There’s a definite feeling, both in the UK and spreading into Europe and across the great ponds, that there’s a bit of a heyday in short filmmaking at the moment. Despite global economic meltdown and tough times all round, innovative and mould breaking shorts are proving to be the order of the day.
Despite the fact that short films are rarely money spinners, and contrary to British prime mimister David Cameron’s recent ill thought-out comments about the need to focus on commercially successful films, shorts still represent bountiful creativity and experimentation. In January’s London Short Film Festival, stand out films ranged from Robert Morgan’s self funded, trippy, surrealist animation Bobby Yeah to Medeni Griffiths’ understated and beautiful meditation, Summit. Commercial this is not, fascinating and challenging, yes.
With a cache of amazing short film festivals and competitions, it’s little wonder that filmmakers are so eager to get involved – Sundance in the US, Jersey’s Branchage, Underwire exclusively for representations of women in film, Soho’s Rushes, Bristols’ Brief Encounters – from boutique to all-out glam, shorts makers know they can get parties, recognition and an appreciative audience, even though they might not be making their millions (just yet).
Online competitions are also upping their games. Virgin Media Shorts offer cash, the UN’s recent 7 Billion Actions campaign offers the chance to flex philanthropic filmmaking muscles, and Shooting People’s own Film of the Month competition offers a unique opportunity to garner feedback on your film from some of great and good in independent filmmaking – John Waters, Matt Groening and Morgan Spurlock all stepped up to the judges chair last year.
Shorts are set to rule the world in 2012 – you heard it here first.
Shooting People helps members get their films made and find the audiences they deserve through a community of filmmakers, sharing resources, skills and experience. There are over 36,000 subscription-based members in the UK and US and 200+ films each week are cast and crewed using the services. Shooting People members can create their own profiles, which are searchable by the rest of the membership, and can also upload their films. The site maintains the UK Independent Film Calendar, hosts lots of interviews, blogs and free filmmaking resources, and members-only special offers.