Friday, September 7, 2012

From Short to Feature

The chances of your short film being turned into a feature might be slim, but not impossible. More and more short film directors are being recruited by Hollywood to turn their short films into feature films. Although that's certainly a dream for many of us, does it necessarily guarantee a career launch into success?
The latest short film being turned into a feature is Lovely Monster, written and directed by young Italian filmmaker Francesco Calabrese. The well-recieved horror short is currently in negotiations with Lionsgate for a feature film adaptation, giving Calabrese a shot to make his feature directorial debut. Lovely Monster utilizes faux-documentary style to tell the story of a young girl with a mysterious condition that is turning her into what those around her call a "monster". After checking out the short I am most certainly looking forward to the feature film version. Check out this awesome short below:

Sometimes all it takes is a short film to launch your career as a feature film director. Many people would be surprised to know that Wes Anderson, arguably one of the best filmmakers today, started his career with a short film, Bottle Rocket. The 13- minute, black and white short film was written by Anderson and his then-college roommate, Owen Wilson and his brother Luke Wilson. The short film premiered at the USA Film Festival in Dallas and received enthusiastic praise before being shown at Sundance. There, it caught the attention of screenwriter L.M Kit Carson who immediately sent it to James L. Brooks. This intervention secured financial backing for a feature film adaptation, which is now Anderson's classic feature debut, Bottle Rocket. Here is Wes Anderson's original 1996 short film:
(click here for Part 2)

But sometimes the short film catches more buzz than the feature does. Take for instance filmmaker Spencer Susser. His 2008 zombie-fest short film I Love You Sarah Jane was well received in festivals, leading Spencer to direct his first feature film, Hesher. Unfortunately, Hesher failed to make much of splash in theaters, even with stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman as the main characters. However, it looks like Spencer is getting a second chance and returning to his short I Love You Sarah Jane and adapting it into a feature. The short is amazing and the special effects aren't too bad for a short film budget. I'll be looking forward to the bigger budget version of this! Check out the original short below:

These shorts serve as reminder for many independent filmmakers; whatever path you take may or may not lead to success, but having your short film turned into a feature is a success in its own.

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