Short Films, Mi ‘ Amour
I love short films – and what’s not to love? You get to watch tons of them, for free. You get to make decisions – finding your own opinion. You get to engage your mind into another idea or world – and the best part is – they don’t last that long. You may not like one of the films – or many – but the good news is – it’s over in a few minutes!
There is much to say about the short film. I will do my best to engage your attention with these snippets of – my opinion. I humbly thank you in advance….
The reason I got into the business of providing exposure for short films, aside from my love of short films – is to provide the filmmaker an opportunity to showcase their film in a safe, happy, populous place – and give them the opportunity to show their work. I love film festivals and completely encourage filmmakers to go through the festival circuit – but lets look at that… A filmmaker makes their short film – why? Usually to get work in the industry, it is a calling card – and a calling card across all avenues of the business. In a film festival, the filmmaker pays a fee and submits their film; along with some 4,000 other films – at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, probably the largest in North America, they receive over 4,000 submissions each year – only about 330 films make it into the festival (even films that receive the highest marks from the screeners do not always make it into festivals – it is about programming – more on this in another blog) – then what? It is bundled in a program with 8-10 – roughly- other films with a theme. Palm Springs does a great job of promoting the screening – probably why they are the largest in NA – but then what? There are tons more programs just like theirs with other themes that the festival is promoting – so the filmmakers need to be totally pro-active and promote their showing so people actually show up in the screening and vote for their film. IF – and I mean a big IF – their film is chosen as an audience favorite – then they get another screening. Again, then what?
Festivals are so great for filmmakers, but at the end of the run – their film sits on a shelf . We dust them off and present them in all their glory – to the world wide audience – on the web – on Mobile and also – on the amazingly hungry audience on PBS throughout Southern California – yes, that’s right – people (not just young people) LOVE short films! Lets explore why talent – on all levels, be it actors, crew, directors, producers, cinematographers – well, I could go on – reaches to each and every element of craft in the industry! Seriously! Most industry professionals will work on short films –and generally for no pay – to hone skills or enhance their abilities! It is a beautiful thing!
Actors, of all levels, as one example, make short films for many reasons – on a recent radio conversation about one of the films we are showcasing, ”Odds or Evens” which was produced by Jay Gormley, and stars – among others, Charles Baker, widely known as Skinny Pete in “Breaking Bad,” Charles said that he wanted to do this film – for basically no money – because he got to showcase his acting skills in a fashion that Hollywood does not see him. They see him as this hard guy. In this film he got to be a leading man… love interest, lover. He got to expand his range. This is a very good reason why actors (especially of note) do short films, Indie films, spec films – for next to nothing, nothing or points – so they can show they have the skills – to get more gigs and to expand their range in the eyes of directors, producers and studios. Here the radio interview
We interviewed Joel David Moore – one of the lead actors in AVATAR – he is Directing short films because he got to be on set with James Cameron – for quite a while – and studied and listened – so now he wants to get out there and test his skills in directing. This is his calling card – above and beyond the terrific career he already has as an accomplished actor.
People like to expand and evolve – in the entertainment industry – more specifically the filmmaking industry, making and/or participating in short films IS the ticket. But let us not forget the viewer – as I mentioned before – watching a short film does many things: it entertains (hopefully), it provides the viewer the opportunity of individualism – to make a decision of like or dislike – and in what way? This leads to personal decision making on many levels – like lighting, editing, music, acting, directing…… the list goes on. It engages the viewer in so many ways – it’s fabulous!
So, as we continue on in this journey together of the short film world, I will, by default, express many of my own opinions on films, choices, etc., but this provides you, our dear viewer and reader, more opportunities to … find your own individuality. Since I am also expressing my opinion/suggestion now and again, you also get to choose whether you like that or not. I am so totally up for the discussion!