9 Amazing Short Films That Will One Day Be Feature Films

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Old 01 January 2013   #16
Originally Posted by kelgy: Seems like the studios wont take pitches from professional screenwriters when it comes to original fantasy and sci-fi anymore and they will only field proof of concept videos.


That's a good point.. it's not like there's a shortage of visual Effects adept directors on the market or that there's the need for new VFX-centric talent.

I hadn't thought of it that way before. Obviously you might get better product by buying a story first that has been worked over thoroughly and then allying it with "visual partners" you already know of, rather than by signing on unproven talent with a visual flair and then hope you can bond such talent later with writers who can form a story.

It does seem though what's happening is people are looking for a "wunderkind"... maybe....
George Lucas always said that one day the next big film makers will be people discovered making movies with computers from their basements.
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Old 01 January 2013   #17
They all just want the next Blevins, District 9, etc. or even the next Kosinski.

The best part of these is they are all pitch reels, basically..much more attractive than just shopping a script around. The more web buzz/hype around them the better, some kind of built in following, especially the "one student for NO money" angle, hell, they've been loving that since before El Mariachi or Clerks, now it's the same idea for VFX pieces. They don't have to do a lot of development work on them, they can push them through the system and give a lower "starter" budget for the new kid to prove themselves.

A lot of them don't have complicated or well thought out plots, which is an important difference vs. the Blevinses of this world, can they make it work for 2 hours?

But they have a lot of visual flash and flair and make enough people go "cool" so that really seems to be more than half the battle for any movie these days.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #18
Originally Posted by vfx: But there is zero story here so how the hell do you decide - yup this is worth another 90 minutes of watching time. I just dont get some of these pickups.


If Archetype, I am not sure I see where you're coming from on that one. I got the impression that there is a huge amount left unsaid in that short. It seemed to me there is something going on between this machine and that doctor they were talking about. Maybe some kind of consciousness transfer? I think there is a lot of story potential in there.

If anything, Vessel seems to be the one that would be far more difficult to expand into a feature. What else is there left to add? Do you have 45 minutes of life on the plane before the thing arrives? Do civilians no combat training run off and explore the inside of the Vessel? Not a lot of possibilities beyond what we see.

The Gate and Alma were the two I could not see. I hope I can find them on a site available to me somewhere.
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Old 01 January 2013   #19
I think there are two separate "products" here. One is the short animated movies category which have their own niche and most of the times go around the world competing in animation festivals and were never intended to be extended beyond its length and story idea. The CG in these is just a way to help tell the story which is thoroughly written and revised and every beat prepared.

The other is the CG artist who wants to create something to promote his skills and sometimes to tell a story and even expand his own career into trying to direct a full "movie" or maybe just try to create something that will become popular and land him/her a job. The story in these is something secondary, the CG is the key, the plot most of the times a seen cliché, because preparing a good script is the last concern behind preparing the assets and getting some fancy music or hiring actors/voice artists when there are funds for those, specially because its "their idea, i want to pursue that nice story/scene i imagined, don't need help writing it".

I think what separates both kind of authors is having a formal training in classical movie making skills like cinematography, screenwriting, directing, editing or just having a technical background and a wish to do more.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #20
Originally Posted by entropymachine: The other is the CG artist who wants to create something to promote his skills and sometimes to tell a story and even expand his own career into trying to direct a full "movie" or maybe just try to create something that will become popular and land him/her a job. The story in these is something secondary, the CG is the key, the plot most of the times a seen cliché, because preparing a good script is the last concern behind preparing the assets and getting some fancy music or hiring actors/voice artists when there are funds for those, specially because its "their idea, i want to pursue that nice story/scene i imagined, don't need help writing it".


As a CG short film director I resent this comment! but LOL... I'll take it anyway, cause it's true.
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Old 01 January 2013   #21
Sorry, that wasn't the intention. The tone was more about it being a matter of choices, of how in a tight schedule, if you're a "one man band", you don't have the time to worry about everything and you end up defining priorities so it gets done in a humanly possible time, according to what the end goal is. I've been there myself a couple of times and, i.e., in my graduation project i chose to make something portfolio oriented and less about telling a story of my own, so i ended up picking an excerpt from The Lusiadas so that at least that part would take much less time to deal with in pre-production.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #22
Originally Posted by entropymachine: Sorry, that wasn't the intention. The tone was more about it being a matter of choices, of how in a tight schedule, if you're a "one man band", you don't have the time to worry about everything and you end up defining priorities so it gets done in a humanly possible time, according to what the end goal is. I've been there myself a couple of times and, i.e., in my graduation project i chose to make something portfolio oriented and less about telling a story of my own, so i ended up picking an excerpt from The Lusiadas so that at least that part would take much less time to deal with in pre-production.


Ah I see.. In my case...I chose to do something that looked "commercial" compared to the sort of "art house/Pixar" animated film you usually see students making.

More because that kind of "basic entertainment" is what fires my passion. I do like to think I did want to tell a story with it, but it is true that hour to hour, day to day, some days "Story is King" and other days "Eye Candy is King".

It flits from moment to moment.
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Old 01 January 2013   #23
Quote: "Story is King" and other days "Eye Candy is King".


Can't it be both? There is no rule saying it can't be both.

Like your short. I actually quite liked it and it had a really cool color tone to it. I could see the consistancy and it looked very professional.

I did fall under the number 1 type of short, the chase and/or fight scene.

Check it out

Salesman Pete
The Chase
The Chase (the other one)
Mac and Cheese
Rosa
Burning Safari
Meet Buck
Azeur
The Cheesburger chasing the dude
etc.

9 out of 10 animations feature someone getting chased and fighting something. Also included is hunting, art gone wild (motion graphics gone wild) and slapstick poo jokes.

So really all we have to show Hollywood is a chase scene, they pee, and give you money.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #24
Thanks for th post. Enjoyed watching those. Some where better than others, but all good fun.

Oh yeah, and I would love to see Burning Safari extended into something more substantial. Love that short.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #25
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Can't it be both? There is no rule saying it can't be both.

Like your short. I actually quite liked it and it had a really cool color tone to it. I could see the consistancy and it looked very professional.

I did fall under the number 1 type of short, the chase and/or fight scene.

Check it out

Salesman Pete
The Chase
The Chase (the other one)
Mac and Cheese
Rosa
Burning Safari
Meet Buck
Azeur
The Cheesburger chasing the dude
etc.

9 out of 10 animations feature someone getting chased and fighting something. Also included is hunting, art gone wild (motion graphics gone wild) and slapstick poo jokes.

So really all we have to show Hollywood is a chase scene, they pee, and give you money.


Like I said, in my experience.. it flits from hour to hour or day to day. I suppose,scientifically, if you take the average of sessions/days/hours where I was more focused on telling the story or when I was more focused on trying to make something visually pretty... I'd see how many percent of the days were spent working the story visually or working the action in style.

The truth though is.. in Writing phase.. you are 100% on story. There's some style sometimes there.. but you're almost all Story all the time.

It's when you've "locked that in" (which is sort of a myth by the way cause when you're finally looking at scenes you get new ideas).... That you start thinking about "Cutting in motion"... "Shot Reverse Shot"...."180 degree rules"... "Is the red laser sight flashing properly"..."Do I like this camera pan?"

For example.. for REVERSION one of the first things we did was the middle part with Eve watching the hologram. I explained: "This is the scene the entire PLOT rests upon.. We don't get this one right.. we don't have a movie." Not to mention rendering Eve without her helmet was always going to be hardest thing so I really pushed for a "Baptism of Fire" in terms of VFX.

BUT! You can't ALWAYS be about the story....That's what I'm saying... Because it's Film.. it's not a book. There's a visual element to it.. And it has to be visually appealing to a certain extent.

There were days on REVERSION where we were like: "We just need the RIGHT LOOKING KIND OF MUZZLE FLAREZ!" And I recall pushing my VFX team to see Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" just to see the muzzle flares. At that point you're not worried about the plot.. you just need those.... muzzle.. flarezzzz. :P

P.S.: On the matter of "raising spectacle to raise interest"... I'm unapologetic about the fact that it's true. It's spectacle like that which made me interested in movies in the first place.

Of course, having seen some "zero story" movies.. I do know Story is needed.. but the balance varies from picture to picture. If I was doing an animated film about the 2008 Financial Crisis, I guess there would be less emphasis on chases.. and more on long shadows... tall windows... and people talking in hushed but urgent tones...

P.P.S.: Oh and thanks for liking REVERSION. It's really an audience picture so each person who likes it is a blessing.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 01 January 2013 at 12:46 AM.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #26
Sometimes, they only work as short films. And they are popular because they are short.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #27
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: The real test occurs after the deals are signed for these guys...

Because that's exactly the question you have to answer.
"Can we make this a worthwhile 90 minutes on screen?"


Yes that's the thing, especially if the person who dreamt up the short version never intended for it to be anything longer than a few minutes. He or she might have no idea where to go with the story for a movie, which leaves it to the imagination of someone who may not pick up on whatever message is in the short.
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Old 01 January 2013   #28
Any guesses as to why Reversion isn't on this list of nine? I thought it looked much better than the recent all CGI Starship Troopers film that came out recently. Of course, maybe you already have your deal and are just being hush hush about it.

I can't see Youtube or blogspot websites, so I was never able to follow the production. I finally found it on a local site and it was a treat to see. There is no question that it is very polished and professional. As for story, I didn't feel it lacking at all. Maybe I am reading more into it than was intended, but I thought the guy who became a monster was someone she knew, someone close to her. Either way, there is more than enough there to be expanded into a feature, with events that take place before and after what we see.

With the exception of Rosa and R'HA, the shorts on that list all seem to employ live actors. I wonder if that makes the difference in how they are perceived by Hollywood.
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Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
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Old 01 January 2013   #29
Most of those shorts appear to be from people who have some live action production help, if not actual studio contacts (like producers). The actor in Archetype is someone I have seen elsewhere.


BTW

Anyone remember an old short film where a car was stuck under the front of a 747?
 
Old 01 January 2013   #30
Originally Posted by kelgy: BTW

Anyone remember an old short film where a car was stuck under the front of a 747?

Who can forget 405?

Co-creator Bruce Branit also created another short World Builder. Both shorts are rather complete, so I don't see the need to expand them into feature movies.
 
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