Recommendations on where to promote my short film

Started by SailorOfTheSeas, May 20, 2014, 04:23:15 AM

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HeY people  :yabbse-smiley:
I've written a script and plan to film it pretty soon, starting later this month and hopefully ending in early july. It should be finished completely around mid august.

Last night I went to this talk to see this pretty well known film critic Mark Kermode talk about the future of film criticism and, at the signing I asked him a question: if i sent him my finished film, could he do a mini review of it on this uncut podcast he does on his channel. He told me that it would unlikely unless it was playing on some short film circuit, but if it was and i reminded him of who i am, there's a chance he could do somethin about it. of course he probably wouldn't if the film was shit but, if its was possibly quality, there's a chance.

so i'm 16 and the short film will probably be around 40-50 minutes long. i live in the uk, in oxford. as for the genre of the film, i'm not too sure how to categorize it. hopefully, if it all goes technically right, i can see it turning out to be something like mullholand drive with hints of 2001 and PDL. but then again i hope it's more of its own thing. It'll be finished by around mid-august and i'll post it here when its done no matter what.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a short film circuit that i could put it on, based on my age/the length of the film/the genre/where i live so that i could promote it somehow? Also, if you know of Mark Kermode, do you know which circuits or festivals he looks out for? For an aspiring young filmmaker, it would useful to have someone like him (HOPEFULLY, if it turns out to be quality) promote me and act as a foothold in the industry.



40-50mins is going to be a problematic runtime. i did some legwork exampling for you:

QuoteShort Films must have a total running time of less than 50 minutes, including credits.

QuoteA short film is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.

and they're being generous there. those rules sound generous, because at a festival the shorts are being programmed together into a block of time, and you're saying "my 40min short is better than five other 8min shorts" and that's a tough fucking pitch. go for it if you wanna go for it, but that's tough

better examples are:

ghostboy's Pioneer is 16mins, and he recently edited the 6min Hellion, and the 7min Clean
just withnail's God Maskingeværlyd is 16:29
pete's Rope a Dope is 13:17
matt35mm's It Felt Good to Have This Pain is 14:35

they're not being lazy, it's just better. the important thing is to make it as compact as you can. the runtime will vary by what you need/want to fit in, but the shorter the better, because shorter makes it easier to program into a block of shorts at a festival


nice, that's helpful. i'll try to shorten it as much as the content allows itself to be shortened and hopefully i can make it around the 35 min mark.
ahh, you're right about the 1 short = 40min, 1 short = 5min x5 thing. it would be a tough pitch. annoyingly though this script isn't the type of script that is made into a 5 minute thing or that i could successfully shorten, so i suppose i've just gotta take my chances i suppose. if this one doesn't get selected because of the length, it'll still be worth it simply because it's a first attempt. if so i'll do a second one specifically designed to be around the length of all the examples you listed!

thanks again jenkins for the help :yabbse-smiley: sundance here i (hopefully) come!


I've spoken with or heard from several film programmers and their most frequent suggestion is to make it shorter (as in under 10 minutes) if you actually want to get it played anywhere.

There is room in this world for longer shorts, but not on the festival circuit. Even if the quality of the short was very high, a festival programmer almost always can't justify programming such a long short, because they program 90 minute blocks, and your 35 minute short will now have to be so good that it warrants squeezing out 3 other shorts. Even if it WAS that good, the programmer would have pressure to program a certain quantity of shorts. There are all sorts of other wacky reasons why films do or don't get programmed.

I'll say that I started out making 20-minute shorts, and I'm glad that I did just because it was richer practice, and festivals weren't really my goal. I was fairly aware from having attended film festivals from a fairly young age that it simply wasn't going to fit. If you haven't gone to many or any film festivals, go. I'm not sure if anyone gets into film festivals without going to film festivals first. You have to know the playing field.

But, y'know, you should make the movie you want to make, then show it to a couple of people who don't particularly like you. They'll let you know what to do with it.


(Don't submit to Sundance.)

(Or, I mean, you can. There's no harm. But the energy/money will be better spent on making your next movie.)


Thanks for the advice matt35mm  :yabbse-smiley: i'm thinking of going for it and editing two different versions.  one, i will edit massively until it works as a 10 min thing, and the other will be the original 40+ version. i'll put them both up here when they're done.

also, do you guys have any recommendations on a relatively cheap, easy to use hd digital camera i can use? one that i can use to upload videos easily onto a windows cpu. this is one that i got recommended to me. what do u lot make of it?


If you're looking to get this seen somewhere, then the 10 minute max rule that Matt mentioned is worth abiding by. Festivals screen several shorts in a single sitting, so if each film is a max of 10 minutes, they can usually screen 9 or so back to back without the audience getting antsy. I would focus on either figuring out the absolute kernel of your idea and focus on making the best possible 10 minute film based on that.... or do what you already have planned and use it as a learning experience.

Basically, listen to what Matt said. He's actually making stuff.
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


aite, thanks Sleepless. i'll take that advice. i think i might i make what i was going to make, but try and make some sort of under 10 mins prologue that can act as a standalone thing but also works when watched with the film. like with darjeeling limited and hotel chevalier for example. with that i can still concentrate with making what i was gonna make and not have to force it to be shorter, and still make something that is under 10 mins without shifting my concentration on the project. already got some ideas cookin for something like that.

thanks for the advice and help everyone! genuinely been very useful.


if you're 16, then look at youth-oriented short film festivals, or use that as your proof of concept piece for grants and workshops for kids your age. 
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot."
- Buster Keaton