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!
What is the Austin Film Meet Short Film Challenge?
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!
The Austin Film Meet Short Film Challenge is a collective of individuals who come together to make films under the following conditions:
- Everyone has something useful to contribute.
- Learning is key to success.
- In regards to the process of filmmaking, the journey is the destination.
- Pay-it-forward pays back in the long run.
What is the time commitment?
Austin Film Meet Short Film Challenge gathers on Tuesdays most weeks from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and also at various other times needed to complete the film productions. On-set production typically consists of around two to four 6(ish)-hour shoot days. Exact time commitments are dependent on the specific project and your position on that team.
What if my time is limited? Can I attend sporadically?
Yes! 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. Fellow filmmakers and the project will be depending on you!
Can I come to the instructional events if I’m not on a production team?
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.
What if I can’t make Tuesday nights? Can I still participate in a production team?
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 wish to be a Producer or Director, please try to attend at least half of the Tuesday meetings.
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
Is it free to participate?
Yes! It’s free but in order to participate in specific positions, you must be an active member of Austin Film Meet. (Membership is opening soon!) If you are unable to afford a membership, please let us know. Scholarships are available.
Do you still need donations?
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. Donations help us keep our programs and events affordable for everyone. We depend on your support to thrive.
Will I get paid?
All participants involved in making these films will be unpaid. No one involved gets paid. This is truly a grassroots, community project. We do it because we love it!!!
Can I help if I have no experience?
Yes! This program is intended to provide an opportunity for those with no experience in the positions they want to work. We need all experience levels.
Is this program good for me if I have a lot of experience?
Yes! Not only is this program designed to assist newcomers, but it’s also intended to provide a unique opportunity to those who are more experienced. As well as being a chance to serve your community by passing on the knowledge and expertise you have, this program gives more experienced filmmakers an opportunity to make their own films with in-kind labor. This program relies on filmmakers of all areas and all skill levels. Keep your skills sharp! Mentor others while having a ton of fun and building strong friendships. Strengthen your skills or try a new filmmaking position. We welcome you!
Will experienced and inexperienced people be working together on productions?
Ideally, teams will consist of both experienced and inexperienced individuals. While it’s not always possible to get a perfect balance, that’s the goal.
How many projects will be produced?
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 at the following season’s 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 crew positions.
May I direct or produce my own screenplay?
All first-time Directors and Producers in this program are required to direct or produce someone else’s screenplay before they may direct or produce their own. Experienced Directors and Producers may work on their own screenplays. This is meant to help filmmakers learn to share creative control. This also helps prevent problems that may arise over emotional attachment to the work and gives more people a chance to participate.
Can I direct a project if I have no directing experience?
This program offers a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers in new positions including new directors with no formal narrative directing experience. However, we expect that you will have some experience in other areas of filmmaking. If you have limited or no film experience, please work other film positions first.
Who will own the final films?
As is standard in film production, the producers, H.Cherdon Bedford and Austin Film Meet will own the final films, as well as the exact version of the screenplay indicated in the Screenwriter Agreement. Don’t worry! Our goal will always be to promote our filmmakers, their films and our organization. We will continue to promote the films and the filmmakers who made them and may submit them to festivals and screenings.
Will I get paid if the film makes any money?
Although there are not likely to be any profits made from the Short Film Challenge projects, any proceeds or income generated from the sale or distribution of the films will go back to the Austin Film Meet to better the organization and benefit future filmmakers of our programs.
How many people will be on each production crew?
Each production team typically consists of about 10-12 individuals, but may vary based on the project. Directors and/or Producers may remove or add additional support members to their team as needed. Those positions are:
- Assistant Director
- Production Designer
- Costume / Hair / MUA / SFX (if needed)
- Assistant Camera / Grip
- Gaffer / Grip
- Sound Design / Recordist
- Editor / DIT
- Production Assistant (if needed)
- Still & Set Photography / BTS / Promotions
Can I audition to perform in one of the films?
Yes! You can submit your actor info here.
How long is the program?
The Short Film Challenge runs in sessions. Most sessions are 8-12 weeks. During this time projects will go through Pre-production, Production and Post-production. Basic promotional materials will also be made during this time. Each session ends in a final screening party.
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 from other make-a-film-a-month groups?
Austin Film Meet has existed since 2008, hosted more than 450 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.
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!