Gwydhar Answers Questions after Screening "Mattress World"

Select the response to  the following multiple choice question:

“What a great short film! So tell us what projects you are working on now; what is next for you?”

a. “I’m working on developing this concept into a feature film.”

b. “Well, a short film is fine, but it’s really more of a calling card so that I can do a feature.”

c. “Oh, this was a class project- I’m working on a feature now.”

d. All of the above.

I recently had the privilege of screening my short film at the LA Women’s Film Festival. It is a lovely little festival, as it’s name suggests, dedicated to female filmmakers. In true festival style each block of short films was followed by a brief Q&A with the filmmakers and each filmmaker was asked what the next project was. Almost without exception every filmmaker emphasized that they were moving into the realm of the feature length film and many even downplayed the importance of their own short film work writing it off as a sort of demo of the work they could do if only, if only, someone would give them the money.

Is the medium of the short film really no longer an art form in its own right? In this age of short funds and even shorter attention spans why are we so completely committed to a two hour format that we can’t even place value our short films for their own sake? Certainly there is an economic motivation for a lot of this: no one wants to distribute short films in America- at least not yet. The industry may not have found a use for “economy size” entertainment, but we as filmmakers do not exist to serve the industry, we exist to shape it. If we as artists do not value our own work- whatever the length- how can we expect audiences to do the same? If we do not stand for the moments in storytelling that give a story flesh and shape how can we justify our own contempt of the boneless and flavorless prequels, sequels, remakes, retakes, and crossovers that are taking up our audience share?

We who are the small, the emerging, the amateur, the auteur, the makers of short films,  and the writers of short stories, let us be proud of what we accomplish: no matter how small. Let us stand in front of our audience and say “I have made a short film as a work of art, I am proud of it, and I will make more.” Let us make short films of such excellence that they steal the starving audiences away from featureless theatres, away from reality television and away from their own expectations of what it means to experience a motion picture.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 4, 2011.

One Response to “Short”

  1. Good post!

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