The ratio of shorts that make money through more conventional channels of distribution and exhibition to those that don’t is diminutive. Why do you think this is?
I think there are a number of different reasons as to why shorts that use more conventional methods of distribution and exhibition make less money than those that don’t; this is due to the fact that conventional methods of distribution such as cinema and DVD sales do not bode well for shorts mainly because the audience is not there. One of the reasons for this may be because shorts who often have a small budget are not backed by big conglomerate companies such as Universal and so the support and backing is not there for a cinema or DVD release. However those with more experience may be able to get their short screened at an international festival giving them and their film recognition and therefore ensuring revenue if screened in cinemas or released on compilation DVDs. Those without the option to have their short distributed whether it’s via cinema or DVD usually distribute their short via the Internet and so therefore their film is free for everyone to view and so no money is being made. However shorts can be made into a downloadable file that the viewers will pay for, thus creating revenue for the film-maker.
In what contexts have the following anthologies/collections of short films been created and how have they been put together?
Cinema 16 is a collection of 16 shorts compiled by producer Luke Morris. The shorts are an array of timeless, award winning films which many people would be unable to view if the collection was not created. There is also a double DVD edition of Cinema 16 which contains over 5 hours worth of films.
The British Film Institute has created a compilation of 10 films called ‘Moving Shorts’; which are suitable for media students aged 12 and over. The films were chosen due to their quality and the number of different meanings within them. They were selected through a process which involved a consultation with teachers as the DVD can be used in link with a teaching guide that the BFI have produced.
Future Shorts is the world’s leading short film DVD supplier and has produced several different DVD compilations that are made up of the most award winning, popular shorts in the UK. One of the shorts featured on one of their DVDs is the BAFTA award winning ‘September’.
Raindance has produced two different anthologies of award winning films; ‘Best V Best: Volumes 1 & 2’. ‘Best V Best: Volume 1’ contains 7 short films from around the world while ‘Best V Best: Volume 2’ is made up of 10 mini dramas and documentaries.
Shooting People helps to distribute both features and shorts from a variety of up-and-coming writers and directors and has released a collection of DVDs including ‘Short Cinema Journal’, a collection of 13 award winning short films.
Short Films DVD is a collection of shorts and music videos from around the world. The collection also consists of 16 award winning films and has been compiled to push the boundaries of cinema.
What is the implication of shorts being offered alongside features for direct download at sites such as http://mubi.com/?
The implication of shorts being offered alongside features for direct download is that many people who may not have previously been interested in shorts may now download and view shorts, therefore getting these films and their directors noticed. By featuring shorts alongside features these films also gain an audience which they may not have previously had. Sites such as ‘Mubi’ offer both feature length and short films for direct download from a whole host of genres; costing as little as £1.00 with some shorts even being free to download.