• Anthony Hett

How to write a short film - Giving feedback

Hello and welcome to my blog, where I offer simple and practical advice on how to write and make an interesting, engaging and hopefully successful short film.

In today's blog post I will be taking a look at Giving feedback.

Giving feedback can be another helpful skill to have.

Firstly, reading other people’s work and analysing, plot, structure, characters and dialogue can help you with your own writing.

It is also a good way to turn other writers into contacts and friends, and having the support of other writers can be invaluable. Reading someone else' work might also mean that they more likely to read your script in return or in the future and the benefits of having people who are happy to read your scripts and give constructive notes should never be underestimated.

Finally, if you are good at giving people feedback on their scripts, it can also be a way to earn some extra money.

So, those are some reasons why being capable of giving good feedback can be helpful, but how do you give good feedback?

Here are my top five tips for giving feedback.

1. Clarify

This is important whether you are the person giving or receiving the feedback. If you are giving feedback, be sure to ask the writer if there is something in particular that they want feedback on.

2. Be honest

It is important to tell them what you think. There is no point in telling them that it is brilliant if it isn’t. Hopefully the reason they wanted you to read their script was because they wanted your help to make it better. Therefore, it is important that you are honest with them about what can be improved.

3. Be encouraging

However, although it is important to be honest, there is no need to be honest to the point of being mean. Don't be afraid to tell the writer that there are problems with the script but also offer them some words of encouragement. Tell them what areas or elements of the script you think they executed well and that if they work on the elements you have flagged, you think it will be a very good script.

4. Be specific

Be specific on both what does and doesn’t work. Telling someone that you like a particular character or don't like a certain section of dialogue, is not very helpful if you don’t also try to explain why you have come to your conclusion.

5. Offer solutions

As well as explaining what you think are the issues with their script, try to offer them some solutions to fix these problems. The likelihood is that the writer won't like your suggestions but even so, it might help them to come up with their own solution. However, although offering possible solutions can be helpful, it is also important to remember that: A good reader never attempts to rewrite somebody else’s work.

And that's a wrap! Not only does that wrap up my thoughts on giving feedback but that also wraps up the How to write a short film series. In my next blog post - after a short break - I will be turning my attention to: How to make a short film.