Lessons from making Kathal Virodhi (Tamil short film)
Creating the content is one part but serving it to the audience is most crucial to know if there is an impact. The other learning that we have with making short films is that the energy required is on par with that of commercial feature films. Just that the scale of commercial feature films are available and they have a budget. Quite many short films do not have a budget.
We uploaded our short film on Youtube.com some 8 months ago and now it has reached around 1940 views as on date. The fact of the matter is we ran a late campaign to promote the teaser's appropriately through various social media platforms. Having the content ready is one side of the entertainment business but it being served to the viewers is what will make it known. Today with the promotions that happen via digital platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, Google+ among others.
With the dawn of digital film-making any one who is able to wield the camera and put together a team of technicians,actors can make a short film. Whether it is noteworthy, that is a completely different question. As people, keep making short films one after the other their learning increases with the passing experience of each instance. Most short film makers start doing it as a exercise on a 'no budget' to try and see what they can put together. Of course many a times these teams lose steam due to lack of commitment, interest, equation tussles among others. These situations arise when all of them are 'greenhorns'. Many greenhorns get into short film making due to their college curriculum. For example, in India we have college degrees that offer bachelor's degrees in visual communication, journalism, mass communication among others. Now students of these courses are required to go through practical experiences which is required for them to acquire credits for their courses.
Off and on we also see newspaper coverage on 20 somethings having a tryst with short film-making with the hope that they will get an opportunity to do a commercial feature film. In fact it is true that in a place like India if you are at the right place at the right time you may be able to strike gold by getting the first chance at commercial film making. Sometimes when one watch certain films they get annoying because the way the film is made - what I mean is the premise being very fragile and does not hold any water. But at the same time there are some noteworthy feature films that are trendy. There is also a bane with our film-makers - they take a particular genre and beat it black and blue making it untenable to watch that genre considered for a period of time. The mistake lies in thinking that just because that particular genre worked for someone it should be tried without giving it a thought.
Well, having said all that, cinema is still a medium that plays with the imagination of people and it has its hold on everyone in its own way.
So here is our amateur attempt of making a short film. Do watch it and we wait to hear your constructive criticism.
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