Monday, March 5, 2007

submitting your short

site help

submitting your short

how to make a submission
the submission process
our submission criteria
why we need your contact details
crediting your cast and crew
what rights am I giving the BBC?
getting clearances

how to make a submission
If you’ve made a short film that you’d like us to showcase, you can submit your film to Film Network by clicking submit your short on the left-hand navigation or on one of the 'submit your short' boxes or links around the site.

Before making a submission, please make sure that you have read the submission rules and clearance procedures, as any films that we showcase on the site need to have all the relevant rights and clearances before we can put them up.

the submission process
The submission process is as follows:

email confirmation - when you submit your short, you will receive an automated email confirming your submission and contact details.
submissions section on your profile page - a submissions section will appear on your profile page, with a link to your submission. Any submissions that you make to Film Network will appear in this section. The status of your film (‘new submission’) will also appear beneath your submission title. The submissions section is only viewable on your own profile page and other members cannot see what submissions you have made or their status.
send us your film and signed contract - you then need to send a hard copy of your film (on either VHS, MiniDV or DVD) as well as a signed contract to the address that appears at the end of the submission process. (We only ask for a VHS or DVD as part of the initial submission because Digibetas are expensive and we can’t return unsuccessful submission tapes.)
Film Network will contact you – we aim to watch all submissions and make a decision within eight weeks of receiving your film. However we do receive a high level of submissions, so the process can take longer. We will then contact you to let you know whether or not your submission was successful.
successful submissions - if your submission is accepted we will contact you to let you know and to acquire the relevant assets. In order to put your film up, we need a broadcast copy of your film which should be highest quality format available, ideally Digibeta. We also need production stills, details of any music you have used and to check that you own all the relevant rights and clearances. Your submission will then be turned into a film page. We guarantee to return Digibetas by registered delivery.
unsuccessful submissions - if your submission is unsuccessful you’ll receive an email from the Film Network team letting you know and the status will change from ‘new submission’ to ‘declined’ on the submissions section of your profile page. If your submission is declined, you can convert it into a credit by clicking on the link ‘convert into credit’ or delete your submission entirely by clicking on ‘remove’. We regret that due to the high level of submissions that we receive, we’re unable to provide detailed individual feedback on the films that we decline.

If you have any problems accessing the Film Network address, the address to send your signed contract and tape to is (nb - please do not send tapes without having filled in a contract first):

Film Network Submissions
MC1 D6
Media Centre
BBC Media Village
201 Wood Lane
W12 7TQ

If you encounter any other technical problems with the submission process, please send us an email. Please note – we cannot answer any questions on the status of your submission or provide feedback from this address.

our submission criteria
Film Network receives a large number of submissions and we can only screen a small number of these. However, every film we receive is watched by the in-house team who make a decision on whether to include it. Broadly, we look for films that meet a certain standard both in terms of ideas and technically and that are innovative, have a strong coherent narrative and use the cinematic medium effectively.

Film Network is designed to encourage more people to watch shorts and so we have to keep the quality high. This also ensures that your work is seen in the best possible environment. There are also other things we look for which is worth bearing in mind before you submit:

Films must be made in the UK – the purpose of Film Network is to showcase new British filmmakers, so we regret we cannot accept foreign submissions.
Films should be made in the last 5 years – our focus is to showcase new filmmaking talent. For this reason, it is very rare that we accept a film that is more than five years old.
The shorter the better – although we have no limit on length, the longer a film is the better it has to be to hold viewers’ attention. In our experience, users very rarely watch films streamed online for longer than 10 minutes so we tend to select shorter films. We only occasionally stream films over more than 20 minutes if they are of a very high standard.
Suitable for online streaming - we look for films that are most appropriate for online screening. Shorts with dark lighting, split screens, subtitles or constant rapid movement generally do not work well online.
Films that are rights cleared - see our section on rights.
Films that have all the relevant clearances - see our section on clearances.
Films that have done the festival circuit - some festivals and competitions specify that your film must not have been screened in the UK before. As we wouldn't want to jeopardize your film's chances of being premiered elsewhere, we recommend that you enter the big festivals before submitting it to Film Network.

why we need your contact details
As part of the submission process we ask you for contact details (address, email address and a phone number), so that we can contact you to let you know whether or not your submission was successful.

If your submission is successful, we will use your details in order to contact you to acquire the relevant assets and if there is ever a problem with your film (such as a rights query). We will let you know if the BBC, or a third party, is interested in broadcasting, screening or distributing your film. We will not contact you for any other reason, spam you, or pass your details on to anyone outside the BBC.

crediting your cast and crew
When making a submission, feel free to credit as many of your cast and crew as you like – we provide an extra box on the submission form to include anyone who doesn’t fit in to the most common specialisms.

what rights am I giving the BBC?
We ask for non-exclusive rights to use your film free-of-charge online for five years from the date of publication. This allows us to show your film on, but doesn’t stop you from giving others the right to show it too. If after your film is published on Film Network you're offered a deal which requires exclusivity, then you can ask to have your film removed from Film Network, which we'll do within seven days. For full details of the rights you are giving the BBC, please see the submission rules and for an explanation of terms, please see our guide on rights.

getting clearances
When submitting your film to Film Network, you need to make sure you have secured all the relevant clearances to allow us to show your film in public. These include music and script clearances, and location and participant release forms. To find out more about what clearances are required, and how to get them, see our clearances guide.


house rules

Welcome to Film Network’s house rules. The house rules exist so that everyone can get the most out of contributing to the site.

about your posts
Please keep your contributions civil, tasteful and relevant. We're committed to providing an atmosphere in which constructive and mature dialogue takes place. Therefore:

No flaming. Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable comments are not acceptable.

No swearing. If you use a banned word, it will appear as ***s. If you are quoting it may be acceptable.

No spamming or flooding. Don't post the same comment to more than one conversation or more than once.

No advertising. We can only accept posts that are your own opinion. We will remove posts where we suspect a vested interest.

Spoilers must be clearly marked. Spoilers are comments that unnecessarily give away the ending of a narrative eg a film. Any posts that are not clearly marked will be edited to include the words 'Contains spoiler' at the top of the comment.

No foreign languages. Posts containing languages other than English may be removed. Other users should be able to understand your comments and therefore posts with suspected hidden meanings might also be removed.

Please use your real name. We ask our members to use their real names as we feel this encourages people to stand by what they post. Please don't impersonate other people.

Be careful with including email addresses and instant messaging numbers, you may receive a lot of unwanted messages. Please do not include anyone else's personal details. We recommend you set up a new email account specifically and post the address in the form “name at” rather than “” to avoid automated spamming. We will remove any postal addresses or telephone numbers unless they are publicly available eg a ticket line number or event venue.

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about copyright
Only make written contributions that are your own work or to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise, or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.

By making written contributions to Film Network you grant us non-exclusive rights to publish your words in any medium.

about the law
You may not contribute any defamatory or illegal material of any nature. Contributing a message with the intention of committing an illegal act is strictly prohibited.

under 16s
If you are under 16 please get your parent or guardian's permission before contributing to Film Network.

Never reveal any personal information about yourself (for example, your telephone number, home address or email address).

antisocial behaviour
Film Network members are expected to act in a community-spirited way. It is unacceptable to behave in an antisocial manner. Examples of antisocial behaviour include deliberately dragging conversations off-topic or holding personal conversations in general discussions.

If you feel that someone is behaving in an antisocial manner, you should use the complaints button.

if a member breaks the rules
If a member fails to abide by these House Rules and/or the BBC Terms and Conditions, they will be formally warned by email. Not having a current email address registered with Film Network is not an adequate excuse for not knowing that they've been breaking the house rules.

For the first offence they will receive an official warning from the Film Network Editors.
A second offence will result in their account being put in to pre-moderation. This means every contribution will be checked before appearing on Film Network.
A third offence will mean that their account is suspended for seven days.
A fourth offence will result in their account being closed permanently.

The BBC reserves the right to delete any contributions or account, at any time, for any reason. Film Network reserves the right to change the house rules from time to time by publishing any amendments on site. You are responsible for regularly reviewing the house rules. By submitting a post you confirm your acceptance of any changes. Don't forget to read the Terms of Use.



If you would like the chance to showcase your short film on Film Network, then this is what you need to do.

We cannot guarantee to publish every film, but we do guarantee that your film will be watched. We expect a certain level of production standards to ensure that your film is seen in the best possible environment. See our submission criteria for more information.

what you get from us
If your submission is successful you'll get:

your film showcased on
a dedicated film page, with links to you and your cast and crew's profile pages, allowing people who see your film to find out more about you and your work
feedback on your film from other Film Network members
your film seen by our Industry Panel.

what we need from you
To submit your film, you need to be registered with Film Network. It'll take less than 5 minutes to create your membership.

Once you're a member, you need to fill in the online submission form. Please read and check you're happy with the submission rules before you do so.

The information that you need to give is:

your contact details
your film's details - including length, funding details, production company, distribution information and weblinks
a synopsis (of less than 100 words) and log line or short description (20 words)
festival screenings and award details
crew and cast names
a short fact about the making of your film

You'll need to supply us with a hard copy of your film on either VHS or DVD (not DVD-ROM) - we'll give you address details at the end of the submission process. If we decide to show your film, we'll then need a broadcast quality copy and copies of any stills you have associated with the film, preferably supplied as high-resolution JPEGs on CD-Rom.

Please note: We regret that we cannot return submission tapes and we do not guarantee to publish your film. If we do publish your film though, we will return any Digibetas by registered delivery.

We ask for non-exclusive rights to use your film free-of-charge online for five years from the date of publication. This allows us to show your film on but doesn't stop you from giving others the right to show it too. We will remove films from the site within seven days at the filmmaker's request. For full details of the rights you are giving the BBC, please see the submission rules and for an explanation of terms, please see our filmmaking guide on rights.

You must own the distribution rights in order to let us show your film. If you have a distributor or sales agent eg Dazzle Films, Short Circuit, Shorts International (formally Brit Shorts), then we need their permission to show your film.

Some film festivals and competitions specify that your film must not have been screened in the UK before. It is your responsibility to find out if screening your film on BBC Film Network will affect your chances of getting it screened elsewhere. We strongly suggest that you find this out before submitting your film to us.

When submitting your film to Film Network you need to make sure you have made all the relevant clearances to allow us to show your film in public. These include music and script clearances,location and participant release forms. To find out more about what clearances are required and how to get them see our clearance procedures section.

after you have submitted
We aim to watch all submissions and make a decision within eight weeks of receiving them. However we do receive a high level of submissions, so the process can take longer. We will contact you to let you know whether or not we intend to show your film on Film Network. Unfortunately due to the high level of submissions that we receive, we are unable to provide individual feedback on the films that we decline. See our site help for more information on the submission process.

filmmaking guide index

Film Network

filmmaking guide index
Welcome to our filmmaking guide. Here you can find out more about the filmmaking process from pre- to post-production. To add a comment to any of the pages, click on the link at the bottom.

why make a short film?

writing a script
writing a script
getting a professional response

watching shorts
film festivals

shorts on DVD

training & development
film training courses
online courses
bursaries and funding opportunities

recommended reading

funding sources
what to include in your application

protecting your work
funder's rights

location agreements
actors' contributions
product clearances

what to shoot on
shooting on film
shooting on digital

budget & schedule

equipment & insurance

cast & crew
heads of department
additional crew members

post-production & editing
sound post-production
the end product

getting your film seen
organising a screening
getting an agent


why make a short film?

why make a short film?

There are many reasons why you might make a short film and these will impact upon how you go about it.

Making a film – be it a short or a feature – is largely a labour of love, so it’s always worth clarifying why you are embarking on such madness and adventure. You could be making it for:

experience - you might want to experiment with pulling a team together to make a story on film.
a showreel - you might be pursuing a career in filmmaking and want to demonstrate your skills.
partnerships - you'd like to try working with certain people to see if you can go on to collaborate on projects in the future.
kudos - you may have found a high profile director/writer/actor, who'll help you raise your filmmaking profile.
testing an idea out - you’ve always thought a certain story would work well on screen or you’ve got a feature film idea that you want to try out on a small scale first.
money - you may have been asked to work on a production with a budget to pay its crew. (This is very rare as short films don’t generally pay any financial dividends.)

Your reasons for making the film should also relate to where the film is going to be shown. You could be making it for:

your front room - many filmmakers start out by testing their ideas on family and friends.
a showreel – maybe you're building a body of work to prove to others that you have filmmaking skills and/or to persuade them to give you some funding to make another film.
the Internet – a great means of getting your work out there and getting feedback from a wide range of people.
television – if your film is of a high quality, a television channel may screen it, especially if it fits into a slot with other short films.
the cinema – one of the hardest places to get a short film screened, but some very successful shorts have been shown before feature films on general release. Some cinemas also run short film events.
festivals – a great opportunity to get your film on the big screen, watched by an audience of industry people and by filmmaking peers.

The answers to ‘why’ and ‘where’ determine the standard you need to work to - there is a minimum standard of technical quality required for broadcast on television and a very different quality for transfer from tape to film.

Why you are making a short film, and where you want it to go, will determine what you shoot on, which equipment you use, budgets, crew numbers and potential markets. You and your team’s objectives set the parameters of what you are going to create. Be clear about these objectives and then crack on with the project.

There are small pots of money available to help create short films – especially those on digital formats. The industry is also full of people who are willing to do favours because they like an idea, they like someone involved with the project or they simply remember what it was like to start out in filmmaking.

writing a script

writing a script

A good idea and a strong script are the basis of a great short.

Short films, like short stories, are an art form of their own, and certain subjects and approaches work better than others. Having acknowledged your objectives (see our guide, why make a short film), you're on your way to knowing what type of short film you want to create. Look at other short films to establish what works best. Many shorts are adapted from short stories or poems but if you go down this route, make sure you get the proper permissions (see our section on rights).

writing a script
Maybe it’s a funny incident that happened to you, maybe there's a political statement that you'd like to make or a painting that has inspired you…whatever the spark, you need to start by getting it down in writing.

Where to start? Before you become too caught up in the ‘correct’ way to do it, jot down a brief description of the story you want to write. Once you've captured your idea onto paper, then you can visit the innumerable sites created to help writers turn raw ideas into workable scripts (see right-hand links).

Once you have received tons of encouragement and suggestions, you need to turn the description you have into an outline or a more technical treatment. The terminology can, at this stage, get confusing, as different approaches to early development are referred to in different ways (such as outlines, synopses, treatments). These are discussed on the websites listed in the right-hand column. Don’t get too hung up on which way to go at this stage, as the essential thing is to develop the idea into a structured story that will work as a screenplay.

At this stage, you can start showing your work to other people and getting feedback (ideally from people working in film or television, but you can always use your friends and family). Rework the idea and think about what makes it cinematic. Who are the characters? What is the plot, the premise, the theme? When these components have come together in your mind it's time to put your story down in script format.

Formatting a script is not an 'exact science' but, as you will find, there are industry standards (see right-hand links). Production companies and directors are used to scripts that look a certain way, so it is worth getting to grip with industry conventions early on.

It is always worth reading your favourite film scripts for examples of how it is done. There are many sites that can help you track down a free copy of a screenplay online (see right-hand links).

Sticking to industry standard formatting makes your work look more professional and it will also help to give you a rough idea of the length of the film. Standard formatting roughly equates to a page per minute.

The script format is really only the start and you will need to continue developing your project, responding to criticism and absorbing new ideas into your script. If you are working with film and/or TV professionals, it’s very likely that you will go through a number of drafts. Visit the numerous websites for writers and scriptwriters, if only because writing is often a lonely task and it is healthy to connect into a network to share tips and suggestions that may assist you in the creative process. You can also get feedback on your story via some sites.

getting a professional response
If you feel that you would like a cold, hard industry response to your script from somewhere in the UK then you might want to pay for a script report from a script reader (see right-hand links).

watching shorts

watching shorts

One of the best ways to learn how to make short films is by watching them and learning from other people’s successes and mistakes.

film festivals
There are film festivals that take place all over the UK and around the world. Most festivals have a section for shorts and there are some festivals that are solely dedicated to short films. A full and comprehensive Directory of International Film & Video Festivals can be found at:

This directory lists over 600 international film festivals, including television and video festivals, and provides details on how and when to enter these events. There is a search feature that enables you to look up film festivals by country, town, festival title, category or month of the year.

There are a number of organsitions across the UK that run short film screenings, often in combination with other events. Many local filmmaker's groups also run short film screenings in their area. Look out for information on filmmaking websites (such as Shooting People's Filmmakers Bulletin and Talent Circle's noticeboard) and in filmmaking magazines.

Past short film competition winners and other successful shorts have been compiled into video and DVD collections that are widely available. See our guide shorts on DVD for a selection of recommended short film DVDs.

The Internet
As technology is improving the Internet is becoming a far more reliable place to see short films. Short films have been available online for a couple of years, but only now, with broadband and improved software, is watching short films on the Internet becoming a viable viewing option.

See right-hand column for a list of some of the best places to watch shorts online.

shorts on DVD

shorts on DVD

Some recommended short film collections on DVD.

Past short film competition winners and other successful shorts have been compiled into video and DVD collections that are widely available. Collections of note include:

75th Annual Academy Awards Short Films
100 minutes of Oscar-nominated short films from 2003.

Best V Best
Seven award-winning shorts from festivals around the world in 2004/5, including The Banker, Little Terrorist, Who Killed Brown Owl and Milk.

Big Stories Small Flashes
A collection of nine digital shorts, funded by the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund.

Cinema 16
A selection of classic and award-winning short films. There are two Cinema 16 collections on offer: European Shorts and British Shorts.

Directors Series
Compiled by Palm pictures, there are three DVDs focussing on directors Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Chris Cunningham. There are short films, music videos and interviews on each collection.

A series of DVDs featuring a selection of cutting-edge digital shorts from the onedotzero festival.

Best of 12th Raindance Film Festival Shorts
Highlights from the Raindance festival 2004 programme.

The Best of RESFEST
Currently on volume three, this compilation has hand-picked short films from the archives of RESFEST festival.

Short - International Release
These DVDs (3 volumes so far) feature filmmaker's commentary, alternate audio tracks, additional and bonus tracks, production notes, interactive menus, and hyperlinks to filmmaker's websites.

15 award-winning short films that have been showcased at major film festivals all over the globe.

Warp Vision: the Videos 1989 - 2004
A collection of music videos from various artists on the record label Warp.

training & development

training & development

There are thousands of courses and funding opportunities available to help you acquire the skills to make your film.

film training courses
Courses in filmmaking range from four-year degrees to one-to-two day workshops. They can be as broad as Media Production or as specific as Romantic Comedy, or the Sony PD150 Digital Camera. You may also be eligible to receive some financial support towards a training course. (see later in this section and ask the course providers themselves).

One of the most comprehensive sites for finding out about the various media courses on offer is:

This website has been put together by Skillset (the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries, which is jointly funded by industry and government) and by the BFI (British Film Institute). This directory lists over 4,500 courses in film, television, video, radio and web authoring that are running across the UK. It is regularly updated and checked for accuracy and you can search or browse the directory to find the course that is right for you.

Another useful resource, from a slightly different angle, is the Media Desk website:

In its training section, Media Desk presents a full list of pan-European training courses, sorted by deadline or course focus. By clicking on a course name, users can access a full breakdown of what each course contains, as well as contact details, links to the website, course costs and information on filmmakers who have attended in the past.

As well as these national websites, you are also able to cross-reference these databases with training offered via your regional screen agency. Each local screen agency has training as an objective and will be able to offer information and advice from a local perspective.

online courses
A number of the courses on offer, particularly the pan-European and New Technology courses, have an online learning element. This means that, in addition to residential workshops, there are ‘e-learning’ options that run via the Internet. So you can be based anywhere and simply go online to participate in a workshop. The Media Desk website identifies whether the courses on offer have an online element, but you could also try:

bursaries and funding opportunities
There are lots of training bursaries available to help individuals meet the costs of certain media courses on offer.

Nationally, there is support available through Skillset’s Film Skills Fund:

This prioritises particular areas of the industry like Business or New Media, and offers financial support for courses in these areas.

Locally, a filmmaker may be eligible to apply for financial assistance for training courses via their regional screen agency, see right-hand links.

recommended reading

recommended reading

Some of the best training can be done in you own home.

There is information in print on almost every aspect of filmmaking but a few bibles for your shelves might include:

The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook and the Film Producers Toolkit
By Chris Jones and Genevieve Joliffe
A guide to low-budget moviemaking in the UK (and around the world) featuring a step-by-step guide to the filmmaking process from pre- to post-production and Q & A's with industry experts. The accompanying CD-ROM contains draft contracts, production templates and accounting programs.

The Ultimate Filmmaker's Guide to Short Films: Making it Big in Shorts
By Kim Adelman
A step-by-step guide through the process of making a short film, packed with advice on production, exhibition and distribution. However, the information provided does focus upon the American industry and so will not relate to the experience of UK filmmakers at all times.

In Short: A Guide to Short Filmmaking in the Digital Age
By Eileen Elsey and Andrew Kelly
Part history, part status report, part manual - this BFI publication is full of information on distribution, funding, exhibition, festivals, training and publication.

Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking
By Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove is the founder of the British Independent Film Awards, and the founder and director of the Raindance Film Festival. Through his regular Raindance seminars and courses, he has famously lectured to a number of aspiring filmmakers, who subsequently struck it big with films such as Memento and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This book is packed with tips on filmmaking for the little guy, from making fake blood to securing distribution with the big players.

First Facts 2
By Andrea Cornwell
First Facts 2 is a handbook that provides essential up-to-date information for anyone who is trying to navigate the many training schemes, funding opportunities, organisations, festivals and showcases in order to develop their career more effectively. This second edition also includes an expanded overview of funding for UK features.

UK Film Finance Handbook - How To Fund Your Film 05/06
By Adam P. Davies & Nic Wistreich
Published by Netribution, this is the updated version of 'Get Your Film Funded'. As well as listing information about film funding organisations and opportunities (at both a national and regional level), the handbook also provides case studies and interviews with high-level experienced producers, directors, financiers and exec producers. A great reference guide to funding for anyone making films, from low budget shorts to multi-million pound international co-productions.

Get Your Documentary Funded and Distributed
By Jess Search & Melissa McCarthy (Shooting People)
A comprehensive funding and distribution guide for anyone working in the world of documentary filmmaking. It was compiled and published by the independent filmmaking community, Shooting People, and is full of pratical advice and information on: how the commissioning process works; what funding opportunities are available; which festivals are interested in documentaries and who the main distributors are.



There are many sources of funding available to short filmmakers

Government funding for shorts comes largely through the UK Film Council, but there are other sources if you are prepared to look hard and to work your film around their agendas. Many funding sources look to fund digital shorts rather than projects that want to shoot on film, based on the argument that new directors should cut their teeth on the cheaper medium.

Two of the best (print) guides to what film funding is available are:

First Facts
Published by the First Film Foundation and available through their website:

UK Film Finance Handbook - How To Fund Your Film 05/06
Published by Netribution, this is the updated version of 'Get Your Film Funded'. For more information and free resources visit:

funding sources
national and regional screen agencies
Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the nine English regions each have their own agency that looks after local filmmaking talent through funding, development and training initiatives.

They each run different funding schemes, so contact your local regional screen agency for more information (see right-hand links).

local councils
Local councils will often put money towards a short filmmaking initiative, especially if it deals with social exclusion or aids the local community in some way. You could visit your local council or county website to find out if their arts department will support a film project.

national sources
For pure production funding on a national level the first place anyone should go to is the UK Film Council. They have funding available for both production and post-production, plus completion finance.

From time to time, there are various schemes set up by broadcasters that produce a series of shorts, such as the BBC’s Black Cab and Table for Two. These schemes are very sporadic so keep an eye on the key broadcasters’ websites for announcements about short film schemes.

what to include in your application
Funders look at hundreds of film applications every round, so any application you make should be as detailed and as striking as possible. The success of your application will probably depend upon what elements you have in place eg the quality of your script, the director, the director of photography and acting talent that you have attached. It is important to maximise all these elements in order to make your application as enticing as possible.

You’ll need to collate the following:

CVs of Producer, Director, Writer, Actors, Director of Photography, Production Designer
Budgets and schedules (see budget & schedule)
A paragraph about the film from a creative and technical point of view (eg the director’s vision, the distribution plans for the film).



Rights and ownership can seem scary but it’s vitally important to know what rights you have and what rights you are giving to other people.

protecting your work
If you’ve written a script, or had a great idea, one of the first questions you may ask is “how do I protect this idea or script?” The quick answer is that you can’t copyright an idea but you can copyright a script or a film. Intellectual Property is complicated but don’t panic or worry too much. You can find out the basics about how to protect your work at:

funder’s rights
Be aware that when somebody gives you money to make a film, they may expect to retain certain rights in return. They may keep all rights to distribute your film, which means you’ll need to ask their permission if you wish to show it or allow others to screen it. This includes submitting films to Film Network – we need the permission from whoever owns the distribution rights for your film before we can showcase it.

In the life of a short film the most important stage in terms of rights is the distribution of the film. This is where you need to be clear who owns the film and who has the right to give permission for the film to be screened on television, the internet or in film festivals. By giving permission to screen the film, you will be entering into an agreement to screen or ‘exhibit’ the film.

The key terms of the agreement will include:

media – which media your film can be exhibited in eg on television, theatrically, or on the internet
number of screenings - how many times the exhibitor can screen your film eg once or multiple screenings
the licence period - how long they can use your film for eg six months, one year or indefinitely (known legally as ‘in perpetuity’)
territory - where they can use your film eg in a UK region, in the UK, Europe or globally
premiere - if you give someone the right to premiere your film, it can’t have already been screened within the specified territory
exclusivity - if you agree to exclusive rights, it will stop you allowing others to show your film within the specified medium/territory/licence period
fee – how much you will be paid in return for allowing them to show your film

For example: Film Network asks for rights to use your film on the internet only (the medium), for free (the fee), non-exclusively (the exclusivity), for five years (the term). This means that we can show it on the BBC website, for up to five years but it doesn’t stop you from allowing other people to show it elsewhere on the internet or anywhere else. If we would like to show your film on television, we would have to negotiate a new contract with you and pay you the standard rate.

One of the best ways to be clear on what is a good deal is to talk to other short filmmakers about their experiences. If you are still not sure, you can get advice from either your regional screen agency or a short film distribution company (see right-hand links).

The best policy is not to sign any agreements that you don’t fully understand until you are clear about all of the terms. There are plenty of people who can offer advice to help you along the way towards the successful distribution of your short film.



If you haven’t got permission to show everything and everyone featured in your film, you’ll not be able to show it.

You’ll only be able to distribute and screen your film in public if it is ‘cleared’. This means that you have written permission to use everything and everyone that appears in your film. This includes script, music, locations, actors, contributors, products, company logos.

If you submit your film to Film Network, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you have obtained all the necessary clearances in writing. If somebody claims your film breaches their “copyright”(eg you have used them/their identity/their work in some way without their consent), it is you, as well as the BBC, who is liable. If you have breached copyright, at the very least you will not be able to continue to show your film and you could end up being sued. Please check that the clearances you have obtained include internet use (‘All media’ covers internet as well) and should ideally be for use in territories throughout the world, in perpetuity (indefinitely).

Make clearances as you go along, as soon as you can, rather than trying to get permission retrospectively after you’ve shot your film. You may find that you encounter unexpected problems getting clearances for things. If you can’t obtain a release for anything, use a substitute instead.

We have included several example agreements on this page. These are only illustrative samples and may not always be appropriate to use, so make sure you get your own contract drawn up, written and checked by a lawyer. The BBC is not liable if these forms do not cover you.

original work
If your script is an original work of fiction then make sure none of the characters resemble an actual individual (living or dead). (Real people must not be identifiable and if they are, should not be used unless you have their express written permission.) Otherwise, make sure the names of the characters are fictional and their characteristics do not solely and undoubtedly resemble real life individuals. If you do base your idea on a real event, make sure you have written permission from all people involved including permission from living relations of dead people, if applicable.

Many short films are based on short stories, poems or magazine articles, i.e. someone else’s work. In the case of an adaptation do not proceed on such a project until you have permission to do so from the original author and/or the owner of the rights.

In the case of a short film this need not be overly complicated. Find out who owns the material. This may bring you into contact with publishers, agents, lawyers and authors, who may or may not be helpful. Persevere. Explain that short films are not about money but about shaping talent and that no one is likely to gain financially from the project but that you would like permission to adapt the original work into a short film script. This permission will usually take the form of a brief deal memo or option agreement outlining the ‘terms’ of the permission and for a short film it is rare for money to change hands. Sometimes, if a well-known author is involved, they may insist on some cash. This will vary depending on the material concerned, but make sure this makes sense in the overall budget of the project.

It is important to note that many filmmakers spend a large part of their budget on buying the rights to use a certain track or piece of music. Many people make the mistake of thinking that singers/songwriters are in control of their own music and so want to appeal to their artistic temperament and thus obtain the rights to their music for a song. Unfortunately, music is often owned by big publishing and recording companies who rarely have an artistic side to appeal to…

The easiest way round this is to steer clear of famous pieces. Hire a composer or use a local band, which haven’t yet been signed to a label. Another alternative is to use a piece of library music. Music libraries have a huge number of pre-cleared tracks that you will pay a lot less for than almost any piece of music you will have in your collection. See right-hand column for links to some music libraries.

You should always make sure you can clear a piece of music before it is used in a film. This includes all identifiable background music (eg a jukebox in a pub).

Whatever music you use there are two licences that you need to obtain for each piece:

Publishing licence – from the people who own the copyright to the piece of music ie lyrics and composition.
Recording licence – from the people who performed the version of music that you want to use

There is no hard and fast way to find out who owns the rights, it is usually a bit of a maze with each piece, but the first port of call should always be the MCPS ( This company looks after titles on behalf of many artists. If you fax/email them a list of the music that you would like to use, they will often be able to tell you who owns it, if they don’t.

When you have a contract drawn up you’ll need to check that the terms cover you to use the music everywhere you want to distribute your film. The main elements you need to look out for are:

geographical – “all world rights” is the ideal, which means that you can show your film anywhere in the world. This often costs more though so it is maybe more cost effective, if you want to use a well-known piece, to specify ‘within Europe’, or an individual country (eg ‘in the UK’).

time – in perpetuity (which means indefinitely) is the ideal, but again if you’re dealing with well-known musicians or bands then you’ll probably get between one to five years.

media – Ideally you want ‘All Media’, but short films will usually start out with ‘Festivals’ and then look to acquire ‘terrestrial TV rights’ in various countries. To show your film on Film Network or other websites you need to acquire ‘online rights’, Acquiring ‘theatrical rights’ is where you have to start paying real money (in the hundreds of thousands if you are talking about a named band.)

location agreements

You should find a location manager as soon as possible. Even if they are untrained, it is good idea to find someone who is willing to take on the responsibility of finding the locations and making sure you can use them. This involves looking around your local area, finding a location that suits your needs and then finding out who owns it and whether they’ll let you use it. You should always try to have a location agreement in place before you shoot on anyone’s land. You can always draw up location agreements leaving blank the names and addresses to be filled in later.

download example location (with fee) agreement

download example location (with no fee) agreement

These are examples only. The BBC is not liable for any use of these contracts.

actors' contributions
You will need to ensure that all the actors and/or contributors (eg interviewees) who appear in your film sign a contributor’s release form, giving you the rights to use their performances in your film and in the related marketing. Release forms aren’t necessary for anyone who appears as part of a crowd scene or fleetingly in the background of your film.

download example contributor (with fee) release form

download example contributor (with no fee) release form

These are examples only. The BBC is not liable for any use of these contracts.

product clearances
All products or logos that are featured prominently in your film (you don’t need to worry about background props) need to be cleared for use by the manufacturers or businesses concerned. It’s often worth getting your art department to create fictional brands instead to avoid the hassle. If you do use real products or logos, find out who to talk to at the manufacturers via the press office. Some of the clearances can be done in pre-production, as the art department should have an idea of which products they want to use, but there will always be products that come up on a daily basis.

what to shoot on

what to shoot on

The format you shoot on will depend on your objectives and budget and will affect every part of the filmmaking process.

Which format you choose to shoot on will depend on:

your aims for the film
the demands of your script
the demands of your director
the limitations of your budget

See our guide, why make a short film, to help decide the aims of your project. Talk to your collaborators about how and why you are going to make your film. Read how other teams have done it. And if you have access to a camera person or director of photography, talk to them about the technical aspects of shooting on various formats.

shooting on film
The beauty of film is rarely in question, but the expense of it is usually prohibitive. Unless you expect your film to go to the major festivals (such as Cannes, London or Berlin), you will probably be looking to shoot on a digital format.

film stock
There are a great many different kinds of stock available. The two main companies that make film stock are Fuji and Kodak - both their websites give you an idea of what films have been shot using each film type. These two giants are the main manufacturers, and they are used to dealing with queries regarding short films. Each company has a representative who deals with short film enquiries and who also might be able to point you in the direction of other cheaper stockists, companies that handle recans or short ends of their stock. The mantra with film stock and short films is ‘beg, borrow, steal’. Except for the very well-financed short films, using film stock is only really possible if you can get an amazing deal.

One means of getting stock for free is to call up production companies who have just finished a shoot and ask them for any spare unopened cans, recans or ends. or, both have full production company listings, but you will need to subscribe to get the best out of the sites. Alternatively, you could look up film production companies in the Yellow Pages or use the directory on the Regional Film and Video website:

shooting on digital
There are many options when looking at the digital route, from buying your own digital video camera (DV Cam), to hiring the highest quality High Definition (HD/Hi-Def) camera.

See right-hand column for websites that usefully demystify the different formats and cameras that you could use.

There is no question that, in most cases, HD looks better than Digibeta, but there is an ongoing discussion in the industry about the possible benefits. It is difficult to compare HD to film as they are very different media and need to be treated as such. Some areas of the industry are trying to push HD as the way forward for shooting drama and some countries have invested heavily in development of equipment, but there are some strong arguments against it. For example, the costs on HD post-production are often much higher than on DV or film.

If you have just a small amount of money to spend, you may find a friendly post-production company professional or editor, who is happy to talk you through the pros and cons of shooting on various formats. Remember that the format not only affects the shoot, but also the post-production process with which you edit and finish your film.

budget & schedule

budget & schedule

Getting your film finished on time and on budget is hard but incredibly important.

Once you have made the key decision of which format you intend to shoot on, then you are in a better position to fully budget and schedule the project. Budgeting and scheduling usually falls into the pre-production stage of filmmaking, when you are also pulling your team together including heads of department (see cast & crew), choosing your actors and scouting for locations.

Most professional line producers and production managers use a software package called Movie Magic Scheduling and Movie Magic Budgeting to determine how a film will be shot. It is expensive software and, for short films, not essential, but it’s worth taking a look at how this professional software breaks down the scheduling of a film. It will give you an idea of how you need to think about your project (see

When scheduling you need to break the script down into locations and then work out how many scenes you have at each location, and also the length of each scene. This will give you an idea of how long you will need to spend at each location and which order of filming will prove most efficient. From this, you’ll have a rough idea of how long you will need to shoot your film and what it will cost.

Shot lists and storyboards also help clarify exactly what will be shot for each scene and how much time must be allocated. For a breakdown of storyboarding see:

When budgeting a short film, there is a large degree of give and take. The first time you budget, you should include everything that feels 'essential' - some of which you will have to pay for and some of which you will get for free. The budget will be a constantly changing document, insomuch as ‘essentials’ become redefined, amazing deals come up and certain elements prove to be too expensive. Of course, there comes a point, when you have raised all the cash and made all the deals that you possibly can, when you have to decide to go-ahead with what you already have.

Elements that you should include in your budget are:

cast and crew - you might not have to pay anyone, but make sure you clarify this early on. If you are not paying crew then it is customary to offer to cover their expenses.
travel – an unavoidable cost.
catering – food is not to be underestimated, if you can feed your team well they will be much happier to work for you.
location - it depends where you are shooting, but again make sure that this is thoroughly researched ahead of time.
camera and lights - see equipment.
stock - see equipment.
insurance - see insurance.
post-production - an important area, most first-time filmmakers do not budget adequately for this.

If you have scheduled production correctly, the first day of principle photography should see every department fully aware of where they should be and what they’re supposed to be doing (that and each subsequent day). This means production should be smooth. However, the reality is that production is usually a roller-coaster ride and you need to be prepared for every eventuality. Call Sheets are the daily representation of all the hard work carried out in scheduling.

Call Sheets are daily-published pieces of paper that hold all the information crew members need for each day of a shoot.

They should include:

contact numbers
what is being shot each day and who is in each shot
where the rushes will be going at the end of the day
who is responsible for first aid on set
photocopies of maps or directions

equipment & insurance

equipment & insurance

Cameras, lights, sound, transport and insurance.

The equipment you will need (or can get hold of) will vary tremendously depending on your budget.

Digital equipment is far more widely available than traditional 16mm and 35mm film cameras and there are a large number of local organisations that own cameras that can be hired – sometimes even borrowed – by members of the public. Hook into your local filmmaking community and you may be amazed by what is available for a very low cost and sometimes even for free.

There’s a myriad of different cameras available, depending on which format you are shooting. Besides the basic camera, you might need a set of lenses, a zoom, a head, a tripod, and if you are shooting on film, maybe a video assist (allowing you to see what you have just shot, as film needs to be processed before it can be watched).

For film cameras, you will definitely need to talk to a camera hire company about what they have available. If you have a camera person who uses them for paid work, then it will be much easier to get a good deal. If not, phone them up for a chat and explain who you are and what you need. They are usually a very friendly crowd and happy to help if they can.

There are a lot of camera hiring companies nationwide, so it is worthwhile getting your hands on The Knowledge (see recommended reading), but see the right-hand column for a selection of the most well-known.

This is an incredibly important part of the filmmaking process, and one that you will need to invest some time in to make sure that the shoot is not wasted. Much of your decision-making will be based on whether you are shooting interiors or exteriors. An experienced camera person comes in handy for lighting tips, so get advice and experiment (see right-hand column for professional lighting hire companies).

If you don’t have an experienced lighting person to hand, the best guide on the web is:

This is a vital area and one that often gets overlooked by first-time filmmakers. The most important thing that you have to remember is that you must record the dialogue well, everything else can be cheated in post-production, but getting actors back in to re-record their dialogue is annoying. It can be very expensive and should be avoided.

Once the dialogue has been secured, the secondary concern is to record the atmosphere of the room so that it can be used as background in post-production mixing. This is referred to as the ‘wild track’ by the sound mixer. There will need to be a moment of quiet on set while the sound mixer records the sound of the room.

The ideal is a good shotgun mike. These can be pricey, but it’s a good idea to have more than just the microphone on the camera.

mixers and DAT records
A mixer is a box that has different tracks from one to four. Its job is to control the sound levels. You can feed your microphone straight into your camera, but you will have very little control over the sound levels, so it is better if your microphone feeds into a mixer first. If you do record straight into the camera, be careful, as certain cameras have been known to distort sound. Even better is record onto a separate DAT machine. This is the ideal, as it gives you a better quality and will be more flexible in post-production.

This can be a tricky one on low funds. If you have managed to blag some kit then you will need to get it around. Sometimes the facilities houses will rent you a truck, but that can be just as pricey as going to your local van rental place. Talk to whoever you are hiring your kit from and see if they have any suggestions. If all else fails, find a mate with a very big car and plan to do lots of journeys. Bear in mind that if you do hire a van and plan to leave any kit in it then, for insurance purposes, it will need to be in a 24-hour lock-up (see below).

Insurance is an essential part of filmmaking. The basic insurance that you need will cover the health and safety of your cast and crew. If you are hiring any equipment, you will need to know what it is worth and get it insured accordingly. There are many other areas that you can look to have insured. For example, bad weather insurance covers you if you have to reshoot as a result of Mother Nature, but this is beyond most short film budgets.

The UK Film Council website has good background information on insurance:

cast & crew

cast & crew

Who you need and where to find them.

Two of the best places to find cast and crew are and, where you can advertise for crew on the message boards.

In addition to the writer, the two main roles are:

This role varies tremendously from project-to-project, but, in general terms, a director has creative control over the project from when he/she comes on board until the project is completed.

This is a hard role to define because there are so many different aspects to being a producer and each producer is different (especially when it comes to making a short film). But, put simply, a producer is where the buck stops on money, organisation, the team and rights.

heads of department
There are no hard-and-fast rules about how many crew members you need, but there are some heads of department that will make your life a lot easier:

line producer - ensures that the film comes in on time and on budget

director of photography (DOP) - in technical charge of how the film is lit and shot

production designer/art director - in charge of the production design helps create the style of the set. On low budget films these two roles are often merged.

gaffer - chief lighting technician

1st assistant director (1st AD) – runs the set according to the needs of the director

editor – cuts the film together

production manager – organises everything and everyone on set

sound recordist – in charge of everything to do with recording sound

additional crew members
Depending on the scale of your production, you may also need:

focus puller – in charge of focussing the camera

clapper loader – loads the camera, takes care of the stock and records each take

location manager – finds and secures locations

grip – looks after all the equipment for supporting and moving the camera while shooting (tracking, cranes etc.)

continuity/script supervisor – makes sure everything seen on camera is consistent from shot-to-shot

2nd assistant director (2nd AD) – helps the 1st AD, particularly co-ordinating actors to and from set

3rd assistant director (3rd AD) – is the 1st AD’s right-hand person. He/she is always on set and often co-ordinates the runners

boom operator – holds the boom, ensuring that the microphone is as near as possible to the actors without being in shot

sparks - lighting technicians

costume designer – designs, purchases, and manages costumes

hair/makeup designer – designs, and usually executes, hair and makeup

production co-ordinator – works under the production manager to co-ordinate the smooth running of the set

storyboard artist – works with the director to create a shot by shot storyboard of the action to be filmed

stills photographer – takes still images of actors and crew for publicity reasons

assistants and runners – needed in every department - the more hands the better

Casting is a vital area of filmmaking and one to which you should devote time and energy. Finding the right actor for a part requires skill and patience.

If you have an actor in mind and want to get a script to them then you will need to find out who their agent is by looking in Spotlight. This is the book that all actors appear in with their vital statistics and their agent details. There is an online version at If you pay a subscription, you can get actors’ CVs and more information about their skills.

Getting a well known actor for short films is hard, but not impossible. If you have invested time in getting the script right, and the part you are asking them to play is interesting to them, then there is no reason why a good actor would not want to make a short film.

Casting your film with unknown, local actors is an easier option and you will find them at your local theatre, youth group or drama workshops. They will need to prepare a short piece for the audition and you should have something in mind to help you decide if they are right for the part.

Once you have found your ideal cast then you will need to commit some time to learning how to work with actors. This is a complex process and one that takes a lifetime to get right. Sometimes actors can get forgotten in the maelstrom of shooting, - make sure that someone is always looking after them (often the 2nd assistant director’s job – see 'additional crew members') and that you have prepared them well for what you’ll expect of them each day.

post-production & editing

post-production & editing

Once your film is in the can, you need to get it digitised, edited and transferred onto a usable format.

Your film will need to be taken to a laboratory to be developed and digitised (so that you can edit it digitally). Digitising of film is referred to as telecine (or TK), and you will end up with digital rushes (either Digibeta or Beta SP). There are a number of labs that do this and you should call them all for quotes and deals – check out a full list on: or, both have full company listings, but you will need to subscribe to get the best out of the sites.

You can then take your digital tape to a post-production company, who will conform it onto their system and synch up the sound, ready for the editor to weave their magic.

Essentially, shooting on digital is a much easier route than film, as you don’t need to get the rushes developed or digitised. But the rushes will still need to be conformed and have the sound synched up.

There are a large number of post-production houses, also referred to as post facilities, around the country and you should spend some time talking to them to get quotes and rates. For a comprehensive list of post-production houses check out listings in: and both have full company listings, but you will need to subscribe to get the best out of these sites.

There are three different options here:

editing at home
There are a number of software options you can use to edit at home, which one you go for depends on personal preference and what you want to achieve. You could search for video editing software at - this, essentially, looks at prices of the different packages you can buy, but also has a look at how they work and what they do. Even the most advanced editing software can be set up in your bedroom: all you need is the software and enough memory in your computer to be able to work with your rushes.

editing in a facility
This is where finances will again be relevant. If your editor has a relationship with any facilities house then you might be able to use ‘down time,’ at weekends or in the evenings. Alternatively, you can buy a copy of Screen International or Broadcast and see the listings in the back.

hiring an editing kit (with or without an editor)
A good middle ground between editing yourself and going into a post-production house is to hire a kit from someone, who will also (for a price) edit for you.

sound post-production
The editor will be the first to deal with the sound in post-production, but often the real work will take place in a special studio with a sound engineer (also called a sound designer). The sound designer will mix together the different tracks and add foley (sound FX). This then needs to be laid back onto the orginal film.

the end product
Short films can originate on film or digital tape and they can be finished, regardless of what they originated on, on film or tape. You have reasons for making your film and these reasons will inform how, and on what format, the film will be screened.

It is worth noting that many festivals accept films on a digital format, but some of the biggest ones require you to have a 35mm print. Always bear in mind that finishing on 35mm film is the most expensive and lengthiest option.

getting your film seen

getting your film seen

Once you have made your film the biggest challenge is getting people to see it.

organising a screening
You should organise a number of screenings for your film. First should be the cast and crew screening, where you can invite everybody who helped in any way. Try talking to the programming manager of your local cinema. Independent cinemas will often do their best to try and programme in pieces by local filmmakers.

It is also a good idea to try and get an industry screening. This should be held somewhere that regularly attracts production companies and broadcasters. If there are no preview theatres then go for the local cinema option again.

For a selection of preview theatres outside London, try:

For information about London-based screening rooms, have a look in First Facts 2(see recommended reading). Also try the main online industry directories:

There are a number of distributors that deal with short films. They will take your short film to the markets around the world and attempt to sell it to television (including terrestrial, cable and satellite), airlines and other companies that show short films.

It is important to note that they will require a clear paper chain - clear contracts and license deals so that they know that you are legally allowed to sell all the different elements of your film on to a third party (see rights).

Make contact with each company and forward a VHS copy of your short film to see what they offer you in terms of a deal.

The BFI published a great guide to Distribution & Exhibition in 2001 (which also offers good advice on festivals) that is downloadable as a PDF:

It is very important for producers and directors to plan well for festivals. Deadlines creep up and filmmakers are always running close to the wire to have their films ready. You can find out about which festivals are coming up, and where, on the British Council website, or one of the websites listed under festival directories in the right-hand column of this page.

(There is also the main British Council website which links through to and is worth checking:

Each year, the British Council also choose a selection of shorts that they will distribute to certain festivals. They will also help select short films to print (there are certain prerequisites for selection).

To give yourself the best chance, provide the following information:

a good still – absolutely vital to sell your film both to the festival and, if your application is successful, to the public
a good background document – including condensed CVs for all the heads of department and talent
a good synopsis – one page that outlines what your film is about provides a really useful online film festival submission service. Through their submission system (BrigitFest), you can create one master online entry form to use for submitting your film to many of the major US and European film festivals. This service is free but does not include festival entry fees. members can also track their submissions, search for festivals and receive notification of festival updates and deadlines.

getting an agent
If you have made your short film as a stepping stone in your career, you might be wondering if you can get an agent to help represent you and your work. There are agencies to represent writers, directors and actors, as well as crew members, like directors of photography and production designers.

Your best plan of action is to do your homework. Find out who represents whom. Maybe track down some of your favourite talent via - you can often find out who represents them by clicking on the ‘Agent’ button. The world of agents is notoriously closed and very few of the agencies have good websites, largely because they hate receiving unsolicited material. You may have to resort to your trusty search engines or fan clubs on the web to find out who someone’s agent is. From this you will start to build a picture of who the major agencies are and who they represent.

See the right-hand column links for some of the best known agents in the UK.

The First Facts 2 written guide has a very good section on 'Agents' including how and why to get an agent. The Knowledge also has a comprehensive list (see recommended reading).

You will need examples of your work: scripts you have written or a showreel of short films that you have directed. It is very rarely worth approaching an agent if you have only made one short film, unless it has been incredibly successful. Once you have more than one example, it is worth trying to find a connection, like a friend of a friend, to make a recommendation. Agents receive huge amounts of material so you need to have something to make your work stand out and encourage them to look at it, so if it has won prizes or comes with a recommendation they are more likely to look at it.

It is a competitive industry but persevere, both in building a body of work to show off your talent but also in trying to secure representation.



These are just a few of the terms used in this guide. See the right-hand column for a collection of online filmmaking glossaries.

deal memo - Outlining what two parties want from the deal. Often done in the form of a one-two page letter and as a precursor to a full contract, but can also stand alone as an agreement.

distribution - Getting your film seen by more than your family. Distribution refer to any form of distribution such as, having a film print made, internet streaming, or festival screenings – any way that you can get it out there is distribution.

exclusivity - Used in terms of rights and gives the buyer of the rights the exclusive use on the work.

grading - A grader will go through your film and correct each scene to achieve the exact colour and tonal qualities that you want.

in perpetuity - Used in terms of rights and licensing, meaning forever.

outline - The plot structure to your story, avoiding unnecessary embellishments.

post-production - Everything that takes place once the film has been shot. Including editing, grading, music, visual effects.

synopsis - A brief description of the overall story.

treatment - Describes what happens in the story, following the plot structure and looks in detail at what happens. Normally does not have dialogue