March and April are busy months for film festivals in South Carolina, which is ironic, because that’s when the weather is the most amazing, so who wants to sit in a theater all day? Anyway, since Brian and I had never been to a film festival before, these local ones were the perfect opportunity to see how things work before we (hopefully) attend festivals as official selections. Plus it was a chance to scope out the films and filmmakers we will be competing against in the future.
We watched the shorts programming blocks at the Charleston Film Festival, the Charleston International Film Festival, and the Indie Grits Film Fest. I had never really watched short films before we started to make ours (I know, shame on me!), but now I’m hooked. I love the economy of storytelling and the way it’s possible to deliver such powerful emotion (whether it’s laughter, thrills, or tears) in such a short time. I know I’ve done this backwards, since you’re supposed to study the craft before attempting to make your own short, and I’ve learned so much by watching the shorts at these festivals. I’ve seen what works to pull the audience in (funny is better) and what doesn’t work so well (don’t be pretentious). As we refine the final edit, I’m applying what I’ve learned, and I’m already itching to get started on a new project.