Monday, September 21, 2009

A Short Film, a Good Review

Short films, in comparison to feature films, are not only short in terms of time; they need to compress all their main ideas in a short amount of time without appearing rushed, and still getting their story through. Short films, around an hour long (or much less!), can be thought of as the short stories of the movie world: hard to write effectively, difficult to make effective characters for, and of course, difficult to find interesting plots for.

Your job is to review a short film. You can check them out through your Netflix account, download them online, or simply wait for them on your favorite movie channel. Although it may be tempting to get a short documentary, your job right now is to look at a fictional short film. You can check out or for ideas.

The short film can be of any length, and your review can be of any length as well. One main question that you need to consider is the ability of the short film to pack a punch: was it able to use all the time it had for a great story, or did you feel rushed? Conversely, was the story too slow, so that the short film felt like it was much longer? Should it have been made into a feature film instead? Could it have been made shorter? Were there things missing that you wanted to see? Were there things that should have been taken out?

Watching short films should help you understand how difficult it is to distill stories into a small amount of film time - and it should help you feel the burden of being a writer as well. You may write a novel, but you don't have thousands of words to tell your story. The best novels are those that pack a mean story punch in the few words that they have.

Happy watching, and happy reviewing!

No comments: