How to Create Short Form Content That Will Get You Noticed for Feature Films

Hosted by Tyler Gillett


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Tyler Gillett

Webinar hosted by: Tyler Gillett

Founder/Director at Radio Silence

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. One of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, his recent film credits include the 2012 Sundance hit "V/H/S," 20th Century Fox's "Devil's Due" and The Orchard's "Southbound." He currently has feature projects in development at Fox Searchlight and Rough House Pictures. In addition to his film credits, he has sold three television shows -- a horror anthology to NBC, an action comedy to Comedy Central, and an adventure show to Disney XD. Tyler got his start working with the online comedy group Chad, Matt & Rob whose work has garnered over 100 Million total views on YouTube.   Full Bio »

If you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring storyteller, you’re probably well aware that no path in this business follows a straight line. There’s no recognizable ladder to climb. No standardized “five-year” plan. There are so many questions – How do I get my start? How do I tell stories that inspire me? What’s the right story to tell? How do I find an audience? How do I get recognized? So many questions and no hard and fast “right” answer. 

With the rise of digital technology, storytellers now have access to a new and incredibly valuable set of tools to help sell their ideas. Shooting a compelling short film, web series, or proof of concept has never been easier – and it is one of the most effective ways to practice your craft, showcase your voice and set your work apart from the rest of the pack. But there’s a catch – the increased accessibility of these tools has lead to a dramatic increase in the amount of content created and it has become much harder to cut through the noise and really stand out. 

We've brought in studio director, writer & producer Tyler Gillet to share his own path and how utilizing these tools helped him move from directing zero-budget digital shorts to directing and producing feature films and TV. Along the way, we’ll discuss how to conceptualize and create low-budget, high-quality short-form content that will wow financiers and producers and help you sell yourself and your ideas to a larger audience.

What You'll Learn:

Navigating the catch 22s of being a “first-timer.”

  • The inherent risks of the business and how to set you and your idea up for success.  

The many benefits of short form storytelling.

  • Fine tuning your idea. Solidifying tone, style, world and characters.
  • Designing the terms of your own proving ground.

Finding the right idea & genre.

  • The types of “proofs of concept” that get noticed and why.

The must-haves for any successful short.

  • What you must include regardless of genre.

Common pitfalls of short form content. 

  • Storytelling pitfalls and how to avoid them.
  • Technical problems and how to avoid them.

Short films as proofs of concept: what part of my “feature” should I tell?

  • Choosing the most compelling scene/moment from your feature. 

Getting it made: maximizing your time and money

  • To crowd source or not to crowd source – the pros and cons of borrowing online.
  • Other methods of financing short work.

Developing with limitations in mind.

  • Solving scale/world build problems with character.

Creating your own production model.

  • How to build your production family.

How to successfully integrate low-budget VFX.

  • Selling spectacle for next to nothing.

Releasing your work.

  • Film festivals.
  • Short film competitions.
  • Online platforms.
  • Partnering with streaming services.

Preparing for the next steps.

  • The other materials in your creative arsenal.
  • Lookbooks and ripreels.

Examples we’ll discuss/cite.

  • Leviathan
  • District 9
  • Whiplash
  • Lights Out
  • Boogie Nights
  • Chronicle
  • Boogie Nights
  • Amateur Night
  • 10/31/98
  • Mountain Devil Prank
  • Transmission


About Your Instructor:

Tyler Gillett is a film, television and new media writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. One of the founding members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, his recent film credits include the 2012 Sundance hit "V/H/S," 20th Century Fox's "Devil's Due" and The Orchard's "Southbound." He currently has feature projects in development at Fox Searchlight and Rough House Pictures. In addition to his film credits, he has sold three television shows -- a horror anthology to NBC, an action comedy to Comedy Central, and an adventure show to Disney XD. Tyler got his start working with the online comedy group Chad, Matt & Rob whose work has garnered over 100 Million total views on YouTube.


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