Whether talking with students at the university, clients at the studio or with Anderson West and Andy Salamocyzk I am often asked what is the purpose of making short films.
Practise for making something commercial
A calling card for a feature film
A way to get noticed for a job
A way to get out of the house
All the above are relevant, but I think that it is a way to strive for something more. Take fleas for example. Like a Lot of us, they are unseen most of the time.
Fleas can jump 100s of times their own height. You put them in a pint glass and place a beer mat on top of it. The flea will jump and hit the mat. It will try again and hit the mat. The mat is removed and the flea jumps a third time, but it has adjusted its aspiration to match the beer mat. It will never achieve greater than that height.
Film making is the same. You can only keep hitting creative walls for so long before your aspirations will suffer. Short films remove some of the constraints of commercial work or the monetary hardships of getting a feature off the ground. It is with this creative environment and the freedom on a self initiated project that you can truly jump as high as you want, without having constraints like beer mats put upon you. With its discoveries you can then go forth with experience and creative confidence.