Contemporary film studies commonly use the feature film as the basic, common dramatic space and format. The three acts, the familiar setups and characters populate what film students examine the most. If you are learning how to write screenplays, you probably have read and reread “Chinatown” and “Ordinary People” and “Tootsie” ay nd “Casablanca” and other classics. These films of course are awesome and history and deserve attention, respect, awe. But they are not the only source out there and, in my POV, they can frankly be too much. If you are learning to swim, laps are more manageable than crossing the Channel. If you are a beginner at Chess, you can learn how to “castle” from a friend, without having to study a whole Fischer-Spassky match.
This new category in the “Movies Without Cameras” Blog suggests different award-winning short films to watch and perhaps explore. Shorts can have alternative structures, fewer characters and streamlined scenes. What better gym for short-film makers to flex their imaginary muscles in?
The first short I offer for thought is called “Applaud or Die” by and with Benson Simmonds as a desperate man in an alley playing for his life. Not recent, but a timeless CLASSIC.