Short Film - Structure and Aesthetics – Essay Example

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The paper “ Short Film - Structure and Aesthetics” is an intriguing example of an essay on visual arts & film studies. A short film can be described as a film that is not long enough to be regarded as a feature film. However, there is no distinctive boundary drawn between the feature film and short film; according to several studies, a short film is described as an original motion picture with a shorter length than a feature film, usually 40 minutes or less. Short films can be either amateur or professional productions and are normally screened at international, national, and local film festivals.

They are often created by freelance filmmakers for non-profit. Filmmakers who create short films usually do so with either no budget at all, with a low budget or in unusual cases with huge budgets. Short films are typically funded by personal funds, sponsors, non-profit organizations, or film grants. They are utilized by independent filmmakers to demonstrate their ability so that they can gain funding for future films from film studios, entertainment companies, or private investors. Short films are a regular first stage for upcoming professional filmmakers; however professional crews and actors also make short films as another way of expression.

The creation of short films is increasing its popularity as more amateurs are creating movies and film making equipment is becoming cheaper. The low costs of producing short films often imply that they can be used to cover alternative subject matter as compared to feature films, which require a high budget. In addition, unconventional film making methods, for example, narratives or pixilation that are expressed without dialogue, is most frequently seen in short films than feature films.

In most cases, short films are viewed to be of their own category and are known for their entertainment and conciseness value. Structure of a Short FilmA short film usually has three sections namely a beginning, middle, and an end. However, its structure does not only involve discovering the three sections. In other words, the structure is not just a thing to discover, it is a connection or relationship. The structure of a short film, therefore, refers to the relationship of the sections of your film, to the whole.

It is how the middle relates to the end, the middle to the beginning, and the beginning to the end. This is referred to as the deep structure of a film, and all eye-catching and emotionally satisfying films have it. The starting point of shooting a short film involves finding an interesting idea or topic. This idea can be as simple as a line of poetry, a metaphor, an image, or even a sentence. Whatsoever form it takes, the idea has to be small and be able to be explored in emotional depth, in a short period of time, usually less than 40 minutes.

The filmmaker should think of his or her film as the visual expression of his idea. Therefore, it is very crucial for a filmmaker to formulate the basic idea of the short film as clearly and precisely as possible. There are different forms of structuring the material in a short film. According to Cowgill (2005), there are four forms of narration modalities in a short film that include: 1) the poetic narrative form, which is made up around visual poetic associations, 2) the episodic narrative form, which compares situations that do not have causal or narrative relations, 3) the discursive narrative form, which gives priority to logic, facts, and information, and 4) the linear narrative form, also referred to as classic Hollywood storytelling.

The narration modalities which structure the filmed material involve the viewer in many ways.    


Cowgill, L. J. (2005). Writing short films: Structure and content for screenwriters. New York: Lone Eagle.

Giannetti, L., & Leach, J. (2005). Understanding movies. Toronto: Pearson.

Isaacs, B. (2008). The cinematic real: Aesthetics and spectacle. The Cinematic Real, 96-124.

Rabiger, M., & Hurbis-Cherrier, M. (2013). Directing: Film techniques and aesthetics. Chicago: Taylor & Francis.

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