Filmmaking is a great way to tell a story. A high end movie production of a feature film can take well over a year to tell that story. Short stories, however, do not take as much time to do, and tell their stories adequately and in a shorter amount of time. Short films have been around since the beginning of filmmaking. That’s because all films at that time were short. Technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is today, therefore filming was more of a process the longer the film.
The very first films that were presented to the public was through Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope in 1892. The Kinescope was a device that individuals could look through to view short scenes of everyday life, royal processions, travelogues, and more. People could often find this short film entertainment at music halls and fairgrounds. By the early 1900s, technology was being produced that allowed filmmakers to create longer and multi-shot films with less difficulty. From 1910 and on, short films were turning into feature films.
Feature films, compared to short films, were praised for their dedication to a more complex narrative. Feature films were also targeted for the higher paying middle class as they were often shown in theaters and operas. Short films, however, did not lose their holding in the industry. They were often played through newsreels and live acts, and were even used for government propaganda up until World War II. Short film popularity began decreasing, however, through the 50s and 60s as feature films were becoming more popular along with trailers. Short films may have lost their power in commercial filming, but they never lost their visual artistry.
From their creation, short films have progressed into more than just shorter films. Compared to today’s feature films, they are still a great way, and let’s face it, a more affordable way, to tell a story that needs to be told. They have found their way into music videos, film festivals, and even back into movie theaters, which can be shown by Disney’s love for short films as they present them in theaters before their feature films such as Frozen and Moana. To celebrate short films, the Greenville University Digital Media department is putting on their own film festival called “The 50 Hour Film Festival,” and below is where you can find out all about it.
The film festival will be happening this weekend (November 15-17, 2019), and it is exactly what it sounds like. You, along with a group of 4, or less, will have 50 hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film. Of course, there will be certain requirements and proposals, but those will be coming out later this week.
Marissa Gomez, a Digital Media and English student here at Greenville University, has participated in the festival before and says:
“I recommend people to participate to improve their storytelling skills, to have a good time with friends, and to be able to make something they’re proud of.”
Check out the promo video below for the festival, created by Dale Shelburne, who was also the winner of the last 50 Hour Film Festival, and get out there and get creative with the beauty of short film making!