Fan Question #1: Monetizing Short Films with VOD

Each week we will answer 2 questions, Roger or Julie will offer personal comments on at least one of the questions. Your questions can come through comments on New Horizons blog posts, through our Twitter page, or through our Facebook page. We look forward to interacting with you and providing an inside perspective of the low-budget independent film industry that Roger and Julie Corman are famous for.

This week’s question comes from Mike on twitter:

This is a tough question. New Horizons Picture Corp does not work with short films. This medium was also not discussed at IFTA‘s annual Producer’s Conference, which instead focussed on films that could expect box office distribution.

Short films have traditionally been used by new filmmakers to showcase their work. But the market is evolving and a bit of ingenuity might help launch a profitable short form industry.

The short film medium has not gained a foothold in the marketplace, although some feature length movies (like Toy Story 3) have included shorts in place of previews. Although there is not a large financial demand for short films, YouTube has proven that short media is very popular. One obvious way to monetize this is revenue share on video hosting websites.

Gaining VOD (video on demand) distribution can be difficult for independent filmmakers with only one or two movies. Even more challenging is convincing the large VOD distributors to accept your short film. A quick search for the keyword “short films” on Netflix provides ten results. Each result is a collection of short films, many of which garnered awards or prestigious nominations, other collections are themed.

In short, New Horizons doesn’t have the answer to this question.

Here are a few resources for, about, and in celebration of short films:

Short Film Central: This database of films provides an online outlet and community for short film producers and advocates.

Student Films: This chat room is a resource for short film producers as well as anyone interested in feature length film production.

A Few Short Film Festivals:

Sundance Film Festival

Miami Short Film Festival

Palm Springs International Film Festival

DC Shorts