But is it just me or were some so confusing you couldn't really get a handle on the plot, or maybe that was the point, not to have a plot?
I started to do a summary and I couldn't make heads or tails of some of the shorts and so I'll wait to do a summary of premise lines for finals.
I mean, did anyone else go "HUH?" on some of the films?
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11-06-2009 11:03 AM"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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11-06-2009 11:58 AM
I don't want to offend, but there were some shorts that had plots, but they might've been hard from some to see, but then there were some where the plot got forgotten.
11-06-2009 11:59 AM
I think it's pretty difficult to tell a good, interesting and cohesive story in six minutes or less. I know for us we had to do some "test screenings" with people who didn't know what we were working on to see if they understood what our story was. Most got it, but some didn't. That's the challenge when the viewers aren't in our minds knowing what we mean. I can only speak for JTyner and I, but we know we take on these challenges for that exact kind of practice!
11-06-2009 02:01 PM
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I don't think that every film needs to explain everything to the viewer, but if there are parts that the filmmaker intended for the viewer to catch, and it comes off confusing, pointing out what's confusing would be helpful to the filmmaker for future projects.
11-06-2009 02:02 PM
I think it is pretty challenging to find a good idea for a short film. It takes some work. I also think (guilty of this as well) that we don't spend enough time finding an idea worthy of all our efforts. We quickly rush to the next step.
When writing features you should be able to tell your story in one or two lines. "It's about..."
Your premise. You can even practice pitching this to friends/co-workers and see if they raise their eyebrows or if they give you a blank stare and nod. I think the process is similar for short films.
That's what the whole pitch process in the last fest was trying to motivate.
Some films that have the "huh?" effect may have been compelling ideas, but were poorly executed. So the strong and subtle story was lost. And there are several films that are the converse of that. Beautifully crafted, but our eyes glaze over if someone were to tell us what it's about.
11-06-2009 04:10 PM
Yes I went "Huh?" on some of them. The way I see it is there are several reasons this happens.
1- The script was not formatted correctly and there were too many pages to cram all that story into the allotted time. In this case anything over 6 pages is going to have troubles. Even if it is 6 pages it can be trouble depending on how much dialogue and action is in the script.
2- The story was awkward from the beginning and either impossible to portray visually or you have to take some mind altering substance to get it. Some stories just can't be told visually without some major changes to the script. And even so it might render it useless after the changes.
3- Shooting with no script and just forming it as you go.
4- The editing room can destroy it. For instance somebody has a killer shot but it doesn't move the story along. Instead of cutting that killer shot they may cut some line of dialogue and suddenly their story leaves you scratching your head. With shorts you have to be very careful on what you cut or leave in. A fine balance.
That's just a few but there are several other things that can make a film leaving you saying "Huh?". Hell there are major motion pictures that leave me saying that all the time and I can't help to think how that could have happened with so much money involved. Or maybe that is the exact reason, exec's getting in the way because they want to make what "they" think sells.
11-06-2009 04:29 PM
It helps to start with a killer script. Wink-wink-nudge-nudge
Of course a script should grab you by your unmentionables and not let go. Otherwise you might not stick through to the end.
11-06-2009 05:01 PM