3 Minute Short Film Ideas | Learn From Movie Expert

You might be looking for 3 minute short film ideas that you can use to improve your directing skills. If you want to make a movie for a festival or some kind of mass distribution without shooting and without a budget but can’t find, any idea then stay with me. I think I will just focus on stories that can be told for free and quite a bit for free. I like stories that bring a twist to the end of a unique film.

It’s just for gaining experience as a filmmaker, so it will be essential for anyone who wants more experience. Because, my production is not a budget situation and everyone can use it, only for credit and their show reels. So you can observe my ideas for becoming a skilled 3 minute filmmaker.


Why Does Short Film Popular? 

Short films are simple, chronological story progression by using natural conversation and the audience keeps their focus on the work throughout its duration. Short films are preferred because of its simplicity in order to get viewers’ attention that translates into high levels of retention.

Elements of a Short Film

A short film typically has the following elements:

  1. Script
  2. Director (or Cinematographer)
  3. Camera Operator(s)
  4. Sound Recordist/Mixer
  5. Lighting Technician(s)
  6. Gaffer or Grip (light maintenance and support crew)
  7. Production Assistant(s)
  8. Voice Talent (if necessary)
  9. Film Editor(s)
  10. VFX Supervisor(s) or VFX Artist(s)
  11. Sound Design and Mixer
  12. Foley Artist (optional)*

You can add more members to your team if you need them for specific tasks during the production such as: an art director, a prop master etc.

3 Minute Short Film Ideas- 5 Ideas


1. The Elevator


A thin boy climbed into the elevator. The elevator was empty then. To the 10th floor, he is willing to go. So he pressed 9 buttons. Then a few people got up from the second floor. Some people got up from the third floor. The funniest thing is that everyone who got on the elevator was fat.

The elevator space is almost full. Already the thin man in the first elevator is standing in a very narrow space. The fat people around him surrounded him, and he was about to catch his breath. The thin man suddenly saw the maximum capacity of 200 kg written in front of the elevator.

He then used the calculator of his mobile phone to add the approximate weight of the people beside him. He found that the estimated weight over was over 300 kg. Within moments the elevator began to shake. Meanwhile, the elevator has reached the fourth floor. The thin man saw another fat man standing in the elevator. Seeing this, he got terrified and ran out of the elevator.

Then he saw another elevator next to it, so he got on it. I saw some thin people there. He was very relieved to see this. After a while, he suddenly noticed that all the people were coughing and sneezing. In the meantime, the elevator stopped on the 8th floor. All the people beside him went down, and there was written The ‘swine flu treatment center’.

2. The Translator


A boy is reading a book in the library. Suddenly he sees a beautiful girl at the end of the library. The Girl likes the boy very much. At the Girl’s frequency, so he looks. Another girl was sitting beside the beautiful Girl. The Girl is the boy’s friend again. So the boy, called his friend.

Her friend thought the boy might like her so he call him. But when he approached, the boy said that he liked the beautiful Girl very much and the Girl was very jealous when she heard this. The boy goes on to speak to the beautiful Girl what is on his mind. Then the beautiful Girl was called. The boy was American, and the beautiful Girl was Sri Lankan. So no one understands each other.

But the boy’s friend knows the Sri Lankan language. So the boy asks his friends to translate his speech. So the Girl is working as an interpreter between the boy and the beautiful Girl. The boy told how much he loved the beautiful Girl. But the boy’s friends described the beautiful as “not very beautiful to look at, she is very ugly” and added that she did not like Sri Lankan girls at all.

On hearing this, the beautiful Girl angrily slapped the boy and left. The boy was surprised and disappointed by the strange behavior of the beautiful Girl and was very upset.

Seeing the boy’s condition, she was very sad and was very ashamed and remorseful for his mistake. So she went to the beautiful Girl and apologized for his mistake. She further said that the boy really loves him very much. (the Girl) lied about everything she said.

Girl  was feeling very jealous, so she did that. Suddenly the beautiful Sri Lankan girl spoke American that means English. She said in English that she understood everything about the boys because she knew English. But she doesn’t love the boy because she’s American, speaking this beautiful Girl, the beautiful Girl left.

3. Eden


A little boy named Eden and his father went out to look for some hidden treasure. Over a bridge they are going. Eden had an iron rod in his hand. He was making a noise on the bridge with an iron rod as he walked over the bridge, so his father forbade him to do it.

Then they saw a map and walked to a field. Little Eden continuous to annoy his father by asking various questions without realizing anything. Besides, the field is a high hill where Eden’s father has to go. So Eden’s father told Eden to sit in the field. T

hen saw the map and went to the top of the hill to look for the hidden treasure. Finding some hidden treasure and searching for more hidden treasures, he forgets to leave the boy alone in the open field.

After searching for the treasure all day, in the evening when he remembered his son Eden, he ran to the field to look for his son. But after much searching, the boy was nowhere to be found. The iron rod in Eden’s hand is lying.

4. Lame


A boy used to sit in the park every day. A girl also comes to the park every day. The Girl likes to see the boy, so she comes to befriend the boy, but the boy refuses the Girl’s offer. Even then, the Girl sends a note to the boy every day, but the boy does not reply to any of the Girl’s notes.

Then one day, the Girl fell in front of the boy willingly so that the boy could help her, but then the boy did not help the Girl. The Girl became very angry with the boy in her mind and thought she would never go in front of the boy again. At that time, a man came in a wheelchair and took the boy in a wheelchair.

Seeing this broke all the mistakes of the Girl. The next day the Girl sat down beside the boy and told him what was on her mind, but the boy did not answer, and when the Girl wanted to get up and leave, the boy grabbed her hand from behind.

5. The Black Hole

The Black Hole

A man is working in his office. He prints out a piece of paper with the printer. But for some reason, the paper was printed in a black circle. He was surprised to see it. Then he concentrated on his work again. He drank a cup of coffee at work and placed the cup on the printed black circle.

Strangely the cup fell from the hole looking like a black circle. Then he put his hand on the hole, and surprisingly the hand went inside.

He put the paper of the black hole on a fridge and put his hand in it.  brought food out of the refrigerator while it was closed, then placed the paper on the door of a room and opened the door with his hand from inside the black hole and entered.  placed the paper on a vault and pulled the money out of the black hole by hand.

He thus took out a lot of money from inside the vault, and to get all the money out of the vault, and he entered the vault through the black hole. But the black hole paper fell when he was kicked in the leg so he could no longer get out of the vault.

Some Examples of Popular 3 Minutes Short Films are:

– The Monster (2015) – directed by Bryan Bertino (director of the movie The Strangers (2008))

– Room 6 (2015) – directed by Juan Martinez Moreno

– Night Bus (2014) – directed by Nick W. Nicholson

– Witness (2015) – directed by Nathan Deming and Kevin Smith (the director of Mallrats (1996) and Clerks (1994))

– El Escuadrón Suicida: Apocalipsis (2016) – directed by Andy Signore

– Seven Minutes in Hell (2015) – directed by Josh Koury and Myles Kane (directors of the movies The Young Kieslowski (2010) and The American Scream (2012)).


If your story, character, and location are right, you can easily make a 3 minute short film. You can easily create a quality short film by following my ideas, but it requires hard work, must perseverance, and strives diligently. I hope here I give you 3 Minute Short Film Ideas Clearly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Is It Possible To Make A Short Film In 3 Minutes?

Ans: The short answer: Yes! There are countless examples of successful short films under 3 minutes. You may not get a very deep story in such little time, but you get an insight about life and how we perceive it through people’s eyes. A single moment can give us a very good idea on what’s going on inside the character’s mind.

2.When Is The Best Time To Make A Short Film?

Ans: Making a film during summer is one of the best times to do it. This way you’ll avoid distractions and easily find friends who are willing to help you whether they act or work behind the camera.

3.What’s The Hardest Part Of Making A Short Film?

Ans: Planning. Unlike a feature film, you don’t have much time to think about what’s going to happen and your mind does not have much time for creative thinking. You must be prepared before the shooting starts if you don’t want it to turn into a Nightmare on Elm Street.

4.What Are Some Good Ideas For Short Movies?

Ans: The beauty of short films is that there are no box office record-breaking expectations. That means you can try to test new ideas without fear, so if your film does not work during the first screening it simply means that this idea does not work for this audience.

So don’t be afraid to experiment! Many documentaries style shorts have won Oscars

5.Can A Short Film Be Made For Less Money?

Ans: Yes, under $1000. Of course, you won’t get the high quality produced by a professional studio such as Pixar or DreamWorks but if your film is about real-life experiences there’s no need to spend millions just to put them on screen.

Leave a Comment