Short Filmmakers BEST Shot at Success
Short filmmakers who are committed to being successful and catapulting their film career into motion have an amazing resource available to them. Former Sundance programmer Roberta Munroe has written a book entitled HOW NOT TO MAKE A SHORT FILM. During her five-year stint at Sundance, Roberta watched THOUSANDS of short films. She’s seen every mistake, every cliche, every bad choice beginning filmmakers make. And, she’s seen the films that shine, that stand out from the crowd, the films that launch careers.
If you’re thinking about making a short film, RUN (don’t walk) to the nearest bookstore. The book is a bible for short filmmakers. Among the things Roberta covers: how to keep your story fresh, getting your story to the right length, finding and keeping a great producer, finding the money, getting the talent, getting into an A-tier festival and using your film to launch your career. It is simply excellent. There’s even a cliche list of things to avoid. It is painful to find something you wrote on the list but infinitely better than losing a shot at a festival because you didn’t know every lame short has that cliche in it. Get the book. Read the book.
There’s even a better option for short filmmakers. Roberta offers a one-on-one consulting service. She’ll review your script, let you know if it’s worth your time and effort to make and, if it is, offer notes and detailed advice on how to strengthen it for the A-tier film circuit. If you’re working on a feature, she can help you with that as well.
I sent her a short script I’d been loving for a couple of years and the guys were wanting to shoot. Before we committed the time to do it (because we have so many other projects going on), I wanted to get her thoughts on it. She was direct and thorough in her analysis of the characters and the story. She offered concrete suggestions (without rewriting it or making it her story) to bring it up a notch. She cut to the chase and now I’m more enthused than ever about doing it. More importantly, the film will be stronger because of her input.
So, if you’re a short filmmaker, read the book and consider having Roberta read your material. It may make the difference between a tepid response and a rapid rise in the festival circuit.