Friday, December 4, 2009

The Value of Shorts

This was in responce to a recent forum post:

With it being possible to make a feature films for about 5k these days , short films shouldn't need to be funded! Well received self-financed short films are supposed to attract funding for future, bigger projects. It's a bit like trying to get a record contract advance just to make demos , shouldn't it be the other way around ?
I don't think that's right. It comes back to the value of short films and, while I would much rather be moving into features, I think there is great value in short films. While often scene as calling cards to get feature made, they are of course a cinematic format onto themselves, many artists exists and thrive in making only short films. Plus its fun to tell a short story, not every story needs to be or should be feature length, there's something really wonderful about a well crafted short film, they're perfect when done right, something that's not trying to be a feature squeezed in, but a story that only needs to be 5, 10, 15 minutes long.

To this end, like any story, some are more complicated than others and do need more money. While perfectly possible to shoot a film for next to nothing and get something of value that does some business, I did this with my film Bill, for short(made for nothing, got into festivals, got distribution) you will also have ideas that couldn't possibly done without huge backing. I have a few of those scripts gathering dust that I know could be great little movies. My last one was a short entitle Angelina, set in Paris and involving magic, no way I'm getting that done for anything under €60,000!

And while people might say "What's the point?! You could make a feature for that money," I say to them - Why not? Again - shorts are something different to features, why not be able to tell a short story - short stories in print have been around as long as novels. And what if that money is available for making short, specifically shorts, why not use it?! Great! You got money to make a film, go do it!

If I'm lucky enough to get to make feature films I think I'll continue to make short films, and if I can get €60,000 or more for one then maybe I can dust of some of these scripts and make some magical little films.

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