graphic design in simple words is ‘creating visual concepts.’ They can be created either by hand or through computer software to communicate information or ideas to the users. 

 

In today’s super techie world, everything we turn to is digitized may it be an app or a website or advertisements, pictorial representation, and usage of symbols have increased. This is exactly where graphic design comes to play. 

 

Graphic designers visualize concepts that are able to inspire and transform. They help companies and individuals convey the message through wordless communication and create that impact. 

Steps to get started with your journey in graphic designing

Find resources for Graphic Design 

Graphic design is a field that needs a lot of visual content to work with and develop on, this content is known as resources in graphic design

 

Every designer will work with different kinds of resources, therefore it is a must to know where to obtain the resources and especially the ones, one wants to particularly work with. 

 

Graphic design resources and tools can make your work more creative and help you build your own style. Start looking for vector or stock images also not to forget the trending fonts and illustrations. 

 

There are several websites out there that offer graphic designing resources. Here, check out this one – click here

Learn the principles of design 

Before getting deep into graphic design do your initial study, graphic design is a form of art and every art form has a set of concepts holding it and it is a must to understand the underlying theory and concepts behind it. 

 

Take your time to learn the principles and elements like balance, patterns, colors, and typography. Understanding the design principles well will make your work more systematic and authentic.

 

Learn design theory and methods through online courses from 

Alison – Applying Design Principles 

Skillshare 

Coursera

Select your specialization/niche

Why choose a niche? 

 

In any job role, a specialization clearly sets you apart from the generalist.  

 

As a graphic designer one will do better one you pick a particular specialization to work with. You can create your brand and develop it. You will be able to determine distinctly what your area of work is, attract and service your clients better. 

 

Moreover, your niche will assist your growth to be the field. Your clear understanding of the designing principles will help you choose your niche better. 

 

Identify your niche and build in it but start with the many areas of design to have general skills, to begin with. 

Acquire the applications needed for designing

It is through these graphic design software one gets to modify and use the visual images. 

 

There are plenty of applications for various requirements. The applications help in creating a whole lot of items right from websites to gaming too. They offer features that are super innovative and creative to work with. 

 

Well, graphic designers generally involve and work with many applications but if you are starting with design, the focus of software that is specific to your study or work. 

 

Some of the essential graphic designing applications are mentioned below –

 

Adobe Photoshop – One of the most versatile and well-used programs in the field. Photoshop enables uses from product designing, website mockup, business card designing, to digital contents and graphics. 

 

Adobe Illustrator – A vector drawing program that is mostly used in cartoons, logo designing and can be used in a wide range of platforms.

 

CorelDraw – Is a flexible vector package. By providing a number of tools, it makes it easier to create images or drastically edit them. The tool makes pattern designs from basic shapes & lines to complex ones which are used to make vector illustration, logos

 

QuarkXPress – A desktop publishing software that is of great use to design and create new layouts. Often used in brochure designing, posters, and press ad creation.

Using resources to master your design

 

The best way to master your skill and design at graphic design is by doing it. You have to create and keep doing it. Observe it from better designers and use your creativity to develop your niche in the field. 

 

The most important thing is to get out there and practice. 

 

Apply the skills you’ve learned at work or internships. Identify good and bad designs, Work on projects, and gather as much experience you possibly can. 

 

Graphic design is a skill that will consume human hours and only then will you get a better perspective and become a good designer. 

 

Despite what level they are at, designers continue to grow and learn every day and from every design they create. Find a great design community and learn with them. 

Put together a great portfolio

You need to showcase your designs and work to the world out there. Building a portfolio is like proof of your skills.

 

How to build a portfolio from scratch?

 

Develop your brand through what you put in your portfolio, advertise your designing skills. Be thoughtful to include the strongest and your most creative pieces together.

 

Include the projects you have worked on. Your portfolio is going to speak for you and get you the dream project. Invest in building a solid portfolio. 

 

Some of the best places to find a graphic design job would be to share your portfolio among your social groups to get to your client.

Find internships to improve your skills

The best learning is learning through working, to start your path with graphic designing be sure to do an internship

 

You will get exposure to new skills and new techniques out there. Your internship could be the place you decide your specialization and work on developing your niche. 

 

Moreover, at an internship, you get exposure to a professional environment and understand what is expected. You develop a style for your design. Coming out of your internship you will definitely learn more.

 

So put together these steps and get started with the design. 

 

Check out MyCaptain’s – Graphic Design 101 if you wish to get a super informative course, discover the world of design, as well as network with professionals.

 

Graphic designing is a skill if you nurture well one could reach great success, on your journey as a graphic designer build your niche to be a sought after designer.

Short film making during the lockdown

Hey, a quick question for you – 

 

What is your favorite short film and why? 

 

There are countless short films that have inspired millions around the world with their message and the meaning behind the cinematic experience. 

 

But the recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought a toll on aspiring filmmakers. If you are one of them, chances are that you were planning to make your own short film but the news of the lockdown broke and you had to stop everything. 

 

But do you?

 

Do you really have to stop everything even when you are staying at home? 

 

We understand that certain scenes of your short film will need to be shot with a backdrop. However, that doesn’t have to translate into you not improving your skills. 

 

The lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean that you stop working on your skills and learning new ones. 

 

With LIVE video sessions, the mentors at MyCaptain are helping people learn and break into the world of cinema even during the global pandemic. 

 

With this article, we will give you a few tips to help you create a short film while staying indoors. 

 

Let’s not begin by saying Lights, Camera, Action… 😛

 

Tips to write your script during the lockdown

The Sundance Film Festival receives approximately 12,000 films annually. Out of which, 4,000 are features and 8,000 are shorts, and only 200 get selected. 

 

This astounding fact can make any filmmaker wonder whether his/her short film is worthy enough to watch. 

 

However, there’s only one way to make sure that your film does not suck – having a good script!

 

A script acts as the blueprint of your movie and determines whether the story of your film is good or not. As a result, it is considered to be the most important part of any film. 

 

But there’s good news! 

 

Typically, you will require space and time to come up with a good script. And well, the lockdown comes with the blessing of silence, free time, and social distancing. 

 

You have all the time in the world to write your script and here are a few tips that can help you write a good one:

  • Turn off all devices and set a distraction-free time slot every day to write your script. 
  • Focus on your characters and watch how your story automatically unfolds itself 
  • Create conflict amongst your characters 
  • Give your story a foundation by using a story structure (we suggest giving Dan Harmon’s story circle a try)
  • End your story with an incredible plot 

 

In addition to the above, we recommend watching other short films and reading short stories. Our brain works and adapts according to what we see and consume. 

 

If you spend enough time amongst other stories, you will get more inspired and might even come out as a better writer. 

Tips to improve at indoor cinematography 

Let’s face it! 

 

You can’t really go outside to shoot the magic scene of sunset, neither can you shoot a car chase. 

 

But you would be surprised as to know that there are many award-winning short films that were made strictly indoors. 

 

EXIT by Dir. Daniel Zimber is one such example. Its strategic use of dialogue and direction choices is what makes this short so intense to watch. 

 

Here are some of the tips that will help you create enticing cinematography even when you are staying indoors: 

  • If your room has windows, try avoiding to shoot against it 
  • Cut the natural light by using curtains or gel sheets 
  • Take advantage of when the sun disappears but the sky stays lit. Moreover, take advantage of an hour before sunset as well as sunrise. 
  • Use particular colors to define the emotion of the scenes better. For example, if it is an energetic shot, its always better to have everything bright in the frame. 

 

When it comes to improving your camera skills, there’s only one way to do it – learning by doing. Start shooting props in your house – take montage-worthy shots of simple objects.

 

Furthermore, you can simply record somebody having a conversation in your house. This will give you an idea of how you can manipulate the emotion of a shot when you get to the post-production of your film. 

Tips that will help you edit your short film

Speaking of post-production, editing your short film is the biggest part of this phase. 

 

Editing is the process of putting your entire film together. It includes cutting unnecessary scenes, connecting the dots between various shots so that the story makes sense, and handling the visual and audio effects of the short film. 

 

Just like writing a script, editing also requires you to isolate yourself and focus on the task at hand. And well, what better time to learn all about editing than now! 

 

Here are a few editing tips to help polish your short film:

  • Remove the ambiance sound and polish your dialogue scenes by using free audio software like Audacity
  • Make sure that your audio matches your visual perfectly.
  • Use free-to-use timelapse, stock footage, and drone shots to set a premise for your shots. 
  • Manipulate options like tint, hue, and saturation to bring out the emotion of your shots
  • Don’t be too jumpy with your edits but at the same catch your audiences’ attention with them
  • Concentrate on the eyes. Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch suggests cutting a frame right before a blink because it’s a natural cutting point that works on a subconscious level.

 

Lastly, a lot of editing comes out of your gut, meaning that many professional editors follow their guts during the process. 

 

If your gut tells you something, its best to follow it! 

Learning how to make a short film

Learning is an essential part of the process. Especially, during the lockdown. 

 

We suggest spending at least one hour every day towards learning how to make a short film and then move towards making your own. 

 

Here are some free resources you can use to learn the art: 

Scriptwriting 

 

 

Cinematography

 

 

Editing

 

 

 

Filmmaking is a very personalized process and everybody goes through learning the art in a very personalized manner. There are going to be a few things that come obvious to you and some that won’t. 

 

The art of making films can be learned by making tons of films and/or by having a mentor that helps you as the problem arrives at your doorstep. 

 

MyCaptain’s LIVE Short Filmmaking Workshop connects you with award-winning filmmakers who will be ready to help you out even after this 30-day course is over. 

 

It packs with valuable lessons right from getting an idea to marketing your short film, real-life film projects, and a chance to network with other mentees and filmmakers. 

 

Filmmaking might require you to venture out into the world but it is important to keep the creative flair alive even during a pandemic. 

 

So keep experimenting and focus on learning new skills that you can use once the lockdown ends. You know, learn fresh skills to accompany the fresh air… 

Tips that will help you capture better photos during the lockdown

The global pandemic sure has affected us in more ways than we can imagine and express. 

Staying indoors definitely is relaxing but for the photographers out there it is getting frisky. So let’s chalk out a way to tackle it and make the best out of this lockdown.

Well, firstly, it isn’t just affecting us in health aspects but also has greatly disrupted the economies and giving a hard time for artists out there. 

These are some crazy times especially for budding photographers, with canceled shoots and staying indoors making it difficult. 

Well, that’s the thing about photography, you don’t always need to be out and active. Use this lockdown period to explore more into photography or maybe set up your own photography business or even upgrade your skills as a photographer. Do it all right under your roof!

We’ve got you covered here. 

To help you make the best out of this indoor period and get yourself ready for the post lockdown scene. Use this lockdown to improve your skills as a photographer and add value to yourself. Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner or just someone passionate about photography, this piece could help you all out.

 

Tips to improve your photography during this quarantine period

Practice and explore

Outdoor photography is being missed the most but don’t let that stop you from discovering more forms. Don’t limit yourself to outdoor photography.

If you’re a beginner use this period to explore the various modes and features your camera has in store for you. Play with your lighting and shutter setting.

Practice indoor photography aspects and work on self-portraits. Research techniques to make your clicks better and get yourself started on them. 

Experiment with blurry pictures or even take out your old snaps and work on improving them. Make your apartment your field, click and work on new perceptions, try to make the best of indoors.

Edit your work

Now is the time to look back at all the photos you’ve taken and abandoned to be edited later. Take them out and work on them to give your clicks more refinement. 

Yes, editing consumes more time that your shoot itself. Editing adds so much to your clicks, so the one step as a photographer you shouldn’t avoid is editing. Work on your colors and shadows to define your clicks more. 

Check out some of the various editing software, to begin with,

  • Capture one pro
  • GIMP
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
  • CANVA

Remember editing makes your snaps come out more alive. Play with old clicks to maybe improve your editing skills.

Get Organised 

Use this time to declutter your physical as well as digital space. Organize your plans and workspace. 

Moreover, plan out your schedule or plan of action on photography post lockdown and accordingly work on it. Organizing in any field is important as it ensures a hassle-free work environment.

Studies have found that getting organized is one of the best ways for you to become more productive. 

Worrying less about where things are kept does make you more efficient

Check out Video Tutorials

There are plenty of video tutorials for both beginners to learn the basics as well as professionals to level up their stage. Make use of all the content available and come up with better photography skills and techniques out of this lockdown. 

A day spent learning something new is a day well spent!

There is always going to be more to discover as well as to learn out there in the field. Some of the famous video tutorials are listed out here, we suggest you check them out 

Improve your Online Presence 

As you may know how important it is for a photographer to maintain a good online portfolio as well as presence. 

Use this period to update your website or your portfolio or your blog pages. With ample time in your hands redesign your pages and add in more content. 

Develop your social media presence too. Update on your content and bio to ensure your page brings in more business. 

This is your time to maybe try out and decide what kind of themes and designs suit your work and content better. 

If you’re an amateur photographer, why not set up your photography business online. Set up a website or a portfolio to share your work and monetize your photography skills.

Level up yourself with Online Courses or Workshops 

With everyone indoors, tonne loads of online courses and workshops are popping up. Enroll in your desired course depending on your knowledge level and interest.

There are plenty of courses that are available for free as well as for a chargeable rate. There are workshops and courses available that can benefit both amateurs as well as professionals. 

Use this opportunity to engage digitally with field professionals to learn the key tricks and techniques of photography. 

Explore more into the world of photography with online workshops and courses during this period.

Some of the online courses and workshops available out there are listed below

  • MyCaptain LIVE Photography Workshop, one can interact with mentors and work on exciting assignments from professional photographers. 

Connect with the photography community

Well, it’s not just you, but a thousand more photographers are stuck at home as well. This, however, does bring an amazing opportunity. 

Since nobody is on a tour currently and are typically working on editing their projects, you can connect with other photographers and even professionals you wish to connect with. 

Moreover, you can stay connected with the photography community – share your work, get advice, and share feedback from other photographers out there. Appreciate others’ work and broaden your horizons as well. 

Develop networking through your social media accounts or form groups maybe. Times like these bring down all artists together. 

So make use of the collectiveness to upgrade yourself and keep the motivation on in times of such uncertainty. 

Get involved and get creative maybe even by collaborating with local photographers while you stay indoors.

Join Reddit threads, online forums, as well as explore LinkedIn and Behance

Experiment more and more during this period!

Use this time to try out your hands in techniques and tricks you’ve been staying away from. 

It could be Macro photography or toy photography, give them a try this period at home. Discover ways to get creative indoors!  Connect with friends and family to explore new fields. 

Participate in photography challenges to stay in trend and discover opportunities.

One of the popular acts taken up by local photographers out here is the Facetime photoshoots –  Check it out or even try it out with your friends. Get creative and indulge in techniques beyond your scope and learning. 

 

Conclusion

These are uncertain times for everyone but like everything else, it will pass. 

So don’t be disheartened being stuck indoors this lockdown. 

Photography can turn out to be impressive both indoors and outdoors. You just need to have the right approach and techniques to get great clicks.

Make use of your talents and your creativity to make the best out of this quarantine.

Stay home, stay safe.

 

Start your photography journey with MyCaptain’s Photography Workshop. 

 

Complete guide on how to learn UI design

Have you ever found yourself spotting shapes in the clouds? If yes then that is because people are hard-wired to recognize patterns, even when there are none.

It’s the same reason that we often think we know where to click when first experiencing a website — and get frustrated if things aren’t where we think they should be

Choosing the right user interface design is crucial to taking advantage of this natural pattern-spotting. Moreover, it makes the device or website look interesting and worthy of scrolling entirely.

 

What is UI Design exactly?

UI or User Interface design involves a process of creating interfaces that are used in software or computerized devices. UI design focuses heavily on the looks and style of the applications.

It typically refers to graphical user interfaces but also includes others, such as a voice-controlled interface.

UI Designers aim to create designs that users will find easy to use and pleasurable to navigate.

A key focus is to build interfaces that is highly usable and efficient to the users. Thus, a thorough understanding of the contexts users will find themselves in while making those judgments is crucial.

The key is to create designs where users can attain their goals efficiently.

You may ask why UI is so important. The answer to that lies in another question…

Would you use an app that is difficult to navigate or puts a lot of stress on your eyes when you try to read something? 

A good UI design ensures that the visitors stay or use the website or the app for a longer duration of time. This ultimately increases the chances of them turning into a customer. 

 

What are UI design principles?

Everything has rules. And the same goes for UI design, it has three important principles:

  1. Giving the user control over the interface
  2. Reducing the memory burden on the user
  3. Maintaining consistency throughout the interface.

Mastering the basics is the first step in learning anything. Developing a firm understanding and building a foundation of UI design is a key first step. You can then move on to subcategories that dive deeper into the subject.

Let us understand the steps you can take to learn UI designing and become familiar with it. 

 

1. Understand the design fundamentals

Designing of any sort has a set of fundamentals or guidelines that one can follow. There will be times when you can neglect these fundamentals but as a beginner, you should try following them. 

Once you get a grasp on the fundamentals, you can then better understand when and when not to follow them. 

Some basic design elements

  • Colour: A UI designer should know how to use color properly. A simple trick to remember is that your colors should always contrast with each other.
  • Font: Fonts weigh a lot in visual design and is one of the most important elements of UI design. Typically you must stick to only 1 or 2 fonts per design
  • Typography: Typography is the art and technique of arranging text to make the UI design of a website or product readable & elegant.
  • Alignment: Alignment refers to following an invisible margin throughout your design and keeping everything aligned with it. For instance, keeping all your body text aligned to the left side of the page.
  • Visual Hierarchy: Some include this to be a part of alignment but there’s no harm in keeping it separate. Visual hierarchy refers to the chronological order of various elements according to their importance in the overall design. For instance, a headline should be bigger and easier to differentiate from the body text. Visual hierarchy helps your reader understand what you want them to focus on while seeing a webpage or any other visual design. You can achieve visual hierarchy by the use of font, size, colour, etc.
  • Spacing: Also known as negative space, refers to the blank space you keep between various elements. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything spaced sufficiently so that the design has room to breathe.
  • Consistency: Good designs stay consistent with all the elements present in it. Being consistent can involve using the same set of figures (circles, rectangles, etc.), colors, and fonts in your design. It can also be obtained by keeping the same amount of negative space.

 

2. Reproduce the existed designs

It’s hard to start creating at first especially on a blank page. So, we suggest starting by copying existing designs for practice. 

For example, if you are learning to design the UI of a mobile app then you can take a look at your favorite mobile app and start replicating it. 

Replicating these designs will help you get familiar with the tools and also give an amazing practical experience. Trust us when we say that thinking of a design and actually designing your idea are two very separate things. 

So, make a list of UI designs you love and simply start creating them from scratch. You may even find yourself making tweaks and giving it your own touch. 

 

3. Understand the process of creating UI design

Generally speaking, there are three UI design processes:

  1. Structural design: Structural design, also known as conceptual design, is the skeleton of the interface design. In this process, the overall structure of the product is laid out through user research and task analysis. The low-fidelity prototype is always provided for user testing and iteration. Think of it as a rough sketch of the interface you are about to design. In this phase, any and all ideas are accepted because your goal is to come up with something new and amazing. You can’t do that without experimenting.
  2. Interaction design: The purpose of interaction design is to make the product easy for users to use. This is typically where you come up with ideas for aligning and keeping everything simple for better efficiency.  The goal of this phase is to come up with the most efficient and user-friendly design.
  3. Visual design: Once you’ve made a lo-fi design and landed on a final design draft, it’s time for you to start giving it an appearance. Visual design or the third phase involves the use of colors, fonts, pages, and more – all for the purpose of pleasing the user. The third phase is usually followed by an A/B testing phase which refers to the testing of your design when put into a simple language. This is where you let the users use your product and fix the problems they encounter.

UI designing is an iterative and never-ending process. The UI of a product will always be in need of a change or an upgrade. That is the final phase of designing a product – maintaining and improving it. 

 

UI design tools a designer can master

To learn UI design, you must also learn some basic UI design tools. There are many tools today to help you produce digital products and you can choose to master one or all of them.

Sketch: A vector-based tool that helps you create intuitive design interfaces very quickly.

Figma: A relatively new tool that is often compared with Sketch due to its interface. It allows collaboration in real-time, making it an innovative tool. 

InVision Studio: Claims about being the only tool that can conquer all product design processes.

Mockplus iDoc: A powerful product design collaboration tool that facilitates handoff by extracting designs from Sketch, PS, and Adobe XD. Moreover, exporting them into a format capable of generating specs, code snippets, and assets.

Adobe XD: Consists of Design and Prototype tabs. The first features simple vectors and a bunch of text tools that can be used for creating your design. The Prototype tab is used for sharing and previewing your design. It is also the most preferred tool among UI designers. 

 

 

Becoming better in UI design?

To become a UI designer you don’t need a degree in designing nor does your educational background matter. The most important thing is that you have strong design fundamentals and are constantly learning and improving your skills. 

Apart from practicing daily, there are various ways you can become a better designer but we recommend these two ways:

1. UI design books

Don’t Make Me Think – by Steve Krug

This book has been published in several editions. It is considered by many as the bible of the design industry. 

The book is about how to improve the usability of a website through design. It also dives into user psychology research.

 

UI is Communication – by Everett N McKay

This book does not focus on theory; instead, it focuses on providing you with the practical tools you need to solve real-life UI design problems. The author shows how UI design isn’t just about aesthetics but about an objective way of communicating with users. 

Designing with the Mind in Mind – by Jeff Johnson

As a UI designer, it’s important to understand what’s going on in the mind of the user so that we can create the most effective interface for them to use. The book delves into perceptual and cognitive psychology, and how we can use it to create better interface designs. 

The author covers human choice and decision-making, hand-eye coordination, color and vision, and attention span and memory. A worthy read indeed

 

2. UI design online courses

There are so many online UI design courses for both beginner and intermediate-level designers. Here are some free and paid online UI design courses:

Hackdesign: All it requires is an email address and you will have access to this easy to follow online course. Each week, a lesson will be delivered to your email inbox. The mail will contain links to articles, tutorials, and cheat sheets, as well as task lists to get you thinking about good design and working towards improving your skills.

Coursera: Take some of the world’s best courses online. It’s the largest and most eclectic catalog for online higher education. Ranging from 4-12 weeks, you can choose between self-paced of timed classes. Verified certificates and specializations provide proof of participation, which can be shared on LinkedIn.

My.path: Thousands of courses, articles, meet-ups, and videos are all in one place. They’re 100% content-ready so learners can stop wasting time on searching and focus on learning.

SKILLSHARE: Learn a new skill each day. Learn creative skills in just 15 minutes a day with bite-sized lessons you can fit in anywhere, anytime.

GYMNASIUM: Gymnasium offers free online courses designed to teach creative professionals in-demand skills, as indicated by client feedback.

MyCaptain: MyCaptain is an online educational platform that connects students with mentors that are young achievers in their field. You will learn how to design with practical projects and LIVE workshop sessions. 

 

Moreover, you will have the opportunity to network with other UI designers that are taking up the course along with you. 

 

Best Short Films that every filmmaker must watch

Everybody knows about features, and features tend to be the ones that are most commonly talked about and watched. 

Whether five minutes or forty, short films prove to be a lesson for every aspiring filmmaker. Short films show how to tell a complete story in a short amount of time, with a small budget, and with the resources, you have at hand.

Concise storytelling, great performance, and original concepts are few things found common amongst the best short films.

Watching films as a filmmaker is like reading books as an author. Watching films helps filmmakers learn and grow these skills and even if just subconsciously, they get inspired. 

For young filmmakers, watching, studying, and making short films is nothing short than a perfect start. They not only teach you how to tell a story in a shorter amount of time but also how to put everything together with fewer resources.  

You may have already watched shorts like Rogan Josh and Mumbai Varanasi Express, but today we will take a look at some of the classics.

Here are some short films from different genres which might help you to learn more about short films –

 

Drama Short Films

1. “Hair and Brimstone” by KickthePJ

A twenty minutes short film by British YouTuber PJ Ligouri, “Hair and Brimstone.” It tells the story of a hair salon that during the day, caters to the likes of the normal. But at night, it caters to the strange and abnormal in from “the Dark Place.” 

When a hairball goes out of control, the staff has to figure out how to deal with it.

This short film–as with any by PJ–is a lesson in never doubting the absurdity of your idea. “Hair and Brimstone” is lit brilliantly and amazingly to tell the darker side of the story. 

The props are amazing, the set design is cool, and the whole story works together amazingly. This is also one of PJ’s darkest films, widely different from his other films, but still with the KickthePJ style.

 

2.Glory At Sea

Glory At Sea, directed by Ben Zeitlin shows his clever idea to catapult his name into the ranks of serious directors. It went on to helm Beasts of the Southern Wild which earned him Academy Award nominations for directing, writing, and best picture.

This film is great as it plays with reality and the tragedy of death in such a unique way it’s no wonder this is one of the best ever.

 

Comedy Short Film

3. Greener Grass

Greener Grass, directed by Paul Briganti, makes fun of materialism and social competition in a way that doesn’t hold back.

Being accepted by the SCSW film festival, the film has a smart theme, irony, and a bite-size premise.

Horror Short Film

4.Cutting Moments

Cutting Moments gives a truly disturbing cinematic experience. The film chooses to show our own need to be loved and please as the ultimate horror rather than having a supernatural evil.

We don’t want to give any huge details away, but if you love horror but are tired of jump scares and raspy trailer voices, check out this short film. It will also help you understand, how to instill panic amongst your audience. 

 

Sci-fi Short Film

5. Trip To The Moon

Out of the hundreds of films this Godfather of cinema completed, this is the one that has stood the test of time.

The story is this, a group of astronomers explores the surface of the moon. In doing so, they encounter the natives of the moon and return to the earth with a captive.

This short film, Trip to the moon, is cutting-edge special effects… for the time – 1905. There is not one piece of audible dialogue that shows how great the writing behind it is. 

Animated Short Film

6.Geri’s Game

The concept of Geri’s Game is that an older man plays chess with himself in the park.  So simple that it might seem boring, right? 

So how did Pixar tell this story? 

By having the man assume he’s playing the multiple characters in the chess match.

The simple concept, great animated performance, and compelling storytelling are indeed amazing. It works to make this academy award-winning short film as one of the best. 

Experimental Short Film

7. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge 

The short film was part of a special presentation on an episode of The Twilight Zone seventy years after it was made. Adapted and directed by Roberto Enrico, the film’s simple story is told in a jarring and original manner.

The film won at the Cannes Film Festival. Additionally, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge received both the BAFTA and the Academy Award for the Best Live Action Short film.

 

Documentary Short Film

8. Night And Fog

Archival footage from all over Europe was blended with writing and structure by Alain Resnais to create this short film.

It uses motion pictures and stills to give a no-nonsense look at the horrors of the Holocaust.

This wasn’t the first film to detail the atrocities of the Second World War.

So what makes it so great?

It is considered to be one of the best short documentaries due to the structure of the film. The story is structured in an essay form yet it tells a complete story around a gripping subject.

A beautiful telling of a nightmarish story.

9. The Death of Kevin Carter

This superb short film paints a tragic portrait of the life of a journalist. The film is only 27 minutes long but packs a punch that many feature-length films lack.

The film is based around the suicide of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Kevin Carter who had lost a close friend recently. 

It thoroughly examines Carter’s life and the documentary short shows the amount of research that went behind it, making it worthy of its Oscar nominations.

10.Knife Skills

This Oscar-nominated short film of 2017 is one of the few documentary short films that deliver a message of hope and redemption.

This short film follows a simple story of a restaurateur trying to open the best French restaurant in America.  

The catch? 

The restaurant is staffed with ex-convicts that have a few weeks to learn kitchen skills and change their lives.

As a filmmaker, you will learn a lot about story structure through this film.

Its funny at times, and even makes you frustrated how life can take a bad turn, and an all-around pleasure to watch.

Tips and Tricks for Graphic Design Beginners

Ever wondered how they develop the layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, reports, etc?

Well, Graphic designers are behind these artworks, and most of the artwork you see around you.

They create visual concepts using computer software or by hand to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, as well as captivate consumers. 

And ever wondered can you create designs like that? 

Why not? You can use your creativity to get this done even when you don’t have professional training. 

Graphic Design, simply put, is where art aesthetics and the science of communication meet together. It puts an emphasis on visual communication by making use of a range of elements and various media in order to promote a specific message.

Graphic design can be overwhelming for beginners with no previous experience but there are tools that we have at our disposal now that may help us overcome this.

Let’s get into some basic tips and tricks for getting you started, shall we…

 

Where should you start? 

Firstly, you should choose software that suits you best and let’s say help you express your ideas the better.

Here are some of the effective graphic design software that every beginner should consider in coming up with attractive models, images, and texts. 

  1. Photoshop
  2. Filmora
  3. Canva
  4. Vectr
  5. Adobe Premiere Pro
  6. Adobe InDesign
  7. Inkscape

 

Once you’ve chosen the software you like, your next task will be to learn how to use them. Obviously, you won’t get to know the “how to’s” and use everything in just one go. But once you start, don’t forget to keep exploring all the options. 

Moreover, try out various templates, and once you know how to use them, its time for you to start creating! 

There are primarily three ways you can learn using these tools with:

 

There might be hundreds of rules and principles when it comes to creating stunning designs, both on and off the web. But we all know that our creativity and imagination are the major players when it comes to creating something stunning. 

Here are some of the graphic design basics that will help you get on the right path to creating professional and beautiful designs –

 

Think about who you’re designing for

As a professional, you will be designing for your clients. Never forget about the “who” that you’re designing for. 

This ensures you to create something that the intended audience for your design actually wants to see and something they’ll react favorably to.

Knowing your audience is important. Do your research and create designs that intrigue your or your client’s audience. When you know your audience, you will be able to target them in your artwork.

Creating a customer persona before designing is always an advisable step. It will help you pinpoint exactly who you are talking to. Plus it is fairly simple to create too!

 

Collect inspirational work

Everybody needs inspiration but often times you will find inspiration from the same sets of images rather than finding something new. This is how it works for designing as well. 

Every designer has a folder or an online catalog full of other designers’ work. Start building yours. You can do something as simple as bookmarking images, downloading them to a folder on your computer, or creating a Pinterest board.

Think of it as a list of influencers or a catalog of inspiring work that will help you identify trends, both past, and present in the design world. 

You will start to understand your own style and preference better as you start finding patterns in others’ work. 

For instance, if you find yourself continually saving infographics, you might start looking into specific resources to learn how to create them.

 

Follow your own design rules

Rules, what rules? 

The ones you set for yourself

These probably won’t be specific rules or be found in the designing rule books. But rather cases you observe across your design.

Start observing where you use a particular set of colors, lines, textures, etc. 

If you’re set on that choice, don’t turn around and do something contrary to it. Consistency is huge in design and thus, you should stay consistent, especially with your design rules. This will ensure that your images are overall consistent. You can also tweak your rules according to the project. 

However, keep in mind that if you are designing for a client, company, or brand then they will probably have their own set of rules and design guidelines. While most give room for creativity and innovation, they won’t like you bending their brand too much.  

Creativity and Originality 

Get inspired by the trends but avoid replicating them. Instead, create designs that correspond with your own unique style, leaving a personal stamp on your work.

Clients and recruiters like to see creative and original designs more than anything in your portfolio. So make sure you give them that. 

 

Start with a great color palette

It’s no accident that some of the best designs have great use of colors in them. Choosing an amazing color palette and using those colors optimally is one way to create a great design.

Before beginning to work on any design, choose a set of colors that you are going to be using. Then make sure that you are working within those colors. 

One of the most common mistakes of beginner designers is that they try to use every skill they learned in a single design. As a result, their design gets cluttered with colors, fonts, shapes, and other elements.

You need to give your design some room to breathe. For instance, youwillfindreadingthislineverydifficultbecasuethere’snospaceinit

See how effective an empty space can be?

Furthermore, contrast is good in the design but too much contrast isn’t. So try avoiding red/green, purple/yellow, or orange/blue combinations. 

You need to choose colors that complement each other more subtly. Go for the colors that grasp the mood you aim for.

 

Don’t get carried away with fonts

For the most part, limit yourself to using only 1 or 2 fonts. This keeps you from having to worry about tons of font combinations. A good tip is to use one type of font for the header and another for the body.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to look fancy using special fonts. They will look out of place and end up ruining your entire design’s esthetics. 

 

 

Align your objects

Aligning helps to keep design elements in a presentable order, regardless of their differing sizes. With using alignment properly in your design, you can create sophisticated and professional looking designs with ease. 

Think about it, what is more readable – a design that follows an invisible margin for all its text or one that has just put everything in it without any proper alignment? 

Alignment can also help you determine which part of your design will be seen as superior and which as inferior. 

For example, any piece of text placed above other elements will automatically be considered as a headline or a title. 

 

Plan your design

Let’s keep this tip mid-way through the list of tips to mirror where planning usually falls in most people’s graphic design process.

It is ok to not plan your design when you are just starting out. But if you are working on something professional, even if it’s creating something for your portfolio, planning is essential.

The planning stage doesn’t need to be too long. In fact, it can just be a minute or two. It also helps you create your designs much quicker. 

Think about it… if you already know or have an idea about what you are trying to achieve with the design, you’ll more likely to get things done faster. 

Keep it simple

One of the most important lessons that you will ever receive is to keep it simple. If you go over the board, your designs may not achieve their purpose. 

Creating a simple design will not only help you to make it look elegant but also help you engage your audience.  As Don Draper said, “Make it simple, but significant.” 

More importantly, try out various combinations of different colors, fonts, and backgrounds before you finalize the design. It helps you to know more possible ways to put up the content. 

 

“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use it, the more you have it” 

– Maya Angelou

 

So put our creativity to the best use and give your ideas a new way of expression!

 

How to earn money from photography?

Making a career in photography is a dream of many around the world. Having the job role of capturing the world through a lens is indeed very mesmerizing. Add to that the liberty to travel and work, voila! 

You have one of the most popular dream jobs amongst the youth. 

Simply put, photography is the process of capturing light with a camera to create an image. However, professional photographers take it upon themselves to turn it into an art and express themselves through their clicks.  

The industry is very competitive and it is one that is difficult to cut into and make your name. As a result, the average salary of a photographer in India is around INR 3.6 Lakhs per annum

Maybe you wish to get a job as a photographer in the future or perhaps you simply want to know how you can earn a little side cash. In other words, you wish to know

How to earn money from photography while you are still in college or have a job? 

In this article, we will help you understand the different ways in which you can earn money by clicking pictures. From becoming a freelance photographer to understanding how to sell photos on Shutterstock and others, MyCaptain will help you make a professional photography career.

 

Let’s get started…

 

Work with small businesses

Taking everything online is becoming a common phenomenon amongst all the businesses and now more than ever, even small businesses will hop on the bandwagon of the digital world. 

This gives new aspiring photographers an amazing opportunity to earn money and make a career in photography

Start contacting small businesses and dial-up that entrepreneur friend’s number who just launched a startup. Help them enlist their products and services online. 

For instance, you can click photos of their products which can then be used to better sell the product. 

Moreover, you can help people in the real estate business to enlist their properties for rent online. For example, there are many people who are starting to enlist their properties on platforms like Airbnb, look for them, and help them out in return for money. 

Sell digital and physical prints

Who doesn’t like to look at a landscape of a sunset on a beach while sitting on the couch of their living room? If you’ve been clicking photos for a long time, chances are that you have some amazing shots in your camera roll. 

A great way to answer, how to earn money from photography is by selling prints of those amazing photographs. You can either sell digital prints or physical copies of your photographs.  

There are a few ways you can use to sell your prints…

Firstly, you can create your own website and enlist your photographs there. However, this may become hectic as you will have to take responsibility for attracting customers, framing, and shipping the photographs. 

Another way is by collaborating with local shops and sell your work through them. 

And lastly, you can use a third-party website and leave all the work to them. You can use platforms like Etsy to enlist the digital prints of your photographs. All you have to do is send the print to the buyer. 

Sell photos to magazines

Here’s an amazing way to not only make big bucks but also make your name in the community. Magazines invest a lot of money to make sure that their quality stays up to the mark every month. 

And a part of their investment is to buy amazing photos. 

You being the master at clicking photos, can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and sell your photos to various magazines. Many professionals have made a career in photography by only working with popular magazines.

However, do keep in mind that certain magazines will only buy certain kinds of photographs. For instance, a travel magazine like National Geographic Traveler will mostly be interested in buying landscape photographs instead of fashion or automobile photography.  

So find your niche and then find magazines within that niche and start contacting them. You can even try to do business with international magazines. 

After all… it is a digital world we live in. Why not take advantage of it? 

Sell photos on Shutterstock and others

You go to your photographer friend or classmate and ask him, how to earn money from photography? 

The answer you will most probably receive is stock photography. In other words, you get suggested to click and sell photos on Shutterstock or other stock websites. 

Stock websites are one of the most popular ways for photographers to earn money. Let’s just say that there are many clicks in your camera roll which you probably won’t be using anywhere else. 

Well… you can earn money from them if stock photography websites accept them. 

Here are the top 5 stock websites you can use to sell your photographs in India:

Be sure to go through every website’s guidelines and make your decision accordingly. 

Start a photography/travel blog

Who says that blogs are only supposed to be for writers. As a photographer, you can start a professional photography or travel blog and make a bank out of it. 

If you already have amazing camera skills and know your way with words then all you need to do is start a website. Don’t worry, you don’t need to learn programming or web development.

Platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Bluehost makes your job much easier. 

Once you’ve set up your blog and are posting on it regularly, you can learn how to earn money from photography by using Google Adsense. 

Click on this article to know about it more.

 

Become an influencer

Similar to starting a blog, becoming an influencer is also an amazing way to make a career in photography

Becoming an influencer may seem like a long and difficult journey but once you’ve reached the summit, there’s nothing better. 

Influencers get paid to do brand deals, give a speech on talk shows, and are constantly approached by many companies or individuals for collaborations. Not to mention the fan following they have. 

Moreover, building a personal brand is the best way to secure your future. You can start a page on any topic from travel to flat photography, from product to food photography

Anything you are interested in clicking photos of, chances are that your audience will be interested in double-tapping them. 

So don’t let that camera gather dust and start posting on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest today. 

Become a freelance photographer

There’s a lot that goes into becoming a freelance photographer but looking at how much profit you can make out of it – Worth it

To become a freelance photographer you will need to first create a photography portfolio, this can be a website or on a platform like Behance.

While creating your portfolio, make sure to follow a theme and include your best work within your niche. Nobody wants to hire a jack of all trades but master of none. 

You will then need to start expanding your network and attract your first few clients. You might need to work for free in order to gain exposure but we also suggest using your personal contacts and land a client through references.  

Photography contests

Wish to improve your skills, get tips by professionals, and at the same time have a chance to earn money? 

Photography contests offer all of the above along with the opportunity to expand your network and connect with other photographers. 

Look for photography competitions on the internet, Facebook, and even in your city. Enter them with the hopes of improving and learning something new. All the best!

Shoot events

Events are usually held at a large scale – big open spaces filled with thousands of people. 

Event organizers put a special emphasis on post-event marketing as this gives a sneak peek of all the madness that happened this year. These marketing efforts also ensure that the next year’s event is going to be a hit as well. 

But because events are held at such a massive scale, organizers always need photographers. As a result, you have plenty of opportunities to make good money. 

It can be exhausting both physically and mentally but once you get the hang of it, you will not only know how to earn money from photography, you will also get to enjoy many events for free. 

To land clients, you will again need a portfolio and a good web of network. You can also search the internet for event organizers and start contacting them. 

You probably won’t be able to charge much in the beginning but as you grow your reputation, your income will increase. 

Start Teaching photography

Do you think you are at a pro-level already – knowing all about composition, lighting, environment, pre and post-production techniques, and other aspects of photography?

If yes then a great way to earn money is by sharing your wisdom with those in need of it. 

You can start by giving beginners lessons to new photographers in your city. This will help you get the hang of becoming a teacher or mentor. 

Once you get the hang of it and have extended your knowledge in the art of capturing lights, you can take things online and create your own professional course. 

You can create your own course and sell it using platforms like Udemy or you can cut the middle man and use your own website. 

However, be ready to constantly market and advertise your course on social media in addition to wherever you go. 

How to make a career in photography?

Making a career in photography may seem like an overwhelming task with so many different tools, equipment, and techniques to learn. 

But we suggest that you simply stop overthinking and go turning your passion into a proper career. 

The first step to becoming a photographer is to have a passion for photography and simply start clicking as many pictures as you can. 

Believe it or not, you don’t need to enroll in some expensive college course, most professional photographers didn’t either. They just kept on clicking and eventually, they became so good that the world couldn’t help but acknowledge their art. 

Lastly, keep learning new things by reading books or taking online classes and keep reaching new heights. 

 

You will get there eventually, we believe you

Cinematic Terms you should know as a beginner

After watching a great movie, do you ever sit back and think about how much work it took to make? You may check out how much the actors were paid or what kind of budget the film worked with, but it’s impossible to know what it truly takes to make a film. 

Well… at least not until you’ve been through the process yourself. Only a filmmaker knows what goes into creating a movie. 

Simply put, filmmaking is the art of making films and films as we know it, are creative expressions of writers, directors, actors, and other professionals.

Filmmaking involves a number of stages revolving around the initial story idea or commission through:

While including a range of economic, social, and political contexts, filmmaking can take place in various places around the world. Moreover, they use a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques to make the finished, screen-ready product.

Film Production is created in 5 phases: 

  1. Development, 
  2. pre-production, 
  3. production, 
  4. post-production, and 
  5. distribution. 

 

Each phase has a different purpose, with the overarching goal to get to the next one, and ultimately on to distribution. 

Apart from varying in lengths, different roles suit different stages. Moreover, each uses a set of technical words that you, as a filmmaker, should add to your dictionary. 

Let’s take a look at the most frequently used ones…

 

Cinematic terms for filmmakers

Films, like all technical mediums, have a very rich dictionary of terms. As a filmmaker, understanding these terms as well as the concepts behind them is important.

Why?

General knowledge of film terms is necessary for moving up in any department on a film set.  

Many are used to suss an individual’s familiarity with a department, the film set, or the industry itself.

We’ve put together an essential list of some of the most widely used film terms and concepts

 

Aerial Shot 

Used to indicate that a  shot is taken from a crane, plane, or helicopter. Not necessarily a moving shot but definitely a “looking-from-above” shot

Camera Angle

Refers to the angle at which the camera is pointed at the subject:

  1. Low
  2. High
  3. Tilt

Cut 

The slicing of 2 shots together. The cut is made by the film editor at the editing stage of a film.

Cross-cutting

Literally means cutting between various sets of actions or scenes that are occurring simultaneously or at separate times. This term is often used synonymously but somewhat incorrectly with parallel editing.

Deep focus

Calls for a technique used to focus both nearby and far away objects at the same time.

Editing

Editing refers to how the shots will be put together to make the final, polished film. It is the final phase of filmmaking where all the shots, voice recordings, special effects, and other cinematic elements are put together to create the final product. 

Extreme long shot

A panoramic view shot from far away, often as far as a quarter-mile, to capture an exterior location May also serve as the establishing shot of a scene or the film. 

Remember how many films start with wide shots of a city? That is one example of an extreme long shot

Flashback

A scene or sequence (sometimes an entire film), that is used to recall past times. These are inserted in between a scene that is running in the present time. The flashback is the past tense of the film and typically narrates memories of the character/s.

Focus

This refers to the sharpness of the image. When shot from the camera, a range of distances will become acceptably sharp. This makes it possible to have deep focus, shallow focus.

Framing

It refers to the way in which subjects as well as objects are framed within a shot produces specific readings. The volume and size captured within the frame speak as loudly as dialogues.

So do camera angles. 

For instance, low angle shots in medium close-up on a person can point to their power. However, it can also point to ridicule because of the distortion factor.

Master shot

Also known as cover shot, it refers to taking a long take of an entire scene rather than splitting it into various takes. It is typically a very long shot that helps in the assembly of closer shots in addition to details. This also helps the editor fall back on the master shot.

Montage

Simply put, a series of editing. 

Ever seen a training scene in a movie? Notice how shots cut with the protagonist training in various environments? That is an example of a montage. 

It is typically used to fast-forward time to get going with the actual story. 

Scene

This refers to a complete unit of film narration. A scene is either a single or a series of shots captured in a single location. A scene typically deals with just one setting and/or action. Sometimes used interchangeably with a sequence.

Storyboard

Some people like to call storyboards as a visual-script. Storyboards are a series of drawings that resemble the camera movements as well as planned shot divisions of the film.

Voice-over

This refers to the narrator’s voice when the narrator is not seen on the frame. 

EXT. & INT.

Used to denote whether the scene will be taking place in an interior setting or an exterior setting. These two terms are used while writing the script of the film. 

I/E (INT./EXT.)

Used to denote that a particular scene takes place both indoors and outdoors. The sequence of “INT.” and “EXT.” shows whether a scene starts indoor and moves to an exterior setting or vice versa. 

Freeze Frame

A single frame is repeated multiple times. As a result, it gives the illusion that time has stopped or slowed down. 

Isolate

A tight focus on a single object or person.

Magic

This refers to taking a shot during the “Magic hour;” the time period around sunset. 

How to write the script for your first short film?

Short films are an amazing opportunity to showcase your talent in front of the world. Whether you are an actor, writer, director, or any other kind of professional involved in filmmaking, short films are going to give your career a boost. 

Moreover, they are one of the best ways to set foot in the industry, gain practical experience, and if you end up messing it all up, you can always come back without any major injuries. 

But you are probably wondering how you can avoid messing it all up… 

Having college assignments on top of all the studying that needs to be done for the upcoming exams doesn’t exactly leave a lot of room for “messing it all up.”  

You probably don’t need anyone’s help to understand that the most essential part of your short film is the script. Its the blueprint of your film. It is what will help you narrate a good story to your audience.  

If you wish to make an amazing short film then you need to learn how to write an amazing script.

You can make a bad film out of a really good script. But you will not be able to make a good film out of a really bad script. 

Don’t worry, in this article, MyCaptain will help you understand how to write a script and make your first short film. One that you will be proud of. 

Understanding the difference between the story of a short and feature

The basic difference between both states that a short film is one that is too short to be qualified as a feature film. If a film has a screen time of less than 40 minutes than it is considered to be a short film.

But you might have read an article or seen a YouTube video stating how the story of a short is different from the story of a feature. How you should start your short film with action as it won’t have enough time for setup.

While they aren’t wrong, they aren’t exactly right either. Allow us to explain…

A setup, as you will learn later in the article, is the introduction of the plot element which will later be used to convey the overall outcome of your story. 

Do the hero rescued the princess or does he fail?

Without it, your audience will be left confused when your film finally reveals the major plot of the story. 

Rogan josh is the perfect example of this. The majority of the film can be considered as the setup to the incredible plot twist of the story. 

Do you think you’d be surprised if the film didn’t constantly give you hints about its plot?

The point we are trying to make is that the script of short films has the same amount of complexity as the script of feature-length films. 

While writing your script, do not rely on either starting with a bang or catching your audience off-guard with a confusing ending. Your audience might get confused but they will not remember your short film. 

If you wish to make a good short film, your script will need a setup, good characters, scenes of conflict, and other elements.

Let’s dive deeper into them…

Understanding the art of writing a good script

There are five major elements that will help you write a good screenplay:

  1. The idea
  2. Major conflict
  3. Story structure
  4. Characters
  5. Plot

The idea of your script

To tell a good story, you will first need a good idea. An idea can be anything, 

  • The overall concept of your story
  • The plot 
  • A specific scene
  • Characteristics of a character

 

It is important to have an idea for your story before you sit down and start clicking on your typewriter. 

So start brainstorming for ideas and if you aren’t getting any then perhaps watch some short films. Sooner or later, something will click inside your brain and you will feel like you are gonna make a revolution.

Also, remember that you should be able to describe the idea of your short film in one simple sentence. 

If we take the example of the short film Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary, the film is about a man who stutterers and seeks to find love. 

 

How can you tell if it’s a good idea?

To know whether or not your idea is good, you must understand the purpose of short films. 

Sure, short films are a good way to get started but they have a deeper meaning behind them. They are not made for the sake of entertainment, they are made to convey a message. 

In Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary conveyed the message that people must fully accept themselves to be able to live happily. 

Short films have a meaning behind them and if you wish to create a good short then you must ask yourself, 

  • What is the message that my short film will convey? 
  • What is the meaning behind my story? 

Once you’ve answered them and noted them down, you are ready to move to the next step. 

Scene of conflicts

Imagine watching a movie and the characters get what they want without having to face any challenges. The theatre will become empty even before intermission comes on the screen. 

Conflict is very important to move your story forward as well as to keep your audience interested. A story without conflict in it is simply a real-life story. 

It’s boring…

The first step in making your idea compelling is to introduce conflict in your script. Since short films aim to establish a meaning behind their story and well, they are short in length, you must introduce the major conflict of the story as soon as possible. 

If we take the example of Stutterer again, the character greenwood stutters because of which he doubts his ability to live normally. If you watch the film, you will see that greenwood also constantly faces difficulties due to his disability. 

Conflict is what will keep your audience hooked to their chairs. Apart from having a major conflict in your script, include scenes that make it difficult for your characters to get what they want. 

However, do not include out of place scenes, make sure that each scene contributes to the overall story and that conflict seem natural instead of forceful. 

Story structure

Simply put, story structure is how you wish to narrate your story in front of your audience. It is how you will introduce your characters, plots, and scenes of conflict. 

You might be familiar with the three-act story structure which most feature-length films seem to follow. However, there are writers like the man himself Quentin Tarantino that despise the idea of such story structures. 

Additionally, the three-act structure is too vague and too long to be followed by a short film. Instead, we will take a look at the story circle by Dan Harmon, the creator of Rick and Morty

Before we begin, you must understand that this is not a structure that your script strictly needs to follow. Use the story circle as a guideline to narrate your story as well as each scene.

There are eight points to the story circle:

  1. A character is in a zone of comfort
  2. But they want something
  3. They enter an unfamiliar situation
  4. Adapt to it
  5. They get what they want
  6. But pay a heavy price for it
  7. Then return to their familiar situation
  8. Having changed

Your story doesn’t necessarily need to have each and every element of the story circle but a compelling story will have a majority of them. 

Characters 

Characters are the central element of a short film. Without good characters, telling a good story becomes very difficult. 

Its a general rule of thumb to not have more than three or four characters in a short film. The story might become too complex to be told in a short period of time if you introduce any more

How do you create good characters?

You’d be surprised to know that more often than not, a character becomes dull or uninteresting because the writer didn’t follow the basic step – defining your character/s. 

Answering these questions may help you create more compelling and relatable characters for your short film:

  • What does the character want?
  • Why do they want it? 
  • What is the character’s belief?

Remember, you have a short time to make your characters stand out to the audience. So make them interesting. Moreover, give them beliefs that tackle each other to keep your audience interested in them.  

Answering the above questions will also help you give your characters natural dialogues and well, we all know how important they are. 

Plot 

An element of short films that makes them so enticing and entertaining is the plot. More often or not, the end of a short film will leave you shocked or mesmerized. 

The ending is where the message behind the story comes forth as a whole. 

The main reason behind this is that short films usually only have one major plot twist. As a result, it has to have a bang. It must flip the premise of the story completely and give it a new meaning. 

The ending must catch your audience off-guard but not so much that they become confused. 

Your story must build itself first to be able to have a strong, meaningful, and memorable ending. 

In Rogan Josh, the subtle hints, dialogue choices, and direction of the scenes all builds up to the final climax. It catches us off guard with the climax but at the same time gives us hint throughout the film. 

In Stutterer, Greenwood keeps doubting himself, self-pitties himself, and constantly faces difficulties due to his disability. We start getting worried about him when he goes to meet Ellie but seeing that she is disabled too, makes us feel happy for Greenwood.  

So start by showing the major conflict of the story, one that makes the audience relate to your characters. Then flip the premise. 

Your audience will thank you for it!

 

Write in the proper format

This is something that you can follow loosely if you are going to be directing your own short film. But if your script is going to a producer or a director than you must follow the proper script format. 

The format will help with the readability of your script. 

You can learn the script format by watching the below video or by examining the script of other films. 

 

 

Once you have written the first draft of your script, its time to show it to your friends and family. Note the feedback you get and observe their reactions. If you feel like there’s something missing, which usually is the case, then go back and start polishing your script. 

Remove unnecessary scenes, out of place dialogues, and make sure your script builds the plot and characters properly. 

 

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