Do you make a Short or a Feature Length Movie

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I was thinking about an e-newsletter I received in my inbox this morning making a big fuss about how all filmmakers must struggle with making a short film or not and so in the spirit of sharing and to ad something to the mix here in the forums I thought I might post some thoughts on the topic.

Whether you struggle with making a short film or not, I think it at least in part depends on story and resources. I always thought that it would just decide on it's own. We start with a good story. I don't mean to rain on the start with a good camera parade but it's just not a reality If it is a long story that takes time to climax then it's feature. If it is a short story then it's a short. The other factor is money. If I can't raise enough to do a feature but I can raise enough for a short then I will make a short. :)

So, how long is short? I looked it up on google and got this, "There is no official consensus or definition of length for a “short.” Any film shorter than 50 minutes qualifies as a short film for the Sundance Film Festival, while any film with a run-time under 40 minutes is eligible for the shorts categories at the Academy Awards."

I did the same think for feature film length and got this, "According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Film Institute, and British Film Institute, a feature film runs for 40 minutes or longer, while the Screen Actors Guild states that it is 80 minutes or longer. The majority of feature films are between 70 and 210 minutes long.

So, it's 40 minutes for a short which is about the time an episodic television series runs, right? Let me know you're thoughts please.
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