Getting the right script is a crucial first step in making any student film. It’s common for student filmmakers to decide that they want to make a film, and then immediately jump to the camera they want, the budget they’ll have, and the cool shots they want to incorporate—the story comes after, and it frequently shows in the final product.

So, first things first, write a script. It doesn’t need to be a summer blockbuster material—it can be as wacky as you want, but make sure it’s been redrafted enough times to have reached the necessary degree of polish. Remember, this script will end up on a screen, so if you feel like adding throwaway lines or a half-hearted conversation about the weather to fill some space, think again—every line counts!

While you’re at it, consider your poor audience in the cinema. Do they really want to sit through an avant-garde realisation of the experiences of a greenfly? Would you? Even if you don’t want the audience to enjoy your film—there could be other emotions you want to provoke—writing a script that tells a compelling story is essential to kickstart your project. Without a good script, there’s no point in filming.