Short Films Tell A Story Quickly, Concisely, And Cleverly… And Are Gaining The Attention Of The Film Industry “Power Players”!
Some may think it is a fad but to contemporary Hollywood and Winter Palace Films the short film has become serious business, even though to movie fans it is often as a film festival afterthought. However, unlike the movie fans emerging filmmakers are hot on the value of the short film in the film market, today. With the recent few years’ successes of shorts, often enhanced by the power of YouTube, the word has spread quickly transforming how Hollywood views these miniature movies. Studios and financiers have always said they like to see as much of the movie as they can, figuratively, before they develop it. With shorts, this literally can be accomplished.
Shorts from filmmaking neophytes are seizing the imagination of some of the film industry’s biggest names, seeing them not just as a calling card for new talent but also as the basis for compelling, theatrical material. With the potential of viral explosion, shorts are gaining buzz in real time, as stars, producers and agents send links to one another under a blanket of conspiracy and innovative financial findings, likening Hollywood’s new hunt for success to the California Gold Rush. These smaller compact stories are quickly becoming profit motives and creative templates for the film industry, and some shorts have already inspired Oscar nods. Also with viewer traffic so easily measured, either at film festivals, online, or in the theaters, it can reassure development, marketing and focus group-minded studio executives of an audience for a filmmaker’s work.
The most inspiring comment we at Winter Palace Films has heard promoting shorts is a quote from Peter Schlessel, Sony’s President of Worldwide Affairs, who spearheaded the successes of the well touted film, District 9, which was rumored it was derived from the short film, Alive in Joburg. Peter said of the film’s rookie director, Neill Blomkamp, “A good short tells you that a filmmaker can handle a story, that he has vision and that he has the ability to convey emotion, which are all things we saw with Neill. You can never take something like that and build a business plan around it. But if it worked once, it could work again.”
However, it’s more than just one success causing the Hollywood “Power Players” to go shorts-crazy. Every year we are hearing of short after short being developed into feature films gaining both limited and wide theatrical release. As the great graphic novels became all the rage a few years ago offering studio executives more tangible representations of story ideas, shorts do graphic novels one turn better because they show how a finished film might actually be positioned in the film market. And, isn’t the film market where we want our film projects?
If you are not an expert at advertising and marketing there are entities available to guide you with your short film project through the confusion of film festivals, marketing including social media, website presentation, and viral marketing, and other exhibition options to gain notoriety and exposure in the film market…and, they should begin by devising a plan for you and your short film’s or your short film screenplay’s anticipated success.
For more information see this blog’s contributor, Winter Palace Films.