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Festival fare: 10 things I hate about short film

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The first thing is that I don’t actually hate short films. I love them. But there sure are some irritating things about them… and Keith said I could write about whatever I wanted.

1. I hate how short they are
It sounds crazy. But the best short films leave you wanting more. They don’t explain what happened to the characters afterwards, or invite you back into that world. They leave you with a deliciously bittersweet feeling of dissatisfaction. Fortunately, some short films get turned into feature films, so you can delve back into that world again. Did you know that District 9 started life as a short film? How about Napoleon Dynamite?

2. I hate the popcorn
The amount of popcorn I eat is directly proportionate to the number of films I see. And short films lend themselves to binge watching in a way that is detrimental to my diet. If you haven’t discovered our Screening Room yet, I suggest you avoid it. There are way too many great short films you can watch for free there. Just waiting for you to pop the corn and press play…

Chelsea Preston Crayford's Here Now

Chelsea Preston Crayford’s Here Now

3. I hate how high the bar is
New Zealanders are acknowledged as world leaders in making short films. The bar has been set high. So if I wanted to make one, I would have to step up seriously. Luckily a good story always wins out over special effects. A good example is Here Now by Chelsea Preston Crayford. Simple concept, no fancy production design, just great story telling.

4. I hate falling in love with filmmakers
When I get a serious crush on a filmmaker I find myself stalking their work online. Following them on Instagram. Searching YouTube and Vimeo for their student productions. Basically being a big film-nerd. Pandering to my OCD tendencies, is the proliferation of filmmakers who have a substantial oeuvre of work. Paul Campion is one I like to follow. James Cunningham is another – he has possibly directed the largest number of shorts in New Zealander (correct me if I’m wrong).

5. I hate how much I like them
Because the good ones aren’t as visible as feature films. So you have to hunt them out. This takes time. Valuable time I could be using for… laying on the couch, I mean working out and saving the Earth. Luckily there are some VOD services like Lightbox that offer a large catalogue of short films from the Show Me Shorts back catalogue on demand. Ooh shiny!

That’s it. OK I realise that was only five things. But ten seemed like a much catchier title. Don’t you hate that?!

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