“Any film that has a duration longer than one minute and shorter than 15 minutes.”
This is the online definition for a short film according to http://www.eicar-international.com– but a short film is a lot more than just time. A short film consists of production roles, pre- production, production, post production, marketing your film, distributing your film, funding your film, creating your film and generally having a passion for the narrative you are about to bring to life.
The short film I will be using as an example throughout my essay will be the short film ‘Empty’ directed by Mr Tom Smith created 2 years ago starring Kate Louise Turner, Lydia Atherton & Antonia Kleopa. You can watch the content below:
This short film is a powerful 8 minute 47 second long moving production about the everyday life of living with an eating disorder. This dramatic award winning short film focuses on a girl who’s anorexia has transformed into bulimia due to society’s expectations of body shape in magazines, online and any general social media aspect. You follow the journey of her mental illness through a ‘fictional character’ who she fights with regularly about her recovery to find out the character is not real and is a representation of her illness.
To start up a short film you need funding. Funding to cover travel costs, paying actors, affording equipment, etc. To do so there are various different institutes that you can go to or websites that you can use. The most common used is the The British Film Institute. Tom as a filmmaker would of gone to a local institute and pitched his film for further support. I actually tried to contact Tom Smith over Facebook to ask questions about his funding for the project but unfortunately he never got back to me, as he must be super busy with his new and upcoming short films he is working on. Here is a list of several different funding websites that can help you with funding your short film:
As a director Tom Smith would of been in every part of production. He would be at filming to make sure all shots are up to his accord, he would of negoicated the set with set designed to make sure the public would appreciate the narrative. Personally this module has taught me that set design actually means so much when creating narrative, if the scene doesn’t match its narrative movement, what good is it! Tom would of gone through editing with the editor too assure that the film is in the right order and any transitions look good.
After creating your short film the work is far from over, what the point in creating a piece of work if you’re not going to put it out there!? This is where distribution and marketing comes in. Social media is HUGE in this generation and it’s pretty much where we find everything out. the news, current political issues, new films, books, documentaries, you name it you will find it on social media.
Tom Smith created a Facebook page purely for his work, he published his films, ideas and progress on for his supporters to share to increase his target audience and fan base. You can find this on his ‘about’ section on Vimeo, he also offers his LinkedIn, Website, Twitter AND profiles of the people he has collaborated with during the production of his projects.
To distribute your film you can pay into companies to advertise your work and or even use there title to sponser the film also. However the media is all about profit so you need to offer a company something in return for their favors, maybe even creating promotional videos for them etc. Tom shared his film onto youtube which is currently sitting at 740, 647 hits and vimeo which has a lower audience of only 400. What a difference! Tom sent his film into 3 film festivals which have been screened and has also won an award. The festivals were:
Fresh Film Festival Regional Heats Limerick
Fresh Film Festival Finals 2015
Junior Galway Film Fleadh 2015.
To his delight he won the ‘Special Mention Junior Galway Film Fleadh’.
He exclaimed “I made this film to help raise awareness of these important issues. I feel not enough people are really aware that having an eating disorder, depression, etc. is very common and that not everyone will tell you if they’re suffering from it. I feel I did enough research on these issues to make this film. My goal wasn’t just to make a sad film but to inspire” and that he did!
Film festivals are a fantastic way to distribute and market your films, more people want to watch your content if you can whack a ‘award winning film’ after the title! Film festivals are so popular and even just sending a film into a festival is a big step in the right direction because there will be hundreds/ possibly thousands of strangers watching, judging and even sharing your film! The wider the audience the more successful your film will become and you then start to make your profit back. Tom will have had money back from his success within his award and getting such a large amount of hits on youtube! This works by youtube paying Tom to allow adverts before people can watch his films.
To conclude, ‘Empty’ is a wonderful short film because it allows people with very little knowledge about eating disorders learn so much about the illness and how much it effects ones day to day life and films like this are starting to be broadcasted more and more as the years go on. Now there are so many films about abuse (emotional, verbal, sexual, physical), eating disorders, depression.
Following Tom Smiths journey to how he got his short film out there and so famous has been a good experience and has personally pushed me to do more with the films that I make. Recognition is such a nice feeling especially when you are helping people.