November 29, 2016 at 4:08AM, Edited November 29, 4:09AM


Where to film my short film?

Hello, my name is William. I am 13 years old and is starting to write a short film. I want to film it at about 16-17 years old with more experience. I have written about 30 pages so far and the film would be about 40 minutes. I live in Taiwan (in Asia) and I hoped to a good film school in the future. I've heard that having made films or have experience increases the chance of getting in the school, and besides that, I have wanted to make thriller for a long time (not a crappy kind of YouTube video, but something cinematic and amazing).

So the question is: where could I film? I am hoping to get to the US during vacation to shoot it, and I thought Burbank would be a good location. I am worried that the permits would be expensive since many Hollywood productions have been there. Where would be a good place to film? I would require a city-like place, sort of like Los Angeles or New York. I am a low-budget filmmaker so my options are limited. Where do you guys suggest?



Why not shoot in Taiwan instead of yet another short in the U.S.? You have all sorts of amazing locations available to you. I've seen hundreds of shorts where the producer was going for something "cinematic and amazing". Almost all are instantly forgettable. I'd be more likely to pay attention to one from an "exotic" place made by local cast and crew. While I suspect you want to make an English-spoken project, I'm sure you have time to find enough connections to make it happen where you live.

November 29, 2016 at 10:28AM


I agree with Stephen. If you really can't, or don't want to change the script to make it fit to your location just finish it and save it for later. But you still should try to write something and shoot it there. If your case is the language, just do it in your own. These days even If you don't shoot in English you can still make it spread thanks to the internet.

Check this: it is not in english and made it to vimeo's staff pick. :)

November 30, 2016 at 3:06AM

Herman Delgado
Filmmaker, Editor


You really sound like you are very certain about what you want to do. I'll share with you a couple of thoughts about your situation:

1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Filming is very difficult, because you must pay attention to so many things that there's always a big potential to something not being that great. You mention "cinematic and amazing" as the quality you want to reach but reality is that it will be very difficult to get there (I don't doubt about your potential, just some warnings from a guy who has been there). Making mistakes is more about how you deal with failure and get over it. When I did my first short, after the shooting was complete, it was everything but what we wanted to be, but we found ways to make it work. Don't wait too much to make your first films, the more you can do, the better you'll be.

2. Be open to learn. Every project is an opportunity to learn, everytime you overcome obstacles you'll be acquiring new abilities and keep getting better at making films. Again don't wait "ideal conditions" to make films.

3. Don't compare yourself to others. It is always good to have a model or at least an idea of where you want to get, but keep in mind that there is so much in filmaking that we don't see, that making direct comparisons it is not always a good idea. I know that for us, Hollywood represents the "state of the art" of filming and having a piece that resembles those qualities is about feeling realized and capable, but reality is that our contexts are very different in our countries, so, we need to develop our own identity. I'm sure that you could be doing great films in your context and in your language. Not all Hollywood movies are good movies and not all the good movies come from Hollywood.

4. Surround yourself with people as capable or more than you. One aspect that I love from this is collaborations and the amount of good ideas that come from sharing this passion. This way you'll be able to work and learn much faster.

I know that this is anything about what you've asked, just wanted to share with you my feelings. I really wish you success and never loose the passion.

November 30, 2016 at 6:16AM

Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP

Writing a 30-page script at age 13? Damn, you go!
Wish I had that discipline in that age.

December 10, 2016 at 5:02AM

You voted '+1'.
Emil F. Skanning
Writer, Director, Editor

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