Filmmaking / Directing : Short film vs Feature film by Eddie Orozco

Eddie Orozco

Short film vs Feature film

Right now I'm confused as to which is a career setter a short film or feature film. I know that a short film has to be direct and with a simple concept, but for me I want to be direct, but I want to take people on a journey and explore multiple concepts and throw complex characters into those scenarios. I've heard that short films are practice runs to develop your craft, but that should be in a feature film too right? I mean either way it's filmmaking. I need some answers or advice in which route to pursue.

Max Aaron

I have directed, written and produced six short films over the past two years, and have tackled complex and simple narratives. The fact you can make so many of them in a short amount of time and for less money is a great thing because you can learn the basics of filmmaking very quickly, especially with all the great online tutorials and resources that are out there today. They are also a great opportunity to experiment and try things out. More importantly, they provide you with experience before throwing yourself into the gruelling and long process of making a feature. Short films work better when they are very simple, as does any good film (the best advice I have been given by award winning filmmakers is to keep my stories 'simple stupid'), but it depends how much time you have to tell your story. I am very comfortable making at least five more short films before I work on my first independent feature, because they are a lot harder to produce and require more money and manpower to get off the ground. It can take years to get a feature film produced and made, and they they often require a larger production team and crew. By making short films first, you are more likely to receive more favours from friends and contacts on your short films, granted you help them out on their own projects and have hot food on your sets. It helps to have made short films first because they give you experience of telling stories and working with actors, as well as leading and communicating with a crew. It's definitely easier to find a smaller crew to make a short film, and there are plenty of great actors who want more footage for their showreels and can be paid a lot less on short films. Hope this helps :)

Dave McCrea

I think you should do whatever is the quickest way to get you in a room with actors and a DP trying to make something cool. The quickest route to that is doing a short. The fun of actually making something will keep you motivated. Spending a year trying to get a feature script right and then another two years trying to get the money isn't much fun. The biggest journey starts with a single step!

Regina Lee

Depends on your resources. Is it as simple as picking between the 2? Or do you have stronger resources for one vs the other? Rhetorical.

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