In the broad spectrum of the types of films there are in the cinema industry, whether it be series, features, documentaries, movies based on true stories or books, one category in particular which was the heart of my inspiration to even consider film industry as a possible career aspiration, was the short film. There are several reasons that I can talk about for hours because of how artistic and insightful I find them to be, but i will do my best to decipher the meaning and importance behind short films within, more or less, 500 words.
To begin, what is a short film? A short film is basically a film that is not long enough to be considered a featured film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.” Although these short films are used in the cinema industry for filmmakers to be discovered by showcasing their shorts, I will go into much more depth about more of an inspiring meaning behind short films.
One of the great things about short films is that since they only have a limited time to include an introduction and portray a story with a plot and conclusion, the meaning of the film gets straight to the point. According to an article from Tacoma Weekly titled, Arts & Entertainment: Why Short Films Play An Important Role In The World of Cinema, “Storytelling is at a premium when it comes to shorts. Naturally, with less runtime to work with the writers and directors of shorts must approach their stories with extreme earnest. There is no less of a prerequisite to develop characters, create emotional moods, and (usually) adhere to the “five step” story model (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution). This might seem like a near impossible task to accomplish in 10 minutes, yet a great short film rarely feels rushed.”
In addition to the quick story line, usually short films advocate or bring awareness to certain issues that are happening within society or globally whether it’d be political or community related. For example, this is a short film by The Jubilee Project that shows awareness about human sex trafficking:
As you can see, the film appeals to emotion in order for the viewer to pay attention to the importance of this particular issue. It brings to into less of a broader outside perspective and rather in a more personal perspective to show the reality of sex trafficking to compel you to have concern. This is how effective a short film can be as it gives you the brutal truth almost bluntly but still maintain artistic tastefulness.
Along with political and community related issues within society, short films also bring awareness to many other issues and occurrences that some might want to voice and show awareness to. For example, although disabilities or depression might be a part of the political spectrum of issues, it can also be portrayed as nothing more than an internal story that people should simply gain more knowledge about. Many stereotypes and stigmas can be counteracted by using this type of strategy within a short film because since it is short, it only takes a viewer who comes across it very little time to click on the video and learn something really quick. For example, here is a short film to bring awareness to curing the cause of Leukemia:
As you can see, by not first showing all of the details or as to why certain things happen, create a more interested and compelled experience for the audience to care more. The personal experience with this issue was shown to be much more important than the disease itself at first just to show that behind someone who has the disease is a life that is too important for us to ignore taking action on the cause.
Other short film goals are also to simply provide inspiration to the world and bring out the better and potential in people to spread positive thinking and optimism. It is reasons like these that short films have inspired me to possibly join the movement of bringing such issues to attention and help spark a change in the world. Film is much more than just an amusing moving picture to entertain an audience. Film is that voice that speaks for others who can’t speak loud enough for a wide range of people to hear it and even if it still may be a small step to improving issues within the world, it is still a step closer.