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IFFY Filming Tips and Tricks

See the below filmmaking tips and tricks to get you inspired and ensure your 2019 IFFY film entry is as polished as possible before submission.

Getting Started

  • Establish a timeline: the length of time it will take to put together your film is determined by how much free time you have available to work on it. It could take anywhere from 1 day to 6 months to complete. So, if your days are already jam packed with activities, start your film project early or make the most of the holidays and your available time.
  • Create your idea: the first step in the film making process is growing your story idea, whether it is based on personal experience or the result of an active imagination. Spend some time thinking about what the theme "Future – What is Possible..." means to you. Jot down some ideas and run them by family or friends to get their feedback.
  • Script it: once you have settled on your idea, the next step is to create a script. For a 1-3 minute film, the maximum number of script pages should be three. This is based on a general rule of 1 page = 1 minute, but can differ depending on how much dialogue you plan to include in your film.
  • Choose your equipment: if you don’t have access to a video camera to create your film, don’t be discouraged. Some great short films have been shot using a smart phone. You can shoot in either portrait or landscape orientation but make sure it’s consistent and keep the camera steady to avoid blurriness.


  • Creating a storyboard: you can download free templates online or start by drawing a series of boxes on a piece of paper. In each box sketch your scenes and give consideration to how close you’ll be to the subject, their position and the angel you’re shooting from.
  • It’s all in the details: stick figures will work just fine if drawing isn’t your strong suit, but remember to draw in all of your props. You can then add notes under each scene about location, script, camera movements, etc. The storyboard can be as detailed as you like and will be a useful tool when you start filming.


  • Top 5 tips for filming
    • To get the perfect shot or enhance the mood of a scene, experiment with your camera settings instead of relying on automatic settings.
    • When filming outdoors, shoot with the sunlight behind you.
    • To get creative with your scenes, mix up the angles and level that you film from.
    • Be wary of filming in noisy locations, such as near busy roads, as this can be recorded in your audio and make it hard to hear dialogue.
    • Keep your camera steady and if possible use a tripod to avoid shaky video.
  • Filming on a smartphone: if you don’t have a camera to film on, don’t sweat it. You can put together a film on your smartphone. To maximise your phone's potential, check out some handy YouTube videos such as this video by Jason van Genderen, an award-winning smartphone film specialist and director.


  • Paid and free editing programs: editing is an important part of the film making process. You can purchase editing programs such as AVS Video Editor or Adobe Premier Pro but there are also some equally great free programs you can download such as Windows Movie Maker, Lightworks or Wondershare Filmora.
  • Editing on smartphones: if you’ve filmed your entry on a smartphone, you might want to try some free apps like iMovie, PowerDirector or Movie Edit Touch.
  • Film format: don’t forget that your final submission for IFFY should be in either MPEG4, MP4, MOV, AVI or WMV format.


  • Free music: there are many different types of music that you can include in your film. You could try composing and recording your own music or sounds, or download copyright free music from websites. You’re also able to record your own version of a song that is no longer under copyright. If a composer passed away more than 70 years ago, their score is out of copyright and you’re able to reproduce it.
  • Music that requires a licence: songs that you hear on the radio are considered ‘published music’ and to use them you’ll need to apply for a licence from APRA AMCOS. Make sure to send us a copy of the licence if you’ve included this music in your entry.