top of page


Develop your skills in a real-world environment with our bespoke filmmaking project.


Weekend Filmmaking

Make a short film in a month across 4 weekends

Weekend 1 is Preproduction

Weekend 2 is Production

Weekend 3 is Postproduction

Weekend 4 is the Screening 

Check out our Screening Room for the films we have made


What the project involves

Over the month, we will work together to make a short film. Any participant can pitch their own short film idea. We democratically vote for the idea we'll make in the month. Participants fill crew roles. By the end of the month, the film is completed, screened, and can be viewed online.

Weekend 1 is the Pitch, where participants share their film ideas. We plan the shoot, which is Preproduction.

Weekend 2 is when we shoot, which is Production. The film is edited and sound, colour, titles and credits added (Postproduction). Lastly is the Screening, where the film is played to a live audience.

Upcoming Events

  • AOTS September 2024 LONDON
    AOTS September 2024 LONDON
    07 Sept 2024, 10:00 – 08 Sept 2024, 17:00
    Physical Location for Preproduction is TBD
    07 Sept 2024, 10:00 – 08 Sept 2024, 17:00
    Physical Location for Preproduction is TBD
    Make a short film in just one month with Action On The Side. The bespoke filmmaking project
  • AOTS October 2024 SHEFFIELD
    AOTS October 2024 SHEFFIELD
    05 Oct 2024, 10:00 – 06 Oct 2024, 17:00
    Sheffield City Centre, 41 Orchard Square, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2FB, UK
    05 Oct 2024, 10:00 – 06 Oct 2024, 17:00
    Sheffield City Centre, 41 Orchard Square, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2FB, UK
    Make a short film in just one month with Action On The Side. The bespoke filmmaking project | Weekend Filmmaking
  • How do you select the film?
    Every participant can pitch their own film idea. Once all of the ideas are pitched, we longlist the ideas. We compare each idea by looking at budget, location, cast, and challenges. We then select the film from the shortlist using a democratic voting process.
  • Can I pitch a script even if I'm not taking part in the project?
    You can pitch a script idea virtually from anywhere in the world as part of our Short Screenplay Competition on FilmFreeway.
  • Can I pitch an idea or does it have to be a script?
    We recommend participants pitching an idea have written at least a first draft script. The film is more likely to be selected if there is a script, and your original idea is automatically covered by copyright under UK law once you have it written (we cover copyright on the first day of preproduction).
  • What sort of films do you make?
    We make a narrative film of any genre. Previous AOTS shorts have been horror, comedy, drama, sci-fi ... anything! The script has to be no more than 10 pages and must be able to be shot during the production weekend.
  • Can I take part if I'm not in London?
    Yes. We often have team members travel to London for Weekends 1 and 2 only. If you cannot attend the Preproduction Weekend but still want to pitch, you can do so via FilmFreeway
  • Can I take part even if I don't have a script?
    Absolutely. Every participant has the opportunity to pitch, but that doesn't mean you have to. You will be involved in selecting which of the films we make though.
  • I can't make it every weekend: is it still worth it?
    Definitely. The first two weekends are most important; the second two are optional. ​ Weekend 1 Preproduction is where we select the script(s) and allocate roles. Weekend 2 Production is where we're on set shooting the film. Weekend 3 Postproduction is required for the editor and director; there is an optional 2-hour workshop for other participants. Weekend 4 is the Screening, 2-hours one afternoon. There is an optional 2-hour Review Session on Weekend 5. ​ If you can't attend the full day of workshops or the entire shoot, you can still take part. Just let us know in advance. ​ Note the Director will need full commitment for every weekend.
  • Who normally takes part in the project?
    Anyone can take part in the project, from absolute beginners who know nothing about filmmaking, to experienced filmmakers who want to learn a new role. We've had people who studied film who have never been on a film set; filmmakers new to the area who want to grow their network; and people who have an idea they want to make but don't have the resources themselves. Anyone and everyone!
  • How do you fill crew roles?
    AOTS is a skills development project. We ensure that the crew roles are filled based on the participants' goals and the skills they want to develop. The Director and Writer are chosen based on pitches. The other roles are filled by participants.
  • What happens if you are short of crew members?
    We aim to shoot with the crew members made up entirely of project participants. In the event that there is a role that we need to fill, the Producer will find a suitable crew member to fill the role.
  • How do you select the Director?
    After we have selected the film we will be making, prospective Directors pitch their creative vision using our bespoke pitch deck template. The Director is selected by democratic vote. Note the Director must be available for all parts of the project, including the review session.
  • Can I send you my details to take part in the project as a volunteer or to offer my services?
    The budget for the film is covered from the fee participants pay to take part. Our selling point is that participants get to develop their skills, gain experience and build credits by taking part in the project. It is a disservice to participants if someone else gets those benefits without registering for the project and contributing towards the film's budget. Crew roles are therefore filled from the project participants in the first instance. Any necessary cast or crew roles that cannot be filled by participants will be filled by the interns or sourced by the Producer; these roles will be filled through industry channels.
  • How do you find cast for your films?
    If we are unable to fill a cast role from our network, we will post a casting call. This will go out on our social media pages, mailing list, and industry pages. The casting call will ask for a self-tape.
  • I'm an actor: will I be guaranteed an acting role?
    We cannot guarantee that actors taking part in the project will be cast in a lead role, because the script is not selected until the project begins.
  • What does the fee cover?
    There is no such thing as a "no-budget" film. Your fee covers the cost for making the movie: on-set catering, insurance, location and equipment hire, transport costs, limited art department budget. Your fee also covers room hire for the preproduction weekend and screening, and operational costs.
  • I registered and now I can't attend: what do I do?
    We do understand things happen: email to discuss. Please see our Refund Policy.
  • Are there any discounts?
    Students can email us a scanned copy of their student ID for a discount code. ​ Participants who sign-up another person can contact the organiser for a discount code.
bottom of page