Tips: Producing A Short Film: In Three Simple, Difficult Steps


Barry’s Bespoke Bakery (produced by Ben Keenan)


Ahead of his weekend course at Filmbase (18th & 19th June 2016), producer Ben Keenan shares three things you need to get right when producing a short film. 

Making a short film is hard, but going through all of that work without getting these things right would be a real shame…


1. The Right Script

The right script is better than the best script – choose something that suits your abilities, resources and sensibilities. Find out what kind of film you want to make and choose something fully do-able. A small victory is even better than a genuinely noble failure since it can show you parts of the process only available to filmmakers who finish films. When making a documentary, there should still be a script or vision for the finished film.



2. The Right Director

A functional and productive director-producer relationship is an expensive investment, so you should choose someone you can work with again. Often the script and the director come as a package, so make the decision based on both, with one eye on the proposed project and another on what you think it would be like to work with them again.



3. The Right Budget

Perhaps a little controversially, sometimes this is zero. Dollar-signed bags of other people’s money come with perfectly reasonable strings attached. If you are trying something experimental or trying to learn the craft, you are likely better off making something with little to no money. More freedom, lower cost on your mistakes, less visibility. You can also get a protracted shooting schedule which teaches discipline in continuity and allows you to review and digest footage as you proceed. As long as it’s a valuable learning experience for everyone on the crew and they know what they’re signing up for, it’ll be a fair proposition.


Producing a Short Film – With Ben Keenan
18th & 19th June, 1 weekend

Filmbase, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

€175 Members / €200 Non-Members

Do you want to know what it takes to produce a short film? This course is designed for anyone setting out to make their first short film.


Do you want to know what it takes to produce a short film? Producing a Short returns to Filmbase with experienced Producer, Ben Keenan (Barry’s Bespoke Bakery, The Chronoscope). Using successful short films as case studies, this course is theory based with some practical exercises. It is the ideal course for first-time filmmakers.


Course Content:

  • Relationship between Producer and Director
  • What a Director looks for in a Producer
  • Production Department – Who’s who?
  • Pre-production meetings
  • Short Films – Award Schemes
  • Legal Issues for Short Films
  • Script breakdown
  • Scheduling
  • Casting
  • Post-Production
  • Film Festivals


Ben Keenan

In 2009 Ben Keenan directed his first feature film, a comedy titled The rise of the Bricks, starring Emmett Scanlan, Eoin Macken, Ciaran McNamee, Cillian Scott and Cathal Sheahan. Since then he has gone on to work as a Development Executive for Fastnet Films and a Digital Content Producer in BK Media. He also produced and developed online comedy as Half a Giraffe.

Short films Ben has produced, including Barry’s Bespoke Bakery (Irish Film Board), The Chronoscope and This is Not A Conspiracy Theory (RTÉ), have screened at festivals around the world, including The Galway Film Fleadh, Eat My Shorts, The Underground Film Festival London, The Capital Irish Film Festival Washington, The International Film Festival Molodist in the Ukraine, The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival in Kerry and the Darklight festival.



  • 18th & 19th June, 1 weekend

Class times:

  • Sat 10.30 – 5.00 & Sun 11.00 – 5.30


  • €175 Members / €200 Non-Members
  • €100 Deposit


  • Filmbase, Temple Bar, Curved street


To book your place, contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information, email our training department at Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.