Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Short films > Feature films?

There's an interesting article on Hollywood and its lack of original story lines in feature films. This is explained quite simply; movies cost a lot of money to make, and studios don't like taking a gamble on a new idea. Thus, we're left with a constant stream of sequels and adaptations.

But what about new ideas and where do they fit in? This is where short films come in. Short films provide a different medium with more artistic freedom to tell a story.  Like the article points out, directors such as Spike Jonze and Chris Milk are experimenting with short films and trying out new ideas that perhaps would not be possible to do with a feature film. A quote by Jane Campion comes to mind - "..Short films are not inferior, just different. I think the short gives a freedom to filmmakers. What's appealing is that you don't have as much responsibility for storytelling and plot. They can be more like a portrait, or a poem. The great thing is that almost everyone ends up doing something creative with them, even those directors who then go on to make quite boring features."

Although most of us dream of making a feature film one day, maybe we should change our feelings on what many of us perceive as a limitation and embrace the short film. Someone once told me that true artistic freedom lies in film school; you're free to dream up any idea and make it on your own terms. Make your short film with that in mind and chances are that short will be more creative and original than what you see on the big screen.

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