Fasten your seatbelts for the third episode of Make It Short - a show where we bring together critics, experts, and filmmakers to discuss independent short films and give constructive feedback to new directors and writers! And for this episode we selected a list of very short short films, those that are only around 3 or 4 minutes long. So don’t blink or you’ll miss them!
When you decide to shoot a short film, you have to be aware of all the constraints you will face, and I am not only talking about budget. Time limitation is also an issue when we want to tell a story. Finding the right balance between saying something, but not saying too much can be tricky when you have only 20 minutes to do it. Now imagine having only 4 minutes or less to do so! These are the stories we are going to talk about in this episode, and for that we have CenterFrame co-founder and filmmaker Bernhard Pucher and British filmmaker and lecturer Toby Fell-Holden.
We start off with Maleficio, an astonishing 1-minute-long short film by director Noel Vinson that stars a cursed gay couple united through music. It’s incredible the amount of information we’re able to grasp from such a short film with no lines of dialogue, but it’s so well designed and beautifully shot that I had to select it for discussion. We all enjoyed the use of music and the sound design; and we are also fans of the visuals and costumes used in the film. The twisted conclusion stuck in our minds as well. It is one of those stories that could easily become a feature film, because the characters already have well-developed backstories . Noel discussed the production of the film with us and how a 1-minute-long short can take a long time to be finalized.
Next off we have Tuesday, a dramatic 3-minute-long short film shot in a continuous take. The film takes us back to 2001, during the tragic 9/11 and it captures the horrific moments of that sad morning when the United States suffered one of the most terrible terrorist attacks in recent history. Besides the great direction and the fabulous camera work, Tuesday also succeeds in transporting us back in time, as we all were shocked by those events airing on TV as it happened. Part of this is also due to an excellent cast and the subtle but efficient use of music. We also agreed that the mundane atmosphere works very well and feels very real, and while not entirely perfect, the development of the story is very effective. Other good elements of the film include the use of off-screen space and the build up of tension.
Now it is your turn, make sure to hit play and take a deeper look into our discussion to find out more about these fast and furious short films. I am certain you will learn a lot about filmmaking with us. As usual, we had tons of fun examining these short but deep films and getting to know their creators. And remember, if you are a filmmaker and have directed any kind of short film, be sure to send it to us and have a chance to feature your work in one of the next episodes of Make It Short. Also, please share this message with other writers and directors you may know! I hope to see you soon for our fourth episode!
Film & TV Critic
How about sending us your Short film?
You can submit shorts from anywhere. Please make sure English subtitles are available if that's not the original language of your production.
We'll try to feature as many shorts as possible in the upcoming episodes of the show, but please be aware that it might not be possible to do so if we receive an overwhelming number of films.