Writing a short screenplay, also called a short or a tenner, is a great way for new screenwriters to learn about film structure, technique and characters. Short screenplays are generally between 5-30 pages long, and feature a small cast and few locations. Writing a short screenplay may be your first step to creating a produced film that you can enter into film festivals and competitions.
Because of the time constraint of a short script, most writers choose to focus on one plot or idea. Subplots can take too long to develop, and can detract from the central theme of the script. Before you begin writing, consider outlining your plot, or free-writing to help you better understand what you are trying to say with the script. The clearer your picture of the theme, the easier it will be to transfer onto the page.
Michael Spurgeon is a published author (Let The Water Hold Me Down) and English Professor at American River College. Under his stewardship the American River Review Collegiate Literary Magazine has won numerous awards over the years for its content and presentation. The creators of SMOSH took classes with Prof. Spurgeon and with their themes and genre, created one of the most viewed Youtube channels of its type.
There is a real opportunity to soak up as much as you need in order to create the short form script that has the same effect on people as a full length.