What is the Austin Film Meet Short Film Challenge?

Get serious! Make a movie! Commit to making your film dreams happen! From concept to screening, practice the craft of storytelling using film and video. Improve your filmmaking game with hands-on experience! This project challenges a designated group of individuals who are committed to improving as filmmakers to work together as a group to create a short film from screenplay to screening with no budget and available resources.

This program focuses on accountability, completion and the process of filmmaking. Practice resourcefulness, creativity, technique and teamwork skills. Get better at the difficult art of filmmaking with each film you help make.

All positions needed! All skill levels welcome – there’s a place for everyone!

What is the time commitment?

Austin Film Meet weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30pm and also at various other times needed to complete the film. On-set production typically consists of four or fewer shoot days. Exact time commitment needed is dependent on the specific project.

Is it free to participate?

There will be no fee to participate during the 2023 Fall Season, but if you find the program of value to you, donations are extremely appreciated. AFM is operated entirely by volunteers and does not benefit from grants, government programs or corporate sponsorships. We depend on your support to thrive. We plan to charge a small participation fee in 2024 but will offer fee waivers for those in financial need.

Will I get paid?

All participants involved in making these films will be unpaid. This is truly a grassroots, community project. Do it because you love it!!!

What if my time is limited?

You can attend AFM events as often or as little as you’d like but if you take an assignment and make a commitment to helping with the production in a specific way, please follow through or allow us to reassign the job ASAP, as fellow filmmakers and the project will be depending on you.

Can I help if I have no experience?

Yes! Everyone is welcome to attend every or any Tuesday night and learn as much as you can about all phases of the filmmaking process. This’s program is specially designed to facilitate opportunities for those who want to stretch their creative wings. Improve your overall film game. Everyone can be helpful!

Can I help if I have a lot of experience?

Yes! This program relies on filmmakers of all areas who have more experience passing down their knowledge. Keep your skills sharp! Mentor others while having a ton of fun and building strong friendship. Strengthen your skills or try a new filmmaking position. We welcome you!

How many projects are you doing?

We have multiple projects running in parallel. The exact number depends on how many people show up & want to be involved. Projects can be started at any time during the season, assuming it can be completed by the season due date. Films that miss the due date may screen in the following season screening event.

Can I work my preferred position?

Yes! Submit your info for the positions you want. Your info will go to a shared database from which our teams will choose their crew. We do our best to get everyone who wants to participate a chance to contribute in their preferred areas, but we appreciate your patience and willingness to help in other ways, too. We hope you’ll stick around long enough to take turns working each of the core positions.

What if I can’t make Tuesday nights? Can I still participate?

Yes! It’s okay if you can’t make Tuesday nights. Of course, attending or Tuesday meetings will not only give you extra insight into the indie filmmaking process, but it will also help build, stronger connections within our community.

If you were unable to attend most Tuesday nights, you can still:

  • Write and submit a screenplay
  • Join a production team
  • Audition to be talent in a production
  • Offer a resource for art department
  • Offer a location
  • Loan your gear

If you wish to be a Producer or Director, please try to attend at least half of the Tuesday meetings.

If my screenplay is chosen, may I work on the production?

Yes! However, first-time writers in this program may not be a director or producer on the production of their own screenplay. You may work in any position except director or producer.

May I direct or produce my own screenplay? 

All first-time directors and producers in this program are required to director or produce someone else’s screenplay before they may direct or produce their own. Experienced directors and producers may work on their own projects. This is intended to aid filmmakers in letting go of creative control over their screenplays. This also helps prevent problems that may arise over emotional attachment to the work.

How many people will be on each production crew?

Each production team will consist of a minimum of eight individuals who make up the Core Crew. Directors and/or producers may add additional support members to their team as needed. Those eight positions are:

  • Director
  • Producer / Assistant Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Gaffer / Grip / Assistant Camera
  • Production Designer
  • Sound Design
  • Editor / DIT
  • Production Assistant

Can I bring my ego?

Please leave your drama at the door. Please come with a positive, can-do attitude. Always be kind, considerate, and remember it’s rarely all about you. Sometimes difficult decisions must be made quickly and for the sake of the project, not your feelings. You can always learn from others no matter how much you or they know. This is an opportunity to make lifelong friends and build a community that will support you through your filmmaking dreams. We can’t wait to work with you! So please, bring friends, but not your ego!

How is this group different than other make-a-film-a-month groups?

Austin Film Meet has existed since 2008, hosted more than 400 events and helped over 10,000 people in film and video. Our staff has decades of combined experience and knowledge in professional film and video production. We’ve never tried an official group project, but we know it’s gonna be fun and we’ll learn a ton!