Screenwriting : Market for Shorts? by Dustin Bowcott

Dustin Bowcott

Market for Shorts?

Is there a market for short movies of up to 20 minutes? I've just written one for a competition and I'm wondering just how easy they are to produce in general and also how marketable they are. Is there much point in me writing any more shorts?

Jason K. Allen

hey dustin, today i posted a long message about this very subject on our local screenwriting association's facebook page. i normally write feature-length scripts, but recently i decided to write a few short scripts for the first time. i just wanted to broaden my horizons and try a few new things. also wanted to try my hand at producing and directing. all of the scripts i wrote are under 15 pages. anyway, here is what i wrote on this subject earlier today: "hey gang, i just wanted to follow up on my initial post. i've been pleasantly surprised that there are quite a few possibilities out there when it comes to short scripts. i've written nine shorts recently - two have been shot and are in post-production, two have been optioned and are in pre-production, and i'm in the process of optioning another. no, there's not much money in selling/optioning short scripts, but it's nice to know there are ways of getting your script produced (and getting a writing credit) if you don't have the time/means to film it yourself. even better, i've found that writing short scripts is another way to get your foot in a door and form relationships. for instance, one production company in L.A. liked one of my shorts and wanted to read my other shorts and features; and now we've hit it off pretty well and might be working together on more than one project. so you just never know. of course one surefire way to get your short scripts produced is to film them yourself with local filmmakers and friends. but if you don't have the time or means, i've found that one of the best places to market short scripts is InkTip. if you have an account with them, you can post all of your short loglines and info for free: i've had a lot of requests for scripts using their service. also, if you search the internet you can find a lot of producers who are looking for scripts. the ISA board is a good place to look: . another good one is Mandy's tv & film directory: just go to their "jobs" section and click on "screenwriters/scripts". if you search the internet using the right keywords, you can find plenty other sites/boards with producers looking for short scripts. there are quite a few screenwriting contests with short script competitions: the best place to look for these are at and i just found out that two of my shorts are finalists in the ScriptVamp competition. who knows how much that will help, but i've found that contest recognition can never hurt. one other possibility, as some people mentioned before, is getting your short scripts produced by filmmakers at local film schools. film students are always looking for scripts to produce. anyway, just thought i'd pass along some of the things i've learned in case any of you have any short scripts lying around - or if you plan to write any in the future."

Dustin Bowcott

Thanks a lot for the informative post Jason. I've decided against competitions and am going to look for producers. I'm going to keep the one short as a showcase of my work.. Thanks again for the information. I've already approached a couple of producers with my short. Waiting to hear back.

Doc Bernard

Actually there are a few "streaming"/distribution sites for shorts, I know of one in development right now in New York.

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