Short Films

I hate them.

The post could end there, but then it would be obnoxiously like a short film, never giving you answers, never satisfying your emotional needs, and always leaving you with a little less hope in the world.

Tonight we had a screening of the short films created as the final masterpieces by the MA Film students of this year’s graduating class. Here’s the subject matter:

  • Abortion
  • Prostitution
  • Plastic surgery/murder
  • Finding your inner child
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Sticking it to the man (and failing)
  • Some artistic banter

Now, let’s give our fair dues here. Most of these were artistically innovative, had cool cinematography, even interesting characters. And it has nothing to do with moral views on the subject material.

I have two major problems with short films:

  1. The characters create no sympathy. Usually this is because the film is concentrating more on other elements than the characters themselves. But without strong characters that are able to appeal to an audience, there will be no emotional connection from the audience. And without that, what is the point of making a movie? Or at least, what is the point of releasing said movie for anyone to view besides your pompously artistic self?
  2. The characters create sympathy, and then the film is over without any resolution. Such is the essence of a short film. I find this irritating (though not nearly as much as the above scenario). Call it the curse of the Harry Potter Generation. I just want to be so intimate with my characters that I refer to them as I would a real friend.

Since this first trimester is focused on short films for us screenwriters, I am struggling a lot to write anything that I feel is worthwhile. If anyone has any suggestions on good short films (don’t give me Pixar), or some attitude adjustment advice, I would greatly appreciate it so I can last until December. πŸ™‚

There has been one short film we’ve watched in class that I enjoyed, because it was so darkly hilarious, and I was able to develop the perfect balance of being intrigued by the characters but not attached to them, so I didn’t mind when the film ended. I’m not going to post it on the blog because it’s definitely not universally appealing. But if you have a kind of twisted sense of humor, look it up. It’s on YouTube in two parts: Delusions in Modern Primitivism.

I just want to write films and make people happy and inspire them to do something good, even for a moment. I don’t see anything wrong with that dream!

And on that note, I’ll mention something completely unrelated that is happy (because I don’t like leaving everyone with a rant). There are some seriously nice cars driving around the streets of Edinburgh. I see one of these a few times per week:

Yum. πŸ™‚


4 responses to “Short Films

  1. I wish short films were more like ten minute plays. With most ten minute plays there’s the full story from exposition through to resolution, just contained within a ten minute span.

  2. Have you ever heard of About-Face? Their website might be a good starting point for some ideas for a film with a message – it has to do with media literacy and media messaging. I could see a fun, satirical take on the creation of some of the damaging media messages that pass for ads these days, as well as some of the good ones. Sort of in a “Thanks for Smoking” style…but those are just my thoughts and I am a MA communications student, not a MA film student (but it sounds fun!)

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