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Double_IT
02-13-2005, 09:30 PM
I am finishing up a script that i will also produce and submit to the major film festivals next year. I want it to be around 40 minutes long as that is how long it seems i need to tell this story. I know that sundance says anything under 70 minutes is considered a short... but is there a length that will make a short less likly to win or anything like that? Also what is the best that can happen to a short film?

J_Barnes
02-14-2005, 03:12 AM
Anything that's 40 minutes long will be much harder to program, and is much less likely to get shown.

The consensus seems to be that 17 minutes and under is a length that is good for short film audiences. The festival programmers have a limited total duration they're working under, so a 40 minute film is going to eat a huge chunk of their program. They will have to find a justification to include a 40 minute film, and so the odds are stacked against you if you submit a short of that length.

Also, if your short is clocking in at 40 minutes, there's bound to be enough story there to expand out to a feature. A 40 minute short is usually just a feature-length idea that's been pruned for length.

As for winning, the best thing you can do is to make the most refreshing, original and best film you can. You can't control what your competition is going to enter, so just focus on making the best film you can and getting it seen in the most locations you can.

Double_IT
02-14-2005, 08:00 AM
Hmm. this is what i was worried about. You are right that its a feature length idea that has been pruned. We are not sure if we have the time to do a full feature so we cut it down to be 40 minutes. So you think we need to either cut it by more than half or double it. Ugg! You just cant win.

J_Barnes
02-14-2005, 08:48 AM
or the alternative, to shoot a self-contained scene or a short based on the long idea with the end goal of getting the financing for a feature.

Some friends of mine used this route and wrote a short based on a feature length script they had. The short won the jury prize at one of the major american festivals and they started getting interest on their feature length script.

It can happen.

MattC
02-14-2005, 10:20 AM
I'm shooting for 4-6 minute shorts. Nothing too elaborate, but I'd love to get some festival play, even in smaller local festivals. I figure I can do something entertaining in that amount of time and that they would be easy to program in as filler. But then for me this is just a hobby.

Matt

uhrgl
02-15-2005, 08:29 AM
The shorter the better. Always leave them wanting more.

jpbankesmercer
02-15-2005, 09:29 AM
Short is 15mins and under.
Short-Short 1min
Long-Short 20mins
Short-Long 40mins
Long 40mins+

Oh by the way, I just made that up *;D
J.P. *:-X

Woodson
02-15-2005, 11:26 AM
Shot is 15mins and under.
Short-Short 1min
Long-Short 20mins
Short-Long 40mins
Long 40mins+

Oh By the way, I just made that up ;D
J.P. :-X


sound goods to me... I agree with that and it should be classified as that.

J_Barnes
02-15-2005, 11:50 AM
Short-Long 40mins


Also known as the "business up front, party in the back" short film.

Larry Rutledge
02-15-2005, 02:01 PM
I read somewhere that if you think your short will be shown on TV you should aim for 24 minutes so it can sit in a half hour slot and allow for commercial breaks.

jpbankesmercer
02-15-2005, 05:08 PM
Woodson your avatar disturbs me, might make a short-short about my feelings on the matter. ;)
J.P. :-X

J_Barnes
02-16-2005, 02:26 AM
I read somewhere that if you think your short will be shown on TV you should aim for 24 minutes so it can sit in a half hour slot and allow for commercial breaks.


Logically that would make sense, but I don't know what station would program a single half-hour show. Their mindset is on serial programming, not one-offs, so I still don't think you'd find a market for that kind of film.

(Unless it would make a good pilot, in which case they'd probably just buy the rights/idea from you and reshoot it.)

Pipe
02-25-2005, 09:21 AM
Start as late as possible and get out as soon as possible. I wrote a short the year before that won the itallian film festival short categorey. It lasted about three minutes. I think when people sit down to watch a short they want it short.