By John Laird
Short films are an interesting subject. In a world where most want to consume any measure of entertainment as fast and efficiently as possible, the "short" aspect seems as though it would be as viable as ever. As far as I know, it may be, but "The Big Short" panel didn’t manage to shed any measure of light on the thought.
Moderated by Anne Thompson (Editor-at-large, Hollywood/Indiewire) and with a panel that featured Garrett Bradley, Janicza Bravo, Charlotte Cook and Kahane Cooperman, the lot of them largely focused on themselves and how their current projects came to fruition. HINT: they connected because half of them are directors (Bradley, Bravo) who have released good work, and the other half know how to use email and they belong to companies (Cook – The New Yorker, Cooperman – Field of Vision) looking for content. None of them really had much to say about the current state of short film, so if you’re someone doing solid work, I’m essentially left with only one bit of advice – an easy-to-find email address could be of great benefit to you.
For the most part the majority of the panel did bury itself in its own member’s accomplishments, but one shining moment came when an audience members asked about how to make money with short films. The panel collectively noted that short films are more to help artists fund "the next thing" but there was a small amount of talk about topical shorts with different perspectives and how those pieces could have a real impact (both monetary-wise and content-wise) in regards to sharing news and more.
Overall, The Big Short panel was a disappointment that didn’t do much to provide any actual information on short films and their spot in today’s world, but there was at least a small indication that relevant subjects with good production could make you some money if you have the right list of publication contacts.