pre-pro Short Film, Feature Film or Web Series? - Lots of Different Opinions

Hello lots of different opinions this week has left me coming here to you lovely people.

I have condensed down a period drama story about my great aunt into 28 pages.

Short Film - 28 mins

Facebook groups are telling me that 28 pages will not even get watched at film festivals let alone chosen. And that I should condense it into 10-15 minutes.
I haven't tried yet but I don't want to cut out most of the story just because it wont be accepted so therefore it got me thinking:

Web Series - 4 episodes (10min each)
I could definitely make it stretch and concentrate on production value. I do feel the script is slightly episodic and like skins or 19th century EastEnders so it would suit an episode format. But then someone said to me that a web series wont even get noticed unless you have 100k followers on Facebook and YouTube. I have seen that festivals for web series do exist though but totally not familiar with how it works with YouTube. They basically told me to avoid this idea.

Feature - 60-80mins
Obviously this is the last option. I wanted to try an avoid doing this and pack a punch with a good drama in a shorter form but always have a feature to fall back on.

Any ideas or experiences with shorts, web series, would be helpful

Regards
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
If you can get that 28 pages in half and make a short film that would be ideal.
it takes a lot of work and talent to condense a story into half the pages but it happens more often than you might think!!
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Yeah very true. Are you saying the Short Film is better than the web series?

web series are doomed to suck and fail unless they are all filmed and completed before you start releasing anything.
the advantage you spoke about, concentrating on production value, does not exist.

if anything making something that is 4x longer will have worse production value because you will run out of patience, money, energy, run out of SOMETHING and start cutting corners. sacrificing slick thoughtful transitions and blazing through some scenes faster, etc.

maybe when you edit you will not have the patience to do something 40 minutes the quality you would if it were 10.
it might take 4 months instead of 1 month just in editing. who knows
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Sounds like these Facebook groups are giving you some wise advice.
I never thought I'd write THAT sentence...

A short longer than 15/18 minutes is difficult to program. The harsh
truth is most 25/35 minute shorts should be 15/18 minutes.

Yep, “they” are correct; a web series is very difficult to get noticed.
How many do YOU watch? What drew you to the series?

I've worked on several web series. From crew to writer to director.
Even a few that have won Webby's. But they still get very few views.

One thing you don't mention; why do you want to make this? To get a
wards? To be noticed? To make money? What is driving you to make
this period drama story?
 
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CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
Sounds like its going to be a personal story to you, if its about a relative.

So I think you should make it how you feel is best, not rely on other people telling you how best it will be received.

But, if you want it to have a shot at festivals, its best to go with the short.

I'd say the series would bolster an existing youtube channel if you have one.... But internet series have been completely obliterated by Youtube and other streaming services. Most of them don't do well without a well known celebrity to put of face on it.

The feature will have a better chance being placed on Amazon Prime or similar streaming services if that's what you are looking for?

As always, just my opinion.... Not facts. Hope it helps a little with your decisions! Good luck with your production!!!
 
Thanks for reply guys. I have managed to get the 28 pages down to 15 pages. I feel in some ways it is rushed. But hopefully i can calm it down when filming and editing it.

I dunno why i want to make it. I get very limited creative ideas unless I'm watching something. Like i dont constantly churn out scripts its once in a while and this story has been with me for 6 or 7 years and TBH i just want to get it made. If it gets lucky at a film festival then its a bonus
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I dunno why i want to make it. I get very limited creative ideas unless I'm watching something. Like i dont constantly churn out scripts its once in a while and this story has been with me for 6 or 7 years and TBH i just want to get it made. If it gets lucky at a film festival then its a bonus
In that case you should tell the story you want to tell at the length
that works for the story. Don't try to fit it to some unknown film
festival. If it works best as four episode web series then make it
40 minutes and break it up. If it works best as a 40 (or so) minute
movie then stick with that.

There are festivals that will program a 40 minute movie. More difficult
at that length but more to your vision. How about this: make the movie
you want to make. Then do a shorter cut. Submit both, carefully researching
festivals for the proper one to submit each version.
 
Lots of good advice so far.

Shorts that are 10 minutes or less tend to get more screen time at festivals. Simple budgetary logistics, more butts in seats per hour.

I get the impression that you do not have a lot of film production experience; it's a REALLY tough gig! Get lots of help; since this is a passion project you will need some experienced guidance so your passions don't lead you astray.

It's a film dictum to "show not tell." What this means is to use visuals and sounds to convey necessary concepts without dialog. This is how many scripts are chopped down in length, figuring out how to convey information to the audience without expositional dialog. This is where the numerous film crafts come into play. The set, wardrobe and H/MU can convey volumes about a character without a single line of dialog, as can sonic cues and score/source music. The cinematographic style can also convey a lot of information.

That's all I've got; hope it helps.
 
I've done films before but not on a serious level and i usually just do everything myself or with people i know. But i've just purchased a DSLR, a microphone and lights so i'm fully ready to do something original myself.. Maybe COVID isn't helping as we are now in lockdown but i find it hard to collaborate online. I'm 4 hours from London.

And when i Collab with someone online, they talk and we discuss the idea or requirements then they don't reply to me. And its always TECHNICAL, which isn't bad but I want a creative collaborator. I'd love to throw ideas around with someone without being charged for it.
 
For me personally collaboration is a face-to-face thing. Zoom and similar apps are fine, but there's nothing like folks in a room feeding off of each others energy and creativity. I guess that it's a holdover from my days as a working musician, playing on-stage or working in the recording studio. Still, I can give you all sorts of advice on the technical aspects of sound-for-picture in a forum such as this, or via email, etc. But just writing about the creative aspects of my craft - selecting shoes for Foley or just the right thunder clap or whatever - does not have the same impact as you sitting in my control room with me while I/we go through the process. So I understand your situation.

There are a number of very talented people on this forum who would be glad to give you advice. The most talented are working professionals, and do expect to be compensated and credited for their time. They are more than happy, however, to give advice on these forums. You may not get the full collaboration you wish for, but you will get truly professional insights. And don't be dismayed if some do not respond, or give short responses, or long-delayed responses. They are, after all, working professionals and their time and efforts go to their clients or personal projects - as it should be - and I and others here are grateful for the edification they give to us all.

So, my advice is to take advantage of the people here on the forum and really polish your work. The solid beginnings of a clean, tight screenplay will hopefully attract the collaborator(s) you want. I know that, like many, you want to get on to shooting your project. But even at the "Hollywood" level it can take years to get a project off of the ground. So your first lesson, which was mine, is patience. It was a lesson that came hard to me, but had a very positive impact on my career once I fully learned and integrated it.

Another piece of advice is not to waste your money on buying gear. Rather, retain folks who are experienced and have the required equipment.

And always remember - opinions are like assholes; everybody has one, and the all stink.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
For me personally collaboration is a face-to-face thing. Zoom and similar apps are fine, but there's nothing like folks in a room feeding off of each others energy and creativity. I guess that it's a holdover from my days as a working musician, playing on-stage or working in the recording studio. Still, I can give you all sorts of advice on the technical aspects of sound-for-picture in a forum such as this, or via email, etc. But just writing about the creative aspects of my craft - selecting shoes for Foley or just the right thunder clap or whatever - does not have the same impact as you sitting in my control room with me while I/we go through the process. So I understand your situation.

There are a number of very talented people on this forum who would be glad to give you advice. The most talented are working professionals, and do expect to be compensated and credited for their time. They are more than happy, however, to give advice on these forums. You may not get the full collaboration you wish for, but you will get truly professional insights. And don't be dismayed if some do not respond, or give short responses, or long-delayed responses. They are, after all, working professionals and their time and efforts go to their clients or personal projects - as it should be - and I and others here are grateful for the edification they give to us all.

So, my advice is to take advantage of the people here on the forum and really polish your work. The solid beginnings of a clean, tight screenplay will hopefully attract the collaborator(s) you want. I know that, like many, you want to get on to shooting your project. But even at the "Hollywood" level it can take years to get a project off of the ground. So your first lesson, which was mine, is patience. It was a lesson that came hard to me, but had a very positive impact on my career once I fully learned and integrated it.

Another piece of advice is not to waste your money on buying gear. Rather, retain folks who are experienced and have the required equipment.

And always remember - opinions are like assholes; everybody has one, and the all stink.
yes indietalk is a really great place!!
we are lucky to have the members here including you my friend
 
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For me personally collaboration is a face-to-face thing. Zoom and similar apps are fine, but there's nothing like folks in a room feeding off of each others energy and creativity. I guess that it's a holdover from my days as a working musician, playing on-stage or working in the recording studio. Still, I can give you all sorts of advice on the technical aspects of sound-for-picture in a forum such as this, or via email, etc. But just writing about the creative aspects of my craft - selecting shoes for Foley or just the right thunder clap or whatever - does not have the same impact as you sitting in my control room with me while I/we go through the process. So I understand your situation.

There are a number of very talented people on this forum who would be glad to give you advice. The most talented are working professionals, and do expect to be compensated and credited for their time. They are more than happy, however, to give advice on these forums. You may not get the full collaboration you wish for, but you will get truly professional insights. And don't be dismayed if some do not respond, or give short responses, or long-delayed responses. They are, after all, working professionals and their time and efforts go to their clients or personal projects - as it should be - and I and others here are grateful for the edification they give to us all.

So, my advice is to take advantage of the people here on the forum and really polish your work. The solid beginnings of a clean, tight screenplay will hopefully attract the collaborator(s) you want. I know that, like many, you want to get on to shooting your project. But even at the "Hollywood" level it can take years to get a project off of the ground. So your first lesson, which was mine, is patience. It was a lesson that came hard to me, but had a very positive impact on my career once I fully learned and integrated it.

Another piece of advice is not to waste your money on buying gear. Rather, retain folks who are experienced and have the required equipment.

And always remember - opinions are like assholes; everybody has one, and the all stink.
Thanks for reply i will use the forum as much as I can.

I will never be able to afford the rates that people are offering over here in the UK. Like i say I'm not in London; I'm in the middle of nowhere so the price that some people offer for a days work is very high. I can shoot it myself cheaper at the same standard. It was like 4 months rent. I should try students who are willing to join in for experience.

I guess i just want a friend. Its a very lonely passion lol
 

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
Thanks for reply i will use the forum as much as I can.

I will never be able to afford the rates that people are offering over here in the UK. Like i say I'm not in London; I'm in the middle of nowhere so the price that some people offer for a days work is very high. I can shoot it myself cheaper at the same standard. It was like 4 months rent. I should try students who are willing to join in for experience.

I guess i just want a friend. Its a very lonely passion lol
Yeah, but it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of people interested in working on films or being in them.

Just got to spin it the right way, and try your best to shake off the feeling that its all going down hill.
 
Having been involved in several short film festivals in the past, I will say that most festivals have time restrictions. Ten minutes will be better. You can google different ones and see what their requirements are. Several movies were based on short stories. Movies are expensive and time-consuming.
 
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