The SHORT! Guide to Producing: The Practical Essentials of Producing Short Films

Charles Merzbacher

June 18, 2018 by Routledge
Textbook - 300 Pages - 8 Color & 36 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780815394211 - CAT# K343329

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  • Presents a comprehensive, concise guide to the art of producing short films, covering everything from preproduction and planning to the producer’s role in postproduction and distribution, teaching readers about the skills and practice of producing at every stage of the process.
  • A single short film serves as the through-line within every chapter—combining best practices with real-life production scenarios—allowing readers to learn about the process via the lifespan of a single project.
  • A robust companion website (available at offers blank document templates (for contracts, budgets, call-sheets, schedules, and more), completed, filled-in documentation for reference, video interviews, and production stills.


In this book, Charles Merzbacher offers a concise, definitive guide to the essential skills, techniques and logistics of producing short films, focusing on the practical knowledge needed for line producing and overseeing smaller-scale productions. Drawing on insights from real-life production scenarios, veteran filmmaker and instructor Charles Merzbacher takes producers through every stage of the production process, from fundraising, preproduction and planning to the producer’s role in postproduction and distribution.

Key topics include:

  • Finding a worthy project;
  • Schedules and budgets;
  • Managing the casting process;
  • Recruiting and managing crew;
  • Location scouting;
  • Legal and safety issues;
  • Running a production;
  • Negotiating music rights;
  • And much more!

An accompanying website—available at—offers document templates for contracts, call sheets, budgets and other production forms, as well as sample production documents and short video guides featuring top industry professionals.


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