Indie Shorts Awards Cannes

How to make a successful short film by Murad Abu Eisheh Academy Award Winner

Discover the secrets shared by Murad Abu Eisheh on his filmmaking process

Murad, being an Academy Award Winner, was this within your success expectations whilst creating this film?

Not at all, I was just creating a story that I believed in. Of-course, every filmmaker has aspirations, but those have to be put aside when creating a movie. To create a great movie, one must have his priorities in order, and gaining awards and honors should not be a motivation to make films.

How were you able to find the correct funding for your project and which challenges did you encounter while trying to fund it?

Besides making sure that you have a good script ready to be financed, I think the most essential step is to get really great producers that believe in the film and in you as a film-maker. I was lucky to have such outstanding producers around me, that would stop at nothing to get my films made.  Everything else is just a process.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in your project?

I am asked this question rather frequently, and actually, I would want to change almost everything in every single film I did. I feel blessed to feel this dissatisfaction, It’s somehow a sign that I am still learning and still on a journey to create better characters and storylines. Having said that, I also make sure to balance that with a feeling of self accomplishment, so I do not reach a place that diminishes my accomplishments.

If you could, please share five tips with us on how to create a successful short film for our audiences.

Firstly, I think the word successful has to be defined, as each person sees success through a different lens. But to answer your question, sadly there is no magical recipe to creating a good movie, but from my experience I would mention the following:

– Make sure you are making this film for the right reasons. 

– A film, no matter how short, is never a one-man show. So make sure you have the most talented people around you when creating your film, and make sure to use those talents, as a common mistake for young directors is actually censoring the creativity of other heads of departments. 

– Make sure that you actually listen and analyze all feedback that you receive, and the more important part is to make sure that you act on the feedback that serves the storyline and not your ego. 

– And for my last advice, is purely technical: Watch dailies when shooting. I usually sit in an editing room, every day after a shooting day, and I spend hours analyzing what we filmed and the performances of my actors. I can’t tell you how many shots I actually had to re-film, just because it was so obvious, that we didn’t have the take, or the angel we filmed was just off. That saved a lot of my films.



Thank you again Murad for sharing these kind words and taking the time to share your experiences with us.