This article is for anyone who’s thinking about making a short film for the first time or anyone who is starting out.

Film is the most expensive medium to tell stories and create art. When you are passionate about telling your story and directing your first short film it is easy to go through all of your savings and find yourself in debt.

Here are a few ideas to save money when you are first starting out and learning the craft of filmmaking.


The cheapest way to make films is with pen and paper. The main expense when it comes…

If you’re working on a screenplay whether it’s a feature or a short film that you plan on producing in the future, there are a number of pitfalls associated with writing a role for a specific actor, even if you know them personally.

Chekov wrote some of his plays for a theater ensemble. As a writer, this can give you a lot of advantages. When you are able to write for an actor you know personally, you know their quirks and you can write something to fit their personality. People we know can inspire our work. I feel like a…

I started writing about creativity and filmmaking about four years ago. That was after screenwriting and being on set for about ten years. I have wanted to share stories for a long time. I’ve written novels, short stories, plays, and feature length screenplays.

The Pivot

Three or four years ago I decided that I needed to turn my focus from making short films to developing and producing feature films. Some of the stories I want to tell wouldn’t be feasible in a short film. …

Thank you for checking out this article. I think it has helped a number of our filmmaker colleagues. For the past couple of months I've focused on screenwriting and I think that's helped me get more work done. I hope to get back into production later this year.

Robert Belushi in Squarehead

After writing the first six episodes of the Squarehead web series, we put out a call looking for crew. We met and soon hired J. Trevi Albin. He had a wide variety of professional experience and he was passionate about telling an independent story.

We used Craigslist as a way to find filmmakers in the community. This was my first excursion into filmmaking and we didn’t have some of the resources we have now.

We posted a casting call via Craigslist as well.

A couple of our crew came from personal connections. If you can put a crew together from…

The joy of printing off a feature length script.


As a screenwriter, as a creative, your goal is to share the emotions you have felt with your audience. The struggles, the failures, the wins, the sad days, and moments of joy. How do you translate an experience you’ve had into a story that will connect with others on a deeper level? How do you make people laugh when ultimately you’re not telling the joke?

The Blueprint

Writing a screenplay is creating a blueprint for a piece of content that will be made by people you may have never met and actors you may have no control of casting.

I’d like to talk a little about my first short feature, Gun Story.

In April of 2019, with two crew and two cast members, we drove down to Knob Creek, Kentucky. The whole feature was structured around a road trip to a gun shoot.

I had dreamt about making this feature for a couple years. One of the initial inspirations was from a news story I read about two friends who were hiking and camping across the United States in support of their Second Amendment rights. During one night in camp one of the hikers accidentally shot the other.


All you need to become a screenwriter is the desire, a pen and a piece of paper.

Start Writing

There is a lot to learn, but you can learn that along the way. The most important thing is to begin a daily writing practice. In my article, How to start a screenwriting career, I talk about some of the initial steps you can take to learn screenwriting and in my article, How I started screenwriting, I talk about how I got started screenwriting.

If you decide to go to school to study screenwriting, I would highly recommend writing a short film script…

The ideas are out there

Robert Belushi played Squarehead

When I was in my late teens / early twenties I was hanging out with my uncles and a couple of their friends. They were telling stories from their life in the seventies about the adventures they had and their friends from those days.

They told me about one of their friends who had started taking morning glory seeds. This person was taking the seeds for the psychedelic effects. However, over time they took on strange characteristics. They started walking around in a suit all the time. At their apartment, they had written on the…


If you want to be a screenwriter, you got to write. Finding ideas and sitting down and writing are two of the most difficult things to do when you are starting out. It doesn’t matter if you know what a scene is or dialogue or a parenthetical or a beat, if you want to be a screenwriter, you need to get in the habit of writing every day. Do the verb.

What is your favorite movie?

If you do a web search of your favorite movie + screenplay + PDF, there is a good chance you will find a version of the screenplay for your…

Lance Eliot Adams

Chicago filmmaker. over 20 short films, 160 article posts, thank you for stopping by. For my short films, check out:

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