Prior knowledge

Activity – prior knowledge

Boom operator

Use your prior knowledge, of feature films, television episodes and documentaries together with this quote from Genevieve Clay-Smith to consider this question:

What makes a short film different from other types of production?

Short films can be produced in many ways. You can produce them professionally with the same crew that you find on long form projects, or you can make them with friends on semi-professional and amateur equipment. The increase of high quality and accessible technology, such as phones which can shoot in 4000 pixels (4K), means that amateur or beginner filmmakers can make a great short film on not much more than a phone, a directional microphone, and some lights.

What matters is that the story suits the way you are filming. For instance, if you try and re-make Star Wars on your iPhone, it’s not going to work. But you could come up with a clever narrative that suits a grittier approach to filming that would suit the gear available to you. Short films are usually the springboard for the growth and development of emerging filmmakers. Short films are also a format more commonly used in advertising to tell stories that feature a brand – this is called branded content.

 – Genevieve Clay-Smith


Type of production What is the average length of the film? How do audience members access the film? What is the purpose of this type of production? What is the average number of actors? What is the average number of locations?

Short film


Feature film


Television show





You can also complete this activity using this word doc.