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To Short or Not to Short: Filmmaking Tips from The Forge Studios

I’m usually not a huge proponent of shorts, as there are not many monetary opportunities for them. However, they have become our “go-to” over at The Forge Studios. Why? There are several factors…

It Builds a Team

From the making of The Rangers (available on TFN)

Production is the “fun” part of filmmaking, and it gives people opportunity. Filmmaking is a team sport, and there are so many who could get involved with a short film—it’s epic! It gives reason and purpose for a DP to do what they do, the actors to get screen time, and for people to be on a set.

We are creating an ensemble right here in Rappahannock, VA—the home of our studio. We are also creating something for people who are not local to be a part of, because filmmaking is now global. It’s all about pulling together the best of the best.

After all, a resume is one thing; working with someone is another. Seeing how someone works on set and what they bring to the shoot can make it clear whether they’re a fit for your team long-term.

So, why make short films?

Short films offer several advantages that may be worth your while:

Behind the scenes with The Forge Studios team members
  • Shorts provide training and creative opportunities to flush out others for future long-form film projects.
  • They create a portfolio with the intellectual property (IP) from your current story list, which also provides you with a handy proof-of-concept.
  • They help you to hone skills.
  • Every time you do a short, you gain fans wanting to be involved in your current and future projects.

What must a great short SFF film have?

Don’t commit to making a short film before ensuring you have the details lined up. When you do, you’re closer on the path to creating something that will have resonance and build an audience. You’ll need:

  • A great story
  • Strong CGI
  • Humor if you can fit it in
  • Solid action
  • High production quality

I have seen a few financial opportunities springing up for shorts, and I’ve also seen some that are absolutely fantastic to watch. I’d love to hear your favorite ones so I can keep honing my knowledge.

One final thought — what if instead of so many of us developing a ton of small YouTube channels, we came together for a greater good one? What would that look like? Maybe a little like The Fantasy Network? That’s our goal—and we’d love to have you be a part of it. Check out The Fantasy Network, and see what we have to offer.

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