What Do We Like
After several weeks since the launch, and almost a month since we started accepting shorts, we are already starting to see patterns in the submitted films. Today we would like to take the time to tell our viewers and submitters what type of short films we like and will accept.
I will start by saying that although we may have our favorite types of film, it does not mean we will not watch or consider your movie. We have an open mind and think about what would satisfy our viewers first and foremost. We are not trying to discourage directors, but rather encourage them to put that little extra effort to make the film as professional as it can be.
So what do we like? To keep things simple, we like good movies! I know this is a vague description since most directors believe their work is good. So I’ll get into a little more detail about what kind of ‘good’ we like.
When we first started building Film Shortage and receiving our first submissions, our first thoughts were to find shorts with captivating scripts, but we soon realized that this was not enough. So we changed our main criteria to quality. So what do we mean by quality? We like short films in which the cinematography has been well thought out, where effort and time has been put into the photography and motion, as well as in audio and editing. “Tell” by Ryan Connolly is a perfect example of a top quality film. We do not expect Hollywood movies with massive budgets, “Tell” actually exceeds our standards by a mile, and we are usually less severe than other short film sites, however we do want to keep a high standard quality of films to our site. We also consider the performance of the actors, we are not as critical for this, but we like believable stories and this usually starts from the acting.
We also prefer shorter films, between 5 and 10 minutes. Longer shorts are great for film festivals, but don’t bring the same dimension to the smaller screens. In a theatre viewers are sitting down and you have their complete attention because they have nowhere else to go for the remainder of your movie. The internet is a different story! People have 4 windows open surfing different sites and getting constant messages from Twitter and Facebook. Online, the attention span is short, so you have little time to impress them. Keep it short and entertaining up to the very end, and they will watch until the end! Of course we do make exceptions, if you manage to keep our attention and interest on a longer film, we would gladly feature it on our site.
Do We Like Any Specific Genres?
Well like any human being, yes we do have preferences. But we most certainly will not discard your short if it is not our favorite genre! We watch the shorts as general observers and keep in mind the viewers, so if we think people will like it, we will feature it! Take a look at “Part” and “Pairs & Spares“, we don’t like romantics in general, but those are two great short films that we had to feature due to their great characteristics. That said, we do have a little penchant for dramatic shorts, with dreamy feels. I always felt that short films are a great way to express your dreams, and I love seeing people’s dreams through their films and how their able to convey them. An example of this is “The Killing Joke” by Sebastian Lopez, surreal, suspenseful and unexpected.
In other words, don’t send us your little handycam video of your younger brother wearing sunglasses and acting as a bad guy that you edited in an afternoon, that’s what YouTube is for :). Watch our featured shorts to get an idea of what we will post!
If we do not feature your film, do not get discouraged! We all started from there, learn from your mistakes and make your next movie even better. As you go on, if it really is a passion of yours, you will learn to invest more time in the technical details of filmmaking. For some tips on low-budget filmmaking be sure to watch episodes of Film Riot from Ryan Connolly (Director of Tell), he covers every little trick you need to know to make your shorts even better!