Filmmaker and Sundance Lab alum Joey Ally has made three short films. She talks about what she's learned about writing scripts, translating them to her crew, and how learning to attach everything to story has prepared her for her first feature.
Key Insights

  • Making short films allows you to learn the many aspects of filmmaking which can prepare you for larger projects and deepen your creative conversations.
  • A screenplay is a roadmap for what you’re going to see and hear; if you’re both writing and directing the short film, you can include more character direction, camera movement, and scene description.
  • When rewriting for budget, establish and communicate the essential scenes to tell your story. Pare everything back to these essential beats and make sure it fits your budget, then add a few extras if you have the money.
  • Always tie everything to story - that way whatever challenges arise, you can have a clearer view of the choices you need to make.
  • It can be tempting to try and rush your career. Allow yourself time to learn and build your skills, so that you can be the best version of yourself as a creator. 

Los Angeles, CA, USA
Joey Ally is a writer, director, actor and musician. Her feature directorial debut, THE HATER, in which she also stars alongside Bruce Dern, Meredith Hagner, D'Angelo Lacy, Ali Larter, and Nora Dunn was recently released by Vertical Films in theaters and on V.O.D. Her short films have screened internationally including at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, and BFI:London, and online with Vimeo Staff Pick Premieres and The New Yorker's "The Screening Room." Her feature films have been developed through the Sundance Institute's Screenwriters and Directors labs, Catalyst and the Creative Producing Summit. Joey is the 2019 recipient of the The Adrienne Shelly Foundation Women Filmmakers Grant x Sundance Institute, and an alum of the Williamstown Theater Festival Apprentice Program, American Film Institute Directing Workshop for Women, Tribeca/Chanel "Through Her Lens," AFI/Fox Directors Lab, and the Universal Pictures Directors Intensive. more...

Join the Discussion