• Nehan Sarfaraz

A little bit about short films, and some that you should really watch!

Updated: May 14

In the initial stages of this quarantine, I was extremely passionate about trying to be able to focus better & being able to utilize this extra time to develop a new skill or... well, anything. As the days have gone by and as the times keep passing, I'm starting to feel less and lesser inspired. It's come to a point where I barely have the mental energy to get out of bed some times.


However, I've been watching movies. Too many movies.


Old movies, Westerns, German movies, Indie films, World War II movies and the list goes on. I reached a point where I began to select what I was watching by looking at the duration of how long the film was. Anything between 90-120 minutes was acceptable rather than... you know those 3 hour long movies that sometimes end up being a total waste of time. Took a while, and finally, I ended up watching short films.

Not that I haven't watched any short films in the past, but just like everyone else, I've obviously got a tremendous amount of time on my hands and that meant - I started bingeing. The best part about short films is that they're actually pretty great if you want to learn about film-making, the story is usually to-the-point (I absolutely hate stories that beat around the bush), and well.. they're short, so even if you don't like one, you probably wont spent too long chasing a story that wasn't worth your while.


Making a short film allows the filmmaker to dive into a subject or story cinematically without investing a lot of time and energy into the project. - How To Produce Movies

What makes a successful short film?


Each film needs to have a compelling story, isn't it? But what makes short films so unique is the fact that the film-maker has a small timeline to be able to express the necessary details of the story/narrative, the films rely heavily on the script other than anything else. Commercial films tend to draw out attention to other aspects, for example, if a commercial film isn't well edited - then that's it for me. I lose interest. But somehow, short films have this undeniably forgivable space where it's somehow almost acceptable to make minor mistakes.

IndieWire says that writing or using a strong script is an important key to short film making. The focus of short films is mainly on constructing a narrative that is laser-focused on a concept or subject while still fleshing out unforgettable characters. Short film makers are more able to think of the plot they envisage and control the overall production. From the first day of filming to the final edit the director will follow a dream. With a minimal crew and reduced production scale, dedication and determination is required to handle all behind-the-scenes and deliver the movie to the public.


A Short List of Must Watch Short Films


SUNDAYS

Rozema's film was a five-year production with a $50,000 Kickstarter. The futuristic/post-apocalyptic film soon received massive interest from the studios to the extent where there was a studio bidding war. Warner Brothers owned the property after the dust settles. The new version of the feature film is currently under production. Although Rozema is not yet recognized as one of the best storytellers we know, it is obvious that his star is rising.


THE PHONE CALL

Mat Kirkby directs this short film about a counselor at a trauma center who receives a phone call from a man who gradually kills himself to death. The movie has a wonderful ticking clock that somehow feels both tense and confident enough to grow characters.


DEVI

Priyanka Banerjee directed this short film - a film about sisterhood, a film about trauma, a film about the suffering of women that are rape victims. This film beautifully expresses the fear of the women that have suffered in the past and the difficulties they face while living away from their houses.


CROSSROADS

This short film has played at least thirty festivals such as the Academy Awards nominating Hollyshorts and was presented by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and is a new addition to the festival circuit. Writer/Director Marvin Nuecklaus produces beautiful imagery for period delineation with a careful use of the digital color palette.


ALEXIA

This short film directed by Andrés Borghi portrays a woman desirous of keeping her loved ones' memories alive and the unexpected effects that result. Horror movies are about film-making as much as they're about fear. Check out the video to see them.


FRANKENWEENIE


This short film , directed by Tim Burton and then scrapped by Disney, brought back to life this obscurely comedic film about a horse. The film reveals where Burton was going, and as a director he received even more recognition as just a visual artist.


THE YOUNGEST SON A.K.A AL JU3DA

In Kuwait, ‘Al-Jee’dah’ refers to the youngest son. Directed by Dawood Shuail, and set in historic Kuwait, this short revolves around the youngest son of a family, who fights in a war. This film is available to watch for free on Telly, a video on demand platform that is available on both; Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore.


Conclusion


Short films begin with an idea and then come to life through a director's imagination and equipment and their crew to make this vision a reality. Creating a film doesn't have to be limited to 10, 20, or 40-minute running time. The only way to make a good short film is to get behind the camera, and not let the scale of the creation hinder your creativity. Now that you are aware of some few great short films. You could watch any of these movies, and know you've seen something worth watching! Now it's time you develop your idea for a short film and when that's ready, contact us about our film productions and our state of the art facilities will help you tell a better story!


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