How Not to Make a Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer
Roberta Marie Munroe
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Anyone can make a short film, right? Just grab some friends and your handheld and you can do it in a weekend or two before being accepted to a slew of film festivals, right?
Roberta Munroe screened short film submissions at Sundance for five years, and is an award-winning short filmmaker in her own right. So she knows a thing or two about how not to make a short film. From the first draft of your script to casting, production, editing, and distribution, this is your one-stop primer for breaking into the business. Featuring interviews with many of today's most talented writers, producers, and directors, as well as revealing stories (e.g., what to do when the skinhead crack addict next door begins screaming obscenities as soon as you call "action") from the sets of her own short films, Roberta walks you through the minefield of mistakes that an aspiring filmmaker can make--so that you don't have to make them yourself.
in Love only come along once in a blue moon. So why even bother? Right? Just throw in the towel, put this book down immediately, and go back to your temp McJob, your safe, uninspired, philistine cocoon, fall in love, start a family, and maybe pass away the weekends writing the great American short story. Right? Wrong! You’ve already demonstrated a few character traits most directors seem to lack: 1. A willingness to listen. 2. An attempt at practicality. 3. You’re not relying on chutzpah alone.
story just working on shorts with her. My other partner, Dominic Ottersbach, has the very necessary skills required to diligently be dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s all the while I’m loudly juggling the rest of our production needs in the air. Look, as far as post goes, if you’ve never done this before, then you better hire someone who has.” What most filmmakers (who didn’t go to film school—and some who did) don’t know is this: ALL post departments outside of editing need to work with a
realizing that it’s worthwhile to send your film out there. I made DVDs and postcards, and made a huge database of all the film festivals that looked good. I have this Word document that’s like 100 pages long of festival contacts in chronological order. So I sent all these e-mails, and some of them said ‘Yes, we’ll waive the [submission] fee,’ and DIS T R IB UT ION those are the ones I ended up submitting my film into. My film has played at 200 film festivals, and it was all through that early
believe that if we did not have this as a finished ‘Pilot Presentation’ the show would not have sold. If you are not a Greer Shepherd or David Kelley, networks have no idea if you can deliver. I don’t think they would have let me direct the first episode of the series if I had not shown, through directing the short, that I could do it.” Because they showed the network that they could write and direct and act (Michelle Paradise is the lead actor in both the DIS T R IB UT ION short and the
and how they want to promote it. There’s nothing wrong with a collection of three gay comedies or three Asian comedies, or three Asian tragedies. But you probably don’t want to say that. You want to say, ‘three powerful movies on the Asian experience.’ ” Marc continues with the point that you shouldn’t neglect the festival circuit, and that you needn’t hold out for only the toptier fests—start submitting to that larger pool. “What’s scary is that there’s this message coming through the industry