Young filmmakers often ask me how they can create a short film that will win festival awards. Having been a festival judge and an award winner, my answer always reflects the two elements that I’ve seen in all successful short films: some form of character development and a plotline that has a beginning, middle and end.
At that point, the filmmaker scoffs and makes a film that lacks character development and is missing a beginning, middle or end. And no, they don’t win awards, but they do wonder why others didn’t see their genius.
I’m not the only one who struggles with today’s young filmmakers. Steven Spielberg says of the new filmmakers, “People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”
Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation, The Help, Jurrasic World) was raised in a motion picture family with her dad being Ron Howard (The Andy Griffth Show, Happy Days, American Graffiti, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, etc.). She not only has a great list of acting credits, but she is an accomplished director herself.
Her latest short film, “Solemates,” has a beginning, middle and end, and also develops a sense of character – All done from the perspective of the soles of the character’s shoes. If new filmmakers would watch short films like “Solemates” and see that it has the answers about how to make shorts, far more first time films would start making sense.
Here is Canon’s trailer: Solemates.