Shorts or Features?

SHorts or Features

The jump from producing short films to features can be a daunting experience. For some reason a lot of filmmakers think that making short films will naturally lead on to the opportunity to make a feature film. Whilst a few filmmakers may be able to say this has been the case, the two art forms are very different. Telling a story cinematically over 90 minutes requires a great deal more work both at script level and in terms of time and resources whereas a short film can be produced considerably quicker and usually much cheaper. Shorts give opportunity to find confidence, experiment and build experience but they can also serve as a trap for the aspiring filmmaker. Over the years many people have approached me looking for advice on how to progress in the industry with the idea, ‘if only I could make this short for 25k then I can think about making a feature’. My advice is that if you can find 25k then make a feature instead as the experience will teach you a great deal more than just making a short! After all, most films watched are feature length and naturally we tend to think long form as filmmakers, allowing time to really take people on an emotional journey and identify with well developed characters. Shorts tend to work better in my opinion when they are visual and concept driven and not too overly ambitious in their aims. If your aspiration is to make short films then that’s perfectly fine but if you want to make features there’s no better way than just getting stuck in and making one! This is what we at Far North Film have done recently with Playhouse and it’s been an incredible learning experience beyond what we could ever glean from short filmmaking.

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