A step by step insight into making a short film: An interview with Aletha Shepherd

Aletha Shepherd’s bio:


Aletha Shepherd is a British actress, director & model. She started her career modelling for various commercial campaigns. She then went on to travel the world competing in international beauty pageants including Miss World and Miss Globe where she won Miss Bikini and reached the top 10 finalists.

Aletha Shepherd’s most recent appearance sees her play a key role in James Franco’s film Roxana. From a young age, she was always performing. Coming from an artistic background of dance and poetry, which led her to take up acting, writing, directing and producing. She is currently developing a few projects under her production company, Shot Of Tea.​

How did you come up with the premise of Transference?

The writer had submitted the script to my company and we fell in love with the story.

How long did it take to write the first draft from the initial idea and what steps did you take?

We worked on a redraft for a couple of months alongside the writer.

When writing the film treatment what did you find was most helpful about having one?

It allowed us to raise funds by giving people a shortened version of the story.

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What were the main obstacles you came across in the pre-production stage of Transference?

Finding the main location was the biggest obstacle.

Once you had a final draft completed and accompanying materials what was your next step to bringing the script to life?

Getting a cinematic vision board so we could translate the look and feel of the film to our camera department then organising a schedule.

What was your strategy for having a short film funded?

Having a great script! We knew people would get behind it if it was a great script.

How did you find and assemble your crew for the shoot?

We used people we had worked with before on other projects as well as fantastic trainees from Signature Pictures who were our largest financial supporters.

What was your process when filming? Did anything not go to plan, if so, how was that resolved?

My process was to go with the flow and not be too strict on getting everything perfect. It was one of my least stressful shoots actually.

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What were your biggest learnings from the entire project?

Once I got to the edit I realised there were a few unnecessary scenes that we shot. This taught me a valuable lesson when it came to the script. If it can be said in a shorter amount of time and down quicker then do it and cut unnecessary scenes wherever possible, you will be grateful in the edit.

Any last bits of advice for anyone looking to become a filmmaker?

Just get out and find a film family who is as passionate about your project as you are.

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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