Short Stories are an Entire World in One Simple Package

For some reason, most of the movies we see in the summer are part of some sweeping epic, taken from the pages of a series of novels that can double as doorstops once you get done reading them. But the interesting thing about short stories is that they contain a kernel of a story, and the entire world, theme, and drama that unfolds can be found in a much smaller form.

Short stories can be your greatest ally when it comes to creating an independent film. Your source material is limited to only a few scenes or characters, which means that budgeting for actors, location, set design, and a myriad of other details that just chisel away at your funding can take a back seat to actually putting together a quality story. A story that isn’t going to get out of control.

Character complexity, interaction, and importance of detail are the bread and butter of short stories. Independent films have been no stranger to incorporating all of these elements into a production with limited funding to create a good story. Today, most of the best ideas are coming from independent films.

The larger, Hollywood tentpole productions tend to be bloated, cramming as many big-name actors, special effects, and location shots as possible into an hour and a half. A working script is barely recognizable from its original draft, being more of a collection of what to cut for time, while incorporating “notes” from everyone who has to throw in their two-cents worth. Every cook in the house having a finger in the pie can lead to a blockbuster flop of epic proportions, worthy of a Don LaFontaine voice-over trailer.

When making your film, you have to have complete control. Due to cost-cutting, you have probably already donned the hats of casting director, editor, writer, and director, and you might believe you are already in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, when individuals are footing the bill for a production, they still have control over your idea. How many great movies were spoiled because the person writing the checks decided they had a niece that wants to be a star, or they had some great ideas in a college creative writing class that will really make your story “pop?” And as long as you want the checks to keep coming to pay for little things like film, cameras, actors, or sets you will wind up agreeing to nearly any completely insane idea if that’s what it takes to make your dream happen.

This is where comes in for you–the filmmaker, the Storyteller, the Dreamer. You control every element of your story. You can deliver your promise of keeping your story honest, real, and as gut-wrenching, poignant, or horrific as you want, deviating from the original concept only when it feels right. You can make a quality movie that will touch people. The only “notes” that people will expect you to take when they donate is that your film should tell them a good story.

If contributors didn’t like your idea, they wouldn’t be giving you their money. To them, it already sounds excellent; and as a film maker, you cannot put a price on that kind of support. Along with everyone who contributes, you already have a fan base and some word of mouth advertising. They will want to say “I helped produce this!” When you crowd-source, you hit the ground running, with an audience of people eager to love your film!

Contact us if you want to make compelling stories without the frustration. Get out there and just tell a story.

Thank you,

Edward Panos