This week on Eat My Shorts, we're going to do a little something different. Instead of coming up with a theme and finding a few short films that relate to it, I figured we would talk more about the vast resources available online for people interested in creating their own shorts.
While I'm definitely no expert, I've been involved in the making of a few short films and I'd like to offer this as my first piece of advice: Don't waste money on stupid things. Budget isn't everything. Lighting is a nice touch, but it's nowhere near as important as, say, your story and cast. Another key aspect in filmmaking is coverage. As defined by Wikipedia: "Camera coverage, in filmmaking, is the amount of film footage shot and different camera setups used in filming a scene. When editing, the more coverage shot means that there is more footage the editor can work with in assembling the final cut." Trust me on this one folks -- coverage is everything. Shoot the crap out of your film. In the end, while your day may be longer, you will be that much happier once you hit the editing room.
As always, feel free to keep sending me your shorts ... so long as I can watch them online. When it comes to a short film, any exposure is good exposure, and I'm always looking for something to watch. Please send all links, tips and suggestions to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Okay, let's go talk some shorts ...
Before I begin, I have to plug IFC, as they helped me find most of the online resources I will mention below. Yeah, so thanks IFC!
Now, you have a great idea for a short film -- but no industry connections, no money, no equipment, no crew and no actors. Sound familiar? For those folks who do not reside in New York, LA or Austin, finding the necessary resources to put together a short can be quite tough. However, with just a few clicks of the mouse, you can be well on your way.
First stop: Craigslist. Depending on where you live, Craigslist, if used correctly, can be a great tool. Whether you're looking for crew, cast or equipment, throw up a post and try to provide as much detail as you can.
If you're a student, try heading over to studentfilmmakers.com. Aside from the community and various film festival announcements, folks can pay $10/year and have their own shorts hosted on the website. For students in the UK, stop by student-films.co.uk. This site also promotes short films and can certainly help get the word out. Both are definitely worth a visit.
Okay, so you're on your way to putting together a quality short film. You have a group of people willing to help out (hopefully for free), and a script that's done and ready to be produced. However, while you may be able to envision exactly what you want to happen, sometimes young filmmakers have a hard time conveying that vision to their cast and crew.
So, before you dive in to production, check out filmmaking.net, cyberfilmschool.com or filmmaking.com. All three websites are great places to visit before, during and after making your short. Besides the valuable community on hand, each site offers tips and suggestions via well-written articles, interviews and news.
Congratulations! You completed a short film. Now, you have this great product -- how in the world will you get people to show up and take a bite? Well, believe it or not, this is the easy part. Get your short online. If you or anyone you know can help put together a website for the film, this might be a good first step. Once you're film is online, you can send the link to people like me who will feature it on Cinematical and help land it in front of thousands of eyes.
However, if you also intend to submit your short to film festivals, you may want to check out the rules of said fests before throwing the film online. Some require the film to make its premiere at the festival, which could hurt your chances if it's already available online.
On that note, there are a ton of film festivals that specifically cater to short films. By doing a quick search, I found 37 of them on Yahoo! Also, IFC has a list of student film festivals that's definitely worth checking out. Long story short: Do your homework. Oh, and have fun!
Finally, I simply cannot leave you this week without featuring at least one short film. Mike Everleth from iFilm sent in this little gem called Oh Yeah! Basically, a bunch of folks got together and decided to re-create scenes from Donnie Brasco using the Kool-Aid man as an undercover agent sent to infiltrate the mob. Fun stuff, indeed.
Remember, if you want your short film to be featured on a future edition of Eat My Shorts, send all tips, links and suggestions to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Cheers!