short film, long short film

court métrage, durée d’un court métrage

A short film…what is it ?


This week I wish to explain, at least clarify, what is a short film. It has the air of nothing, but several of you have a difficult time defining what a short film.

Attention, when I say : ” have a difficult time defining what a short film “ above all I want to say : from how many minutes considers t that a movie is a short film or not.

Frankly I can’t blame them as myself, at the beginning, I had trouble to set it also. A short film : is it a minute ? 10 minutes ? 30 minutes ? 70 minutes ?

In practice, a short film has a duration between 3 minutes and 59 minutes ! Yes you read that right, 59 minutes ! Do not shout victory too soon, I already feel some of you hopping up and down of happiness ;o) You know, these young writers to the imagination that does not know whether to stop writing ! lol

A short film that lasts how long ?

In fact, a short film must not exceed 30 minutes, which means that after 30 minutes the movie becomes a movie ! Then the crazy keyboard, or the fools in the pen, he will have to avoid to write more than 30 pages !


REMINDER : Why not more than 30 pages ?

If you follow the blog for a while or that you have spent several hours to browse through the articles and the categories of the blog, you know that a page is roughly 45 seconds and up to one minute of film.

This means that if you write a short 30 minutes your film will last between 22 minutes and 30 seconds AND 30 minutes. But be careful ! the total duration of the film must include the opening credits and the end credits.

Know one thing : if you make a short film that is to be seen as widely as possible. One of the best ways that it is disseminated correctly it is to include it in festivals , and you know what ?? Very few of them accept to select the films for more than 30 minutes !

Since a few years a new category has emerged in the productions and in festivals : the very short films.

That is to say, the movies between 1 to 3 minutes. I remember seeing beads of cinema that were in this format very short.

It is an exercise in itself, but when it is done well it is magic in a pure state.

Here is an example of a very short film, I wanted to get another but as it is in English not subtitled…I pity some of you ;o) :

A short film what to do ? What is it ?

I had, a few weeks ago, an interesting conversation with one of you who was bouncing on a phrase that I have written in the article : personal money and short-film 2 (https://commentfaireunfilm.com/?p=5398)

A short film, what is this ?! He was bouncing on the word : ” used “, telling me that a work of art (yes, the short film can be / is a work of art) is there for the art, to exist as a work in its own right. I can only agree with him. The cinema is an art, whether it is short or long ;o)

But the short film is also a springboard, a testing laboratory , or it is possible to try everything or almost. The short film gives the possibility to young people and less young people ; (o) to speak and form.

The short film serves to at the same time. It has been the emergence of filmmakers of talent that, even today, we are traveling and we make it vibrate, albeit on a longer period of time (feature film), but almost all of them come from the school that is the short film.

How to maximize its chances of producing its short film ?

I’m not going to give you magic recipes but just common sense advice and experience ; (o) to Make a film, even a short film, application of technical means, human but also of money.

It is obvious that you will have a good storyline and I think the blog can help you write it. But that’s not all !

Since this blog exists, I repeat, who wants to hear, that it is easier to make a film of 8 to 12 minutes that a film of 30 minutes ! In spite of this, a lot of readers contact me telling me that they have projects of 20 or 25 minutes (or even more), that it is their first movie etc…

The problem (yes it is a problem ;o)) is that some of the young writers say to me do not succeed to make it shorter because their story requires time.

My turn to say one thing : wouldn’t these young authors who need time ?


I would be a liar if I told you that some stories do not need time to be told or developed. But often, young writers or directors want too much to explain things through lack of experience, technique, or lack of self-confidence.

For the realization it is the same thing. They want to increase the number of sockets, the axes or the planes to ” cover-up “. That is to say having the maximum material/ images in case they would be deceived and shooting out at the assembly.

And then they get involved in stories long, the characters too complex and a multitude of decorations. Why not… but not as the first film. Before running it is necessary to know how to walk, and walk he must know how to stand on her legs. Writing it is the same thing : before writing a long, it is necessary to write a short, and then write a short it is necessary to know the technical story.


To maximize your chances of making a short film, it is necessary that you recentriez on the essential : a simple story, a character, a place.

When I say : a character or a place, it is necessary to understand the least number of characters possible or possible venues.

A short film is like a slice of life…a moment…it may be a joke as a tool of denunciation but it is necessary that the basic idea is simple for the scenario.

Here is an example another example shot with a Go-pro to prove that there was no need to deploy equipment or staff :

Even if you absolutely want to write stories long, train yourself to write short, it is a very good school, it will teach you also to go to the essential.

How many days to shoot a short film ?

Don’t forget : a short film over 5 days and 10 hours of filming per day gets complicated. On a day it turns 2 to 3 minutes useful per day maximum…

But some of the short films can be shot in more than 5 days. I happened to run for 10 days (2×5 days) in a row. You should know that on a long time, there is a risk that the technical team is not the same at the beginning and the end. You will understand that a technician can take up to 5 days to work for ” free “, but if a project telefilm or long is present, it will be normal that he accepts it and leaves the tray (taking care to replace !!), out first assistant and chief operator !!!

I hope that this article on : ” A short film what is it ?! “you will be informed on : Why a short film should be short and, especially, how to have the best chance he sees the light of day.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of this article on : “a short film what is it ?! “

Thanks to you the blog has more and more success, then click on the ” like “button at the top of this article ; (o) Some of you already know, I’m shooting and I have a little less time to write articles, read your scenarios and answer your questions. I put a little bit more time to respond, but in early January it will go a little better. I promise you surprises for September 2014 ;o)


You can also share on google+ (I’m forgetting a few, sorry ;o)) Thank you again to all of you ;o)

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