Tom Barrance

Making a short film is a great way to tell your story. is packed with free advice, information and resources to help you learn about film and filmmaking.
Tom Barrance


Making a filmChoosing equipmentHow films workcreative ideas
training and adviceapps and resources

How to make a movie

Here’s a summary of the things you need to think about before you make your first movie.

You need to follow an organised process for planning, shooting, and editing and sharing: it’s explained here.  I’ve also written simple step-by-step guides to making a factual video and making a movie on your iPhone or iPad

If you’re a photographer looking to move into video, here are some of the key things you need to know about filmmaking. 

Choosing equipment

You need to choose the right camera and other equipment. I’ve compared the best affordable cameras for starting filmmaking.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can make movies with cameras costing under $300/£250, or even with your iPhone or iPad

This article will help you choose video cameras for children and teens.

Learn about film language

Film language means how you use pictures, editing and sound to tell your story. You can make your movie flow by following some simple rules about where to put your camera, how to frame your shots, and how to edit them together.

My package Editshots is a hands-on way to learn about film storytelling: it includes a complete short movie for you to edit yourself, with a step-by-step guide.

My interactive multitouch book Making Movies Make Sense explains film language and filmmaking from first principles for ages 9 and up. Designed for iPad, iPhone and Mac, you can get it from the iBooks Store.

Creative ideas

You can get lots of ideas by watching other people’s films. If you want to make original, creative films you need to learn from other filmmakers and watch movies you wouldn’t normally see, like this one. This section includes ideas about how to use still photos, film poems and poem films, and how great filmmakers have used sound.

Film education and training

I train all kinds of people to make movies, including teachers, artists, scientists, poets, health professionals, actors and small business owners. I’ve worked with healthcare organisations, schools, universities, drama groups, charities, nonprofits and businesses around the UK and in Europe.

Mobile filmmaking – using iPhone, iPad or Android – is one of my most popular courses. I also provide CPD for Primary and Secondary teachers, and filmmaking workshops for schools, youth groups and events.

Educational resources

I’ve produced a number of educational resources including Editshots (a downloadable practice film to edit on iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC, Making Movies Make Sense (an interactive multitouch book for ages 9 and above), and free PDF booklets about how to use film in schools. You can also download free templates to help with your film planning.