The screenplay

The starting point for all filmmaking is the screenplay. What is the story? Who are the characters? What is the most efficient way to tell this story in two minutes?

A standard rule of thumb is that one page of script equals one minute of screen time. If in doubt, read the finished script out loud and time it.

Have students read their scripts to the class to ensure that the story makes sense to everyone else. Feedback is an important part of developing a story and helps to point things out that the writer might not have thought of.

Because this is a 2-minute film, it is important that students are very clear about the message they want to communicate. Have them state the storyline – or the theme –in one clear sentence. This way, when they start to write story elements that take them beyond two minutes, they can come back to that one-sentence statement to help keep them on track.

Films can be comedy, drama, educational, mockumentary, a community service announcement or take any other form of genre the students best think serves their story.