Short Film Analysis

2012 Words 9 Pages
The overall length of the short film affects its structure, characterisation, plot and especially story. ‘The longer a short film lasts, the more the audience wants it to be a story. They want it to mean something.’ (Cowgill (2005 :9)). This means that shorter films, up to 5 minutes, are usually a comedy sketch with a punch line, such as in Knob, or a horror with a twist, like Selfie From Hell. The reveal or surprising ending seems to be common in the under 5 minute short, as the film has little time to make a memorable and meaningful impact. Even the short The Present, which isn’t horror or comedy, has a reveal at the end. The ten-minute short has time to build character and story to a climax, without the need for a twist, such as the films …show more content…
Teaspoon builds the tension of the main character’s frustrations at the constant ‘tak tak tak’ of her sick father-in-law’s tapping to get her attention, until she cannot take it any more. Anamnesis is an enigma of a story. The deeper into the protagonist’s subconscious the story delves, the more questions are asked; who is the man that keeps appearing? Why does the running water signify danger? And why is he no longer Adam? Rea & Irving says ‘A character can fall in and out of love, discover the meaning of life, or conquer a nation in two hours. In 10 minutes, a character may only be able to summon up the courage to ask someone for a date.’ (2010 :10). Although he is talking about the difference between feature and a short, I would argue that this is also true for the difference between the 5 minute and the 30 minute short. Anamnesis and Sidekick contain life and death scenarios, and deep conundrums for the main characters. Even Teaspoon ends with a death situation. By comparison, The Present and Knob contains much smaller, yet still as critical and interesting to watch, dilemmas.

With so many elements affected by the length of a film, from character right through to plot and story, it makes sense that when a screenwriter embarks on the task of writing a short film, they should have an idea of the overall length they wish a piece to be at the story construction

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