How to Shoot a No Budget Short Film | Raindance Film School


How to Shoot a No-Budget Short Film

(4 customer reviews)


Date: tbc
Time: 19:00 – 21:30 (London), 20:00 – 22:30 (Berlin)
Duration: 5 Thursday evenings
Location: Online via Zoom
How Much? €219.00
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At a glance

  • Find out how to make a no-budget short film from pre-production to post production
  • Learn how to best approach your short’s narrative
  • Taught by a working industry professional

The short film is an art form in its own right. This intensive beginners’ course covers the basic tools a filmmaker needs in order to write and direct a successful first short regardless of budget. Throughout the course of 5 weeks, participants will be shown the techniques and concepts required to write and direct an indie short, and will be encouraged to complete exercises culminating in the development of their very own short film.

What will you learn?

Week 1: Introduction to the short film

  • Learn how to incorporate successful A- and B-plots into the structure of your short film.
  • Deepen your understanding of theme and character.
  • Study how backstory and context inform character, and how they can be used to create 3-dimensional protagonists on-screen.
  • Exercise: How directing and camerawork can be employed in order to capture text and subtext.

Week 2: Audiovisual storytelling

  • Critique and analysis of the first camera and directing exercise: focus on how very simple camerawork has the power to create text and subtext through shot selection, framing, and montage.
  • Develop your initial ideas for a no-budget short film together with the class.
  • Exercise: Learn how to capture the emotions of characters visually and how to create an intimate connection between the audience and the protagonists on screen.

Week 3: Developing your voice

  • Introduction to the concept of dilemma and conflict as the dramatic engines that drive a short film. 
  • Critique and analysis of week 2’s camera and directing exercise: learn how to frame characters so that the audience understands their thoughts and emotions. 
  • Identify the true conflicts within your own short films ideas, and learn how to translate the written word into visual elements.
  • Exercise: write a scene with a beginning, middle, and end.

Week 4: From the idea to storyline

  • Critique of week 3’s exercise: learn how to tell the shortest story unit — a scene with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  • Deepen your understanding of text and subtext by analysing the group’s short film concepts. 
  • An introduction to basic editing with simple step-by-step instructions.
  • Exercise: camera, directing, and editing exercise. Shoot a scene with a beginning, middle and end.

Week 5: Intermediate filmmaking

  • Critique of week 4’s exercise: understanding the power of visual elements (shots, film montage, edits) and how these tools tell a story with an emotional impact.
  • Learn how to employ two characters to create engaging conflicts and dilemmas on-screen.
  • Presentation of the outlines of your short film ideas, and learning how to develop your first script.
  • A final outline of the next steps to take as filmmaker.

Who should attend?

This course focuses on the basics of storytelling and guides you through the first steps in forging a career in the film industry through the development of a successful short film. The course will benefit beginners who would like to learn how to direct. Additionally, it is of interest for writers, producers, and members of other departments who want to transition into directing.

How will you be taught?

A mix of lecture-style, demonstration, and also practical instruction with tutor guidance. Participants are highly encouraged to complete exercises which culminate in the production of their very own short film.

About the tutor

Daniel Carsenty is a writer and director, with over 10 years of experience working in the TV and film industry. His first film After Spring Comes Fall won the award for best feature at the Vilmos Zsigmond Festival in Sziget, Hungary. Daniel began his career as a TV journalist for RTL and n-tv in Cologne. He later studied at the Konrad Wolf film university in Potsdam-Babelsberg where he wrote and directed several shorts and a highly successful trailer for the Cottbus Film Festival.

His first feature After Spring Comes Fall was nominated for three First Steps Awards in 2015 and premiered at the GIFF in Gothenburg. Daniel co-directed a TV documentary for ARTE and BBC Arabic about undocumented labourers in the Middle East and is finishing the post-production of his second feature, a documentary about human trafficking. His TV-series Hades is currently in the development stage. As a fellow of the American Film Institute, he lives in Los Angeles, where he is writing his third feature film script.

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4 reviews for


How to Shoot a No-Budget Short Film

  1. Davorka Bakota

    A brilliant hands-on directing course! Taught by the wonderful director Daniel Carsenty who, through challenging but hugely rewarding homeworks, makes you develop your short film story and outline, write a scene and then go out there and shoot it. The classes are very collaborative and feedback focused. No other course has had such a direct impact on making me feel like I’m already a significantly better filmmaker having had this class experience! Highly recommend!

  2. Julian Slade (verified owner)

    Daniel Carsenty’s enthusiasm and knowledge drives this course along at a cracking pace. It delivered all and more of my expectations, from theoretical to practical. Over the 5 weeks (Thursday evenings) we explored an amazing amount in the quest for the short film techniques. By the end we had truly developed a ‘muscle’ for the job.

  3. Julian Slade (verified owner)

    Daniel Carsenty’s enthusiasm and knowledge took this course along at a cracking pace. The 5 weeks (Thursday evenings) really covered a mass of theoretical and practical skills keeping it interesting and challenging. By the end of the course I felt that we’d developed a ‘muscle’ for the art.

  4. Annie Grace (verified owner)

    Daniel’s course really helped me get to grips with understanding the story structure of a short, alongside learning more about the practical elements of creating a micro-budget film across areas such as lighting and direction. I’d highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to make their own work or collaborate on tight-budgeted projects – the hands-on weekly homework tasks really helped turn theory into practical knowledge, and the engagement of all class participants each week meant we connected as a group of future colleagues!

  5. mm

    Elliot Grove

    So glad you enjoyed this course. We hope to bring Daniel back for more of the same!

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