Hows's My Driving

Youth Film Project: How To Make Your Film

If you've been inspired to make your own 1 minute film on your views on road safety then below are a few hints and tips to get you started.

Watch other films to get ideas

No-one works without borrowing ideas from other people. View the films at Youth Films to see what other people have done. Then think about things that you have witnessed when you have been in a car or walking along the road. What youngsters do see are those small bad decisions that adults make that can cause an accident or a near miss. Often it is when they are distracted from doing the important job of driving safely.

Keep it simple.

Once you have decided on one idea, make sure you keep it to that one idea. A simple story is much more effective. You will need to decide on where it is happening, who are the characters and what is that one bad decision that the lead character takes and the outcome. The bad decision is what I call the 'Oh no' moment such as when someone takes off a seatbelt or picks up their mobile. You want your audience to also go 'Oh no!' as they know that the outcome isn't going to be good.

Use the audience's imagination to tell the story.

Most of us haven't got the budget to stage a real car crash or film safely on the public roads. This is where you can use your imagination and that of your audience to tell your story.

See the three images below. What is the story are they telling?

Now most people say the story is about a man who comes to a nasty end because of a lion attack. But none of these images are related to each other in real life. Our imaginations fill in the gaps and create a story. Once you are aware of this you will recognise that film makers use this trick all the time and you can also use it.

If you want to have an accident in your film, what images can you use to tell the story of that accident without actually showing it?


Sound is also very important and can really highlight the drama of your film. The sound of screeching tyres or a crashing noise also makes the audience believe that something is happening even if they don't actually see it. It is fun recording your own special effects (SFX) thinking of how you can create the sound you want.

Watch some TV commercials

Even though 1 minute doesn't sound much time to fill, it is much longer than you think. Watch some TV commercials (with the sound off is better) and count how many times the camera shot changes. You will be surprised how many different shots are used to create the story.

How do different shots make how you feel about different parts of the story? A close up shot makes you able know what emotion a character is feeling or shows something important happening, whereas wider shots establish the setting, where it's happening and who's in the story.

There is a blank storyboard sheet attached for you to have a go and draw out your film. This enables you to experiment with which shots are best to tell your story.


You cannot use any commercially available music in your film as this would breach copyright and will not be uploaded to YouTube. If you or a friend has written their own music then that would be OK but you need to tell us.

Before filming

Planning is essential before you even start filming. All film-makers do this and wouldn't dream of going on a shoot without knowing what they need to get. Having to re-shoot things because you hadn't planned and didn't get what you needed is incredibly costly and time consuming. You need to have worked out where you are shooting, what props you need and who will be acting in front of the camera. Remember to be safe!!

Getting your film to us

Once you've finished your film and have edited it so that you're happy then send it as one complete video file to us via email along with a completed release form (attached below). We look forward to seeing your films!