Updated: Jan 12
Isn’t it the best feeling when you finish a short film that you’ve been working on for months on end? It’s like a precious baby being hatched and now is ready to be seen by the world. But then you ask yourself; but now what?
In this blog, we will be giving you insights into what steps to consider after you are done with your short film.
"When I started I did not know I wanted to be a filmmaker. I started - I made a film. Then when I finished I said, Oh my god it's so beautiful - I should be a filmmaker!" - Agnes Varda
Putting a portfolio together is key:
Once you have created a lot of content, you can start collecting all your work in a portfolio to build your professional brand to be shown to future clients or collaborations. The more materials you have the better it looks for you and for people to be able to trust in your capabilities to deliver what you are representing to be. Though you want to be picky with what you put, the key is to impress your audience. Which only means putting your best work that you feel represents you the most. You want to always keep it up to date, modernize it and keep it simple! We have all heard this over and over again “simplicity is key” and it really is.
It will also give your future collaborators a taste of what kind of a filmmaker you are and how you execute all your ideas. Maybe there is a significant signature that you have built along the way to individualize yourself from the rest of the filmmakers. A solid portfolio will take you a long way in this business. Think about it as if it’s a filmmaker’s resume but more fun! We all know at the end of the day that filmmaking is a hustle! The more you hustle the more it will be rewarding in your filmmaking career.
Things to include in your website:
Landing page: It could consist of your most updated showreel featuring the best shots or moments in your content that you have created. It should be at least a minute long. When making a showreel you have to consider what part of production you want to be part of. If it’s editing, your editing reel should convey the way you edit when using many different content. If it’s directing, you want to take moments that best represent you as a director. Don’t forget that you are a storyteller! So tell a story within the showreel.
About page: To introduce yourself and what you represent as a filmmaker, how you view the world, something that you feel individualizes you as a filmmaker.
Work page: where you put all the work you want to showcase that you’ve included in your reel.
Contact page: Including your email for any future collaborators or clients to get in touch with you.
There are many different platforms to create your online portfolio.
Here is our top 3 choices:
Entering the festival circuit!
Entering the festival circuit is a fun process where you can collaborate with other filmmakers and get yourself known in the film industry all around the world. When you have made your short film, it is in your best interest to submit it to festivals because that is what will give you a name and repercussions throughout the film industry. With that being said, first of all, you should know what kind of short film you have in your hands.
If you are a first-time filmmaker with quite a low budget film, maybe you should think about not aiming for the bigger festivals because that would be a waste of your money, but instead, submit it to mid-range festivals (there are thousands of festivals around the world) that would start to give you some “reconnaissance” in the industry and make the audience and industry professionals to talk about you and your work.
"Film festivals are a great vehicle for gaining an audience for your film, for exposure for the talent in the film and for the filmmakers to leverage opportunities for their films. I love the energy that film festivals bring." - Jamie Hector
When you have a short film that you are proud of and you really feel it’s capable of
making it in the big festivals, in that case, I would recommend you to make a list and ask
yourself different questions:
For which kind of market is your short film most suitable?
Which category does it fit under?
Once you have that solved, find out which ones are the best festivals in that continent; let’s take Europe for example you would apply for big festivals such as Cannes, Venice Film Festival Berlinale, BFI Film Fest, San Sebastian, Locarno and Berlinale.
But as we have mentioned earlier, it’s a festival circuit, which means that once you have been selected in those big festivals word gets out, and you would receive e-mails and invitations from other festivals to participate with your short film.
As a note, once you have been selected in one of the biggest festivals like the ones
mentioned earlier, they most likely will have exclusivity with your short film, which means that you cannot screen your short film in any other festivals until it has been screened in their festival as a premiere.
Then you would ask yourself: that’s good, but how do I apply for these festivals? Well, thankfully now it’s easier as it has ever been because it’s digital. So, you have different platforms online that work as a website, where if you just put all your short film
information and upload your short film on the platform or via Vimeo, you can apply as
many festivals as you want because the platform itself has deals with thousands of
festivals all over the world.
Websites to submit to:
festhome.com (more for European Festivals)
But be aware, most of the big festivals, since they are really prestigious, they don’t
have a deal with these platforms, so in that case, you would have to submit it
straight from their website.
And finally, It is crucial to budget for festivals, I would recommend budgeting for it before shooting your short film, an estimated budget of how much you want to spend on festivals. Because if you don’t do that, you might spend all your money on the short film, and you would have no money left for festivals.
If you really believe in your film, I would recommend spending between $2000-3000 which might seem a lot, but in fact, is not. Usually, film festivals range between $40-60, so if we make an average of $50 with a $2000 budget you would submit to 40 film festivals which is a good amount because you would always have to consider that in half of them you won’t get selected.
"Participating in film festivals for filmmakers is just like participating in tournaments for athletes, not only it gives the filmmakers the experience but also motivates them to continue making films. In film festivals filmmakers gets a chance to receive a quality feedback on their production, meet more experienced filmmakers, view films from different parts of the world, which open their eyes to new ideas and different ways of storytelling, and gives the filmmakers exposure which is always helpful for their film if they are planning to send it to more festivals." - Faisal Al-Duwaisan
At Cinemagics, we help support and encourage future filmmakers to boost their careers in filmmaking. Reach out here and find out how Cinemagics can help you with your next short film.