Producing Short Films For The Internet And How It’s Being Done By One Production Company
The internet is a marvelous place–at least most of the time–where we can go to find anything that can be typed into a search bar. How many videos on YouTube contain somebody actually saying “this is so going on YouTube?” Everyone wants to make a film, but not many of us goes past putting 2 minutes of amateur recording on YouTube or Facebook. However, for amateur or even professional filmmakers, the internet has provided a convenient (and sometimes lucrative) place to expose a short film.
Of course, some devoted fans of independent film might seek out local festivals, such as the ongoing Rooftop Films 16th Annual Summer Series in NYC. But that excludes a pretty large audience, doesn’t it? That’s why one production company, Finite Films, is coming out with one short film per month, with a unique relationship with their online fan base. Remember, the fans are the ones who make the effort worthwhile, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to listen to submitted requests. For example, after Finite Films has gone through it’s process of public voting, they will consider a constraint such as “One character has to be hiding a horrible secret.” It’s a pretty creative solution for writer’s block.
They explain: “From finite constraints come infinite possibilities.” Absolutely. Because when you have a team consisting of a director, writer, producer, actors, etc., creative differences become inevitable. If you can limit your focus to very specific ideas, then you’ve really got something. See exactly how it’s done:
• Anyone, anytime can submit a 1-sentence constraint.
• At the end of every month, we create a list of our favorite 21 constraints that users get to vote on.
• The top 7 become our new set of constraints for a short film that we will produce.
• Each time we post a new film, visitors can see the set of rules we had to follow, along with who submitted them. The writers of that film’s constraints get their names in the credits as well!
• A new short film premieres at the beginning of every month; and while we’re in production, track our progress with our weekly video Production Diaries.
It’s really a fantastic idea–but it’s hardly the only successful way to reach out to an audience online. Here’s the thing about putting your short film on YouTube, Vimeo, or even your own website: it’s free. Any video (whether it’s a short film or a laughing baby) can be seen by millions of people. And where there are millions of people, there is a lot of money in advertising. Filmmakers are breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that if there isn’t as willing an audience in the movie theater, there is definitely a future on the internet.