John August turns his advice laser on short films.

He’s brief. I can be briefer in summation: 1. Set the stage quickly – characters, location, tone. 2. Make sure we know what the hook is by 1/3 way in. 3. After that, just exploit the joke or moment – or whatever is the climax – as fully as possible.

Speaking of shorts, the short I’ve been working on since last May, “Stull,” is getting closer to completion. The climactic special effect is about 95% of the way there. The edit is pretty much locked, although not officially, since I don’t have anyone waiting to do the sound mix.

(If there’s anyone in LA who would like to work for credit – and access to a sweet little ProTools mixing suite – shoot me an email: makingthemovie AT gmail DOT com.)