Films that are too SHORT !!

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AN

Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by AN » Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:45 am

I was about to enter my latest epic in the Ebensee, Austria festival, but
guess what?....it's too short, running as it does for 2 minutes 5 seconds.
The minimum length allowed is 3 minutes and only a few of my films run that
long.
So I'll have to try and bore the judges with longer epics in future. :-)
Albert...the long and short of it.

Michael Slowe

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon Mar 31, 2003 7:00 pm

"AN" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
I was about to enter my latest epic in the Ebensee, Austria festival, but
guess what?....it's too short, running as it does for 2 minutes 5 seconds.
The minimum length allowed is 3 minutes and only a few of my films run
that
long.
So I'll have to try and bore the judges with longer epics in future. :-)
Albert...the long and short of it.
There's a surprise! I wonder why they have a minimum running time. Must be
designed to keep Albert out. Come to think of it one of my recent films runs
for two minutes only. I have noticed a trend recently here to condemn anything
longer than about ten minutes as "boring". Bit savage that, it may you know
, rather depend on the quality of the production!

AN

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by AN » Wed Apr 02, 2003 9:52 am

"Michael Slowe" <michael.slowe@btinternet.com> wrote:
There's a surprise! I wonder why they have a minimum running time. Must
be
designed to keep Albert out. Come to think of it one of my recent films
runs
for two minutes only. I have noticed a trend recently here to condemn anything
longer than about ten minutes as "boring". Bit savage that, it may you know
, rather depend on the quality of the production!
Well Michael, has there ever been an amateur drama/detective
film with a real exciting engrossing story line, to warrant running longer
than say 5 minutes?
As far as documentaries are concerned many are really just holiday films
and have no real depth to them to hold my attention.

Comedy? Well as you know it is extremely difficult to make an audience laugh,
and to attempt to do this longer than about 5 minutes is courting disaster
for the amateur.

The longer the film the greater the talent of the writer/director has to
be. That time/talent line is not a straight line graph either, only the most
talented pro can go over 2 hours and in the amateur field over say about
half an hour max. When I go to an amateur show and see films on the program
over 8 minutes I am inclined to groan for I have a good idea what's on the
menu! :-)

I don't think this is being 'savage' but just facing facts that
the amateurs, in general, cannot capture an audience very well over longish
periods.....OK, there are some exceptions, BUT......

Albert...butting.

Ken Wilson

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by Ken Wilson » Wed Apr 02, 2003 10:52 am

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
I have noticed a trend recently here to condemn anything
longer than about ten minutes as "boring". Bit savage that, it may you
know
, rather depend on the quality of the production!

Well Michael, has there ever been an amateur drama/detective
film with a real exciting engrossing story line, to warrant running longer
than say 5 minutes?
I feel that Albert is trying to be controversial here!
In amateur drama, which is mostly the films I make, it is very difficult
to keep a film DOWN to 10 minutes or less. Most of PHASE 4 films run between
8 and 20 minutes. You have to introduce characters, build the plot, develop
the story, present obstacles for the characters to overcome and then RESOLVE
it.It`s a bit tricky doing all of this in 20 minutes never mind 5! Characters
do tend to (have to) be stereotypical to save time. Gone is the luxury of
subtle character development which is available to the professionals. Many
amateur drama makers seem to go for "a slice of life" type of film which
is really ONE scene! I prefer a story, which is something big Dave was saying
on this site a while ago. Ken.

Dave Watterson

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:11 pm

Albert has a point (as usual) about the risk that amateur dramas which go
on too long can be a pain. But it is one of those "rules" which has many
exceptions.

When a good amateur makes a drama it almost demands more than 10 minutes
for the very reasons Ken Wilson spells out: it takes time to introduce characters
and develop plot credibly. I think at once of Ken's work, Atta Chui's work,
Channel 7 club's work ...

The difference is between film makers who can do it and those who cannot.

As to documentaries ... if the subject has any complexity at all it is hard
to explain it adequately in a few minutes. I agree that there are many tediously
overlong works but the appropriate length again has more to do with the skill
of the maker than the genre of film.

BUT as a rule of thumb: shorter is better. Let's not take it too far so
that everything becomes dumbed down to "soundbite" level but aim for concision.

For those still feeling their way into drama production, for example, it
is important to realise that the story may be conveyed not just by dialogue
but by action, camera angle and movement, sets, clothes, props and even the
way character's look at one another. Sometimes several lines of dialogue
can be cut and a simple close-up of someone's eyes substituted. That sort
of exercise helps tighten-up a movie.

Dave the McDiminished

AN

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by AN » Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:34 pm

"Dave Watterson" <dave.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
When a good amateur makes a drama it almost demands more than 10 minutes
for the very reasons Ken Wilson spells out:

The difference is between film makers who can do it and those who cannot.
Ay, that's the rub. When amateur dramas run over 8 minutes then
very few hold me on the edge of my seat...mostly I guess the ending anyway.
A good story teller is a rare, rare breed.
As to documentaries ... if the subject has any complexity at all it is hard
to explain it adequately in a few minutes. I agree that there are many
tediously
overlong works but the appropriate length again has more to do with the
skill
of the maker than the genre of film.
There are too many unskilled makers using doc genre, because it's relatively
easy these days to shove a load of glorified holiday snaps onto the screen,
add musak to taste (or normally not to taste!), cut and gift wrap. That's
a rap.

Just a little aside re using too many types of transitions too in films,
as many still insist on doing....just finishing off a two minute film entitled,
"Transitions" using nearly every transition I could lay my hands on!!!!!

Hee, hee, hee, wot a larf!
For those still feeling their way into drama production, for example, it
is important to realise that the story may be conveyed not just by dialogue
but by action, camera angle and movement, sets, clothes, props and even
the
way character's look at one another.
But that runs into the thorny ol problem of amateur actors being able to
express facial subtleties. Get two man/female amateur actors to look at
each other and express, say love/anger with each other....try it!
Or in these days get two amateur MEN to express love! Bet the audience would
laugh.

Albert...curled up in the stalls.

atta chui

Re: Films that are too SHORT !!

Post by atta chui » Sun Apr 06, 2003 11:32 pm

"AN" <AnimatioN@btopenworld.com> wrote:
But that runs into the thorny ol problem of amateur actors being able to
express facial subtleties. Get two man/female amateur actors to look at
each other and express, say love/anger with each other....try it!
Or in these days get two amateur MEN to express love! Bet the audience would
laugh.
Albert,

But it really works... i hope this is not the reason that you decide to do
animations without real actors :->

Saw you tie-a-real-knot-with-real-steel one at the festival. fun fun fun.

Atta

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