In the year 2013 the Sundance Film Festival which is the ultimate gathering of original storytellers witnessed approximately 8,161 short films, a number that has been constantly increasing ever since.There is a myriadof the movie-going population in the entire world but sadly, many of thesehavenot hadn’t experienced much of the true short filmessence till very recently. This is a contrasting reality considering the fact that most of the world’s top filmmakers began with making short films. For example, Christopher Nolan, the mind behind ‘Interstellar’ started his career with a short film in 1997 named ‘Doodlebug’. A year after he made this film, he got a chance make his debut feature film ‘Following’ which he took to various festivals and has not looked back ever since. It is not just Christopher Nolan; celebrity directors like Steven Spielberg, John Lasseter, Gareth Edwards and many more have taken the leap into the feature films through short films.
When there are so many leading names in this industry that have benefitted from short films, then why should filmmakers in Delhi shy away?
But, before discussing why short films are essential, let us define what a short film exactly is. A short film may typically be defined as a movie that is created within the time frame of less than 30 to 50 minutes.
Five Benefitsthat make Short Films Essential
Let us make this clearer by presenting to you five benefits which suggests the why short films are still so important.
1. Short films Protect and Prepare you for your Career
The short filmmakers in Delhi NCR are attracted by the flooded market with numerous filming equipments and this attraction if not handled properly often ends up in a career that started with a downward career graph. With tools like shooting and editing in HD mode becoming quite affordable, many directors who are first timersdirectly start with a feature without first developing their craft and talent. Every filmmaker dreams of creating an exclusive feature that hits the big screen in the first go, rather this leads to spending more resources, money and time than that anticipated. The end result of all this juggle is often a poorly made feature film which only adds debt, frustration and a tarnished career.
On the contrary if you make a short film and it does not turn out well, letting it go can be easier and affordable as much has not been invested in the film due to its low budget nature. This experience can help you learn from your mistakes while giving you an opportunity to work again with more learning on the same project at a different time.
It is highly suggested to start with a few short films that are created within a reasonable budget. After gaining confidence on your skills on can increase their budget gradually and then experiment with a few more short films that resemble more with feature films.
It does not matter how affordable the cost of image acquisition has become, the extended run time of the feature film itself adds to the cost such as hiring the crew or renting the equipment.
According to Mark Ruppert, the creator of 48 Hour Film Project who challenges movie makers to create an entire short film in only 2 days, “a short film can serve as a calling card, showing future funders or partners what you can do”.
2. Effective use of the Emerging Platforms andIncreased OnlineAudiences
Short films are growing in demand due to the perfect combination of emerging platforms, newer online audience and a dire need of different types of content.
Film festivals, be it small or prestigious ones, both are now keeping time slots aside to accommodate short films as they attract different types of audience almost always ensuring a full house. The multiplex chains like PVR are selecting short films for screening them in theatres and viewers are queuing up to pay and watch them. Also a number of online platforms such as YouTube, Large Short Films, Hot Star, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tiny Tales, Humara Movie and many more are attracting audiences to their site by offering them with great content in a minimal subscription fee. Cineastes on ground are yet another example that is into screening national and international short films, within a nominal ticket price between rupees 200 to 500 per person with cold drinks, chips and pizzas.
Getting a huge audience is no more limited to just feature films; even short films now gain millions of views. For example, the Tisca Chopra produced and starred short film backed by Royal Stag’s Large Short Films- Chutney directed by JyotiKapur Das has gained worldwide viewership with almost 124 million views, probably making it the most watched film in the history of film industry. The benefits are not limited to viewership, for Chutney, Tisca Chopra also won Filmfare Award for Best Actor 2017 and the Filmfare Award for Best Short Film in Fiction 2017.
Jalal whose debut short film is Mehram says “At the moment, SFF is the place to be. Things change from generation to generation. This generation absorbs things faster so they want to express immediately. You have to say a lot in a very short time”.
According to Preety Ali of Humara Movie, an online platform that has produced over 500 to 600 short films since its inception in the year 2012- “a short film is a maker’s manner of experiment. It can be very challenging to work in a short format. The concept needs to be hard hitting concise and good’.
3. Short Films Provide BeneficialExperience of Film Festivals
When you enter the film festival with a feature film, the only focus is to sell it, which builds a lot of pressure. But this is not the case with a short film. With a short film one can screen their film, discuss distribution offers without the slightest of pressure to get a deal for your film. This is a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other filmmakers especially the ones who make feature films. Learning from their publicists and sales agents can help one understand what to do when it’s their turn.
4. Working with Professional Actors and Crew for Little to No Cost
Short films provide the filmmakers in Delhi an opportunity to work with professional actors and crew in almost no or little cost. Choosing friends and family members as actors and crew members may not give great results for producing, directing, shooting and editing. Thus, to create a quality film there is a need to hire professional. But unfortunately, this can cost a lot of money.
So the question arises how should one get professional cast and crew to work for your short film in a descent cost? It is advised to start with a great script and an even stronger vision; this will help you to attract some of the most talented professionals for your short film despite a low budget. These kinds of benefits increase the value of your project and thus attracting more actors and crew members.
When talking about getting the best professional actors on board, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) provides a lot of flexibility for short films. The SAG Short Film Agreement provides options like the ability to defer payments or pay union actors as little as $100 a day. With the help of professional actors one can improve the quality of their project while still becoming familiar with the formalities of the working with respect to the union.
5. Short films help Experiment with Creativity
Only if you are a great director like David Lynch, you can omit the rules. But if you are not, you need to follow some of the traditional rules of building a structure, storytelling and building continuity. But these limitations do not work for short films. The short films let you break free from the tradition and follow your creative streak by being more innovative as the short films do not experience the same commercial pressure as the feature films. The short film made by you can centre on any topic you may like, as you do not need to worry about marketing it like a feature film or to develop a potential audience. The short film can also be made as a way to practice the different shooting styles, the direction aspect and much more.
Making short films can uplift your energy levels and boost your creative streak. This happens because the short films have no limitations and anything is possible and acceptable in a short film. According to Ruppert, the biggest advantage of making a short film is that “they help the filmmaker find and hone his or her voice. A short is an inexpensive way for filmmakers to experiment and learn what works; that knowledge can then be used when the filmmaker moves on to a feature film.”
The Visual House is the paramount short filmmakers in Delhi NCR where creativity is presented with great professionalism that is topped with technical perfection. The Visual House is one of the prominent short and Ad filmmakers that is serving the national as well as international clients through a variety of film production services such as branding, IEC materials and marketing collaterals design offerings.
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