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Writing The Short Film

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  1. WritingTheShort Film

  2. SHORT FILMS: Unique form • Demand specific structure, focus, form • Less focus on character and more focus on situation or structure • Tropfest style - Gag films with a punchline? • Non-verbal, surreal, imaginative • Webisodes

  3. No Dialogue • Lucky - Nash Edgerton TropFest 05 • Action driven • Little character development • Potent set-up • Gag & punchline

  4. Goggles (Tropfest)Directed by Olivia Peniston-BirdTropfest Australia 2006

  5. Two Men and a Wardrobe • Roman Polanski’s first film

  6. Tamu Tu

  7. How to craft a great short film • Conceive a brilliant, unusual, simple but intense idea • Quickly establish your situation & characters • Always start the story as late as possible & end it as soon as possible – it must be intense • Always move the story forward • Add a sense of urgency • End with a bang! ? Know your ending at the beginning • Use dialogue sparingly • Be brave in your choices • Set it in your head, discuss it with your colleagues, redraft it, rewrite it, talk more about it, then storyboard it then make it

  8. Don't try and cram too much in Tell your own story or vision but be aware of other films in the same vein - allow yours to talk with them (GENRE) • Three-act Structure - What this means? Give your story a beginning, middle, and end. Easy!

  9. Don’t write based on what you know. Use fantasy, your imagination & research • You don't have to tell a story. You can focus on a theme, a state of mind, Experiment with an existing film or idea… • If you make a genre film, fulfill the rules & then exceed then

  10. Story Elements Point of View - whose POV is this story told from? • The reason for telling the story • Describing a need or a desire that must be addressed by the central character • The reason for telling the story -- now -- for this audience • Your specific story/concept ANGLE • Details through character & given circumstances • Premise - insights - defining the goal of the story - the desired audience effect • egs. King Lear - blind trust leads to destruction

  11. Coffee & Cigarettes • Jim Jarmusch

  12. Dramatic Question • Simply making a point will not keep people’s attention • Well crafted stories set up a tension that holds the audience’s attention.. The need to worry • Stories establish a central desire - the satisfaction or denial of that desire must be resolved in order for the story to end • Dramatic Question - will the girl get the guy? • Manipulate the dramatic question with obstacles • Trapped…

  13. Trapped • The Palace (2011) • Excerpt • Excerpt 2

  14. Two/Out (Kriv Stenders, 1997)(excerpt)

  15. Knowing • What does the viewer know? • Does the audience know ONLY what the characters know? • Or do they know MORE?

  16. Worrying • Empathise • Like the character?

  17. trapped • Character wants to get out • Character is prevented from getting out

  18. Economy • Avoid back-story & exposition. Tell us about the here and now • Use restraint - don’t use dialogue when you can tell the story visually or aurally • You don’t need to cram everything in. Some things can be carried over into the next project • It’s what you leave out of a story that makes the story fascinating • You don’t need to tell a linear narrative - compression and restructuring can be very effective

  19. Argument • Argue a case don’t make a point

  20. Emotional expectation • Know what you want your audience to feel

  21. Creating Active Characters • Passive • Reactive • Active Have your characters make active choices that make events happen. Force your characters to deal and learn from these choices as the story develops. Characters are defined through their choices, actions and reactions

  22. Character What a character does is more important than what a character says. You can define character in 5 ways • ACTION • REACTION FROM OTHER CHARACTERS • DIALOGUE • THIRD PARTY DIALOGUE • REACTION TO CONTEXT & LANDSCAPE

  23. Scene analysis • Punch Drunk Love • Run Lola Run - upto about 1:30 • The Godfather

  24. SYD2030

  25. Webisodes • Newtown Girls x • PYMK x

  26. Webisodes • A bastardisation of Web and Episode • WebSeries and OnlineSeries • WebTV - TV over IP - that is the real revolution to the temporary stop-gap of Cable. By being on-line and on-demand, TVoverIP has no schedule restrictions • ‘WebTV’ does not need the Biggest audience, it just needs the Right audience, a dynamic and motivated and engaged audience.