How To Make a Short Film with a Smartphone

A step-by-step guide on how to successfully make a do-it-yourself short film shot with your phone.

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If you've ever dreamed of making a short film but thought it was out of reach... Think again.

This practical step-by-step guide will help you achieve that goal. And that's whether you're a beginner or even a more experienced filmmaker making their first short with a smartphone.

In this course I use my iPhone shot short film "Preowned" as a case study and with it will teach you the fundamentals of taking an idea and writing it into a script - and then actually how to successfully turn that script into a short film.

I cover these topics and more:

  • Writing a low-budget script
  • How to pay for the short film
  • Casting actors
  • Booking crew
  • Pre-production steps
  • Script breakdown
  • Storyboarding & Shot lists
  • Production advice
  • What gear to use
  • Post-production workflows
  • Director's commentary of "Preowned"

Included in the course:

  • 33 video lessons / 2.5 hours of educational content
  • PDF version of "The DIY Short Film Guide" (print it and/or have a digital copy)
  • PDF downloads of the "Preowned" script, storyboards, shot list and more
  • Production form templates (talent release, call sheet and more)
  • Other award-winning iPhone shot short film examples with behind-the-scenes
  • Additional resources and links (gear, apps, books and more)

The best thing too is once you learn all these skills, they will stay with you and can be used regardless of the kind of cameras or projects you make in the future.

Who is this course for?

  • Anyone wanting to make a no-budget to low-budget DIY short film
  • The lessons in this course can apply to any and all kinds of productions (music videos, documentaries, etc.), but are geared here towards narrative film

Suggested Requirements:

  • A smartphone and a video camera app. Any device, old or new is fine. And then a video editing app (doesn't matter which one).
  • This is a beginner's course, so no filmmaking experience is required. Though some familiarity with filmmaking terms and concepts would be ideal.
  • Please note: I use an iPhone and the FiLMiC Pro V6 app, but it does NOT matter what phone or app you use. This course is about making a DIY short film and not specific products (although some are demonstrated). If you're also looking to learn the Blackmagic Camera app then consider my comprehensive training course The Complete Guide to the Blackmagic Camera App. Or for more technical and hands-on gear training look at my course "Smartphone Cinematography 101". And if you're also interested in the post-production side of things consider my course "LumaFusion Color Grading 101.

***BUNDLE THIS COURSE AND SAVE to learn an experimental DIY filmmaking approach, too! Go here to learn more.

Don't wait to create! Start today and unlock the potential of the amazing camera you carry in your pocket.

Did you know iyou can also view this course on the Teachable iOS app, too? Yep. Download it here.

This course is also available on SkillShare for those that already have a membership there. Don't have a SkillShare membership? Go here to join and get one month free.

Your Instructor


The iPhoneographers is a YouTube channel and website empowering mobile and DIY filmmakers. We make tutorials, gear reviews, how-to videos, short films and more. Founded by filmmaker Blake Calhoun and telling stories with an iPhone since 2012.

Course Curriculum

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  A Short Film Case Study
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  Section 5 - Production
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  Section 8 - BONUS | Director's Commentary
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  Section 10 - DIY Guide and Other PDF Downloads
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Who teaches the course?
The instructor is filmmaker Blake Calhoun. He's the founder of the iPhoneographers' YouTube channel and has over 15 years of experience producing feature films, short films, digital series, commercials, music videos and more.
Are there subtitles or closed-captions?
Not yet, but closed-captions are being considered. The course is presented in English.
Is sales tax charged?
Yes it is, however, it is INCLUDED in the price. So you only pay the price that is listed and we cover the taxes.

Get started now!