So You’ve Made a Short Film... Now What?

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So You’ve Made a Short Film... Now What?

At the 5th Annual Hollyshorts Film Festival last week I came across a great panel on short film distribution moderated by Roberta Marie Munroe (How Not to Make A Short Film: Secrets from a A Sundance Programmer) at the Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.

Munroe along with panelist Todd Luoto, Sundance Film Festival and Independent Filmmaker; Carson Mell, Independent Filmmaker; and Orly Ravid, New American Vision, took us down the long and windy path of film distribution as it relates to short films. Historically, short films have been seen and treated as the redheaded stepchild of the film world. What exactly are you supposed to do with a 7 to 10 minute film where features are king? Well it seems that you need to answer that question long before you turn on your camera.

According to Munroe and the panel one of the biggest mistakes filmmakers make, and there seems to be plenty, is not figuring out who they are making this film for. If you only plan to show your comedy gem on Youtube then you don’t have to worry about any of this, but if you are interested in a film career and your short seeing the light of day then you might want to heed their advice.

It all starts with the story. If you have a crappy script, you will end up with a crappy film. No amount of editing, music, or over-the-top post special effects will be able to cover the crappiness. Really put the effort into coming up with the best script that you can. Have other people read it (not just your girlfriend who thinks everything you do is brilliant) who can give you sound feedback.

When you cast your film make sure you understand the SAG talent agreement  if you choose to work with union actors. According to Luoto you have a lot of work ahead of you once you sign on for that relationship. So if your best friend is Will Smith and he loves your sci-fi-comedy-adventure film enough to star in it for you; remember — he is a SAG actor and there is a lot of shit and paperwork that comes with his generous offer.

Make sure you have all your clearances in place. Now



Comments [5]

minniesota's picture

Gracias

Michelle, thanks for all the information on the complexity around making short films. I will appreciate the good ones I view all the more now.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

chelilektra's picture

Shit!

I totally have to close my SAG Agreement. I'll never work in this town. Period. And, I guess by this town I do mean the United States of America.

________________________________________________________

"Bitch, what you don't know about me is that I can just about fit in the Grand fucking Canyon. Did you know that I always wanted to be a dancer in Vegas?" Silent Bob

Robin Rigby's picture

I would add that if you're an

I would add that if you're an actor trying to create a vehicle for yourself, have an actual screenwriter write the script and get an editor to cut it. Actually, this pretty much goes for anyone. The worst films I've seen at festivals or submissions I've screened have been the films where one person tries to do it all.

chelilektra's picture

Well...

That's not how Vin Diesel did it. Wink Eh! Eh! Or what about that Welles guy? He was neat. Oh my God... Best idea at 2am ever... I'm going to watch Citizen Kane!

________________________________________________________

"Bitch, what you don't know about me is that I can just about fit in the Grand fucking Canyon. Did you know that I always wanted to be a dancer in Vegas?" Silent Bob

RobertaMunroe's picture

Short Film Distribution Panel - Michelle Sewell Blog

Michelle,

Thanks so much for sharing the information as far and wide as possible!.

We had a great time on that panel and you were a great addition to the group!

All my best,

Roberta

http://www.HowNotToMakeAShortFilm.com

All my best,
Roberta
http://www.RobertaMunroe.com