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Short Films with Messages (1 reply and 3 comments)

DoP Wong
2 months ago
DoP Wong 2 months ago

Dear forum members,

How do you guys think one should go about making a short film with a message?

Are there any specific suggestions for how the message should be presented without being preachy and under 15 minutes?

All suggestions and opinions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

Hans
2 months ago
Hans 2 months ago

Do you believe in this message? I'm asking because I would find it difficult to promote something I do not believe in myself. In fact, I'd rather not do the job. 

Never underestimate the audience. They sense a message very early and you risk loosing their trust as the messenger. 

DoP Wong
2 months ago

Haha Hans, in fact I’m dying to tell this story. I have something to say but not entirely sure how to make it into an impactful short film that doesn’t become a video essay or montage.

Hans
2 months ago

That's already a big step in the right direction 🙂 So you need a script?
It's hard to give advise since I don't know what you want to say. And a story can be told in so many ways. But if your message is 'preachy' it will sound preachy.
Here's what comes to my mind:
Don't be explanatory: leave much room for the intelligence and imagination of the viewer. The beginning can be puzzling and strange, but fascinating and begging for a solution: 'what is this about? I need to know!' The viewer should get to know a character by what he or she is doing (or saying), not by a description in words or text. Everything a character is doing or saying should be in line with his character or the story (character can develop).

DoP Wong
2 months ago

Great advice Han! I agree that maybe I should hold back a little and give the audience room for interpretation. Some of the best movies with messages somehow find a way to do it naturally and clearly while still having audience engagement.

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