Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lazy Sunday #411: Offline Dating

Every now and then, I use the Lazy Sunday post to link to a video from one of my favorite short film sites, Short of the Week. This is despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of short films.

I think that's because I come from an era where those with a passion for film went out and made an actual full length film. Full length films had the potential to both reach and find an audience and that was the whole point of the medium, to tell a story to an audience.

Not that there weren't/aren't great short or even really short stories. And not that there aren't/weren't niche audiences for all kinds of films.

But when I was starting out, short films were primarily for animation, experimentation and people who dabbled in the form rather than intended to make it their future career.

Not so today.

With the silo-ing of distribution and exhibition as well as the tightening of who gets to meet with studio and network gate-keepers, it's tougher than ever for somebody intent on a film-making future to get their ideas produced and showcase their talents.

Often, even government funding agencies want some idea that you know what you're doing before they'll consider funding -- a short film.

So today's budding film-maker has to find a way to finance their own sample of what they can do. And that almost always means something affordable and therefore -- short.

But there's an audience component to this change too.

Art houses showing independent and foreign films are becoming almost as rare as the drive-ins that used to show the action shlock and quickie horror films that kicked off many a famous writer, producer or director's career.

Given the increased availability of films online and the opportunity to find pretty much what you want where and when you want, a film-maker now needs to make an immediate impression to get noticed at all.

Apparently, nobody's got time to search for talent anymore.

Understanding these realities, Short of the Week has recently revamped its site to offer even more collections of titles or channels that fit search modes. 

They've always had spots for documentaries, sci-fi or comedy. But now films can be found based on country of origin, the festivals at which they debuted and even the type of film stock used.

Among these are their staff picks of the best films from 2015, from which I picked a film about the "lack of time" or "need for immediate gratification" syndromes that seem to afflict all levels of social interaction these days. How hard it is, for example, to get a date if you don't search for a partner online.

Along with making a first feature, the art of offline dating might also be disappearing. I'm not sure which might be the greatest loss

Enjoy Your Sunday...

OFFLINE DATING from Samuel Abrahams on Vimeo.

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