Film reviewing is a perplexing job title. You are employed to watch films and write about them, so you have to be good. Though, everyone reviews a film once they’ve seen it, unless you’re a passive cinema-goer. ‘Cinephiles’ especially rant about the qualities of films which place them on the spectrum of the infamous 5 stars. Let’s look at why film reviews are even a thing. I’ll be using Lady Bird as a reference film.
Here’s a section of Empire Magazine’s review:
A short and sweet summary is fundamental for a film review. Though, a good writer is able to weave plot details throughout an article, whilst deconstructing other elements, such as performance – so that by the end of the reading, we have a good understanding of what to expect. Personally I like to go into a film relatively blind, but author Terri White is quite relaxed with the information.
The bulk of the article should be an overview of certain moments or elements of the film which make it worth seeing:
And finally, a generous or scrutinizing summary to encourage or discourage readers from being viewers of the film:
Let’s take a look at a far more comprehensive reviewer.
Note: The Guardian is a newspaper, but the article content in the film review section is just as commonly seen as film review magazines. More people will read The Guardian or other newspapers than film review magazines.
Writer Peter Bradshaw’s title gives an immediate sense of what the film will talk about. He uses the title as a part of the review. This, in my opinion, is a far more intelligent and effective way to review a film.
See that it compares the film to others – intertextuality reels in other viewers. It discussed in-depth, the performances of Ronan and Metcalf, which were astounding, by the way.
So, this research shows that I prefer the style of The Guardian’s article style, a more immersive read, both before and after you’ve seen the film. This is important too, people who’ve seen the film will love to read about it – given that they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Lady Bird. There is an argument that short and sweet is better. For instance, my dad thinks that reading film reviews before seeing a film can warp, or spoil the filmic experience.
“I was in Reno, or Las Vegas, I think it was Reno. And I saw this film in a theatre there and It was massive in the states. ‘ET’. I went home to my friends in London and told them how fab it was and they basically told me to f-off.”
This proves that films are better viewed blind. Your concentration is enhanced as you’re not waiting for that iconic moment you saw in the trailer or poster.
“OVERRATED” – THIS IS PROOF.
I can’t say that I’ve ever read a short film review. There isn’t much money in short film – so the people won’t go to the cinema and watch them. This is an exception for Pre-1950s European cinema which mainly consisted of short film, as well as modern Oscar-Winning shorts such as The Silent Child, or Sundance’s Short Film weekly. https://www.shortoftheweek.com/channels/sundance-films/
Rightly f**king so. ‘The Silent Child’ is not just a “nice short film”.
PLEASE BUY IT AND WATCH IT. (It is better than the Shape Of Water.)
This short film follows the heart-aching story of one-in-many young persons across the world who suffer in silence (pardon the pun) due to deafness, or any other auditory or optical conditions which limit them from the basics of human communication. Rachel Shenton chooses to write her compelling short film about a young girl whose hearing abilities limit her from communicating. Shelton’s character, ‘Joanne’ is “the help,” who passionately aims to teach Libby how to sign.
Gorgeously bleak cinematography and direction by Chris Overton simplifies the scenario to a dull, but enriched minimum. The gaze Joanne first gives to Libby is a representation of how the world looks at these unfortunately depraved mass of people. The muted focus on Libby strengthens our frustrations throughout, a key theme in the short.
The ignorance of the world is represented with a middle-class family living in the North. A sense of frustration is perfectly executed with a slow-motion sequence of a dinner time conversation, with only muted sounds and echoes, which gives us an impression of how isolated children like Libby are.
In a family obsessed with image, there is no place for a disabled child, and so this leads to horrific neglection from her mother, Sue. I enjoyed the way that Shelton chose for the family to have two Mercedes cars, as there is a very popular stigma about Mercedes drivers. Two in one household is the icing on the cake as far as production design goes.
As you’ll have noticed, the colour grade of the film is dulled down to a calm, through striking neutral. It reflects the muted nature of the girl’s family life. The sequences (especially the montage scene) with Joanne are far more saturated and colour-rich.
I won’t say much more about the contents of the film, besides that it’s fab.
Shelton is a true talent to British film. I hope that this is her first moment of celebration of many.
// An afterthought: to make this post relevant to the coursework, I’ll say this. Northern Drama is the drama to look out for in the future of British Film. It has a raw edge to it which can make artwork like this possible. Our film will not have a scratch on this, but true short films are aimed to carry important messages. Ours follows the innocence in youth. If we employ a similar approach to the North as Shelton with our cinematography, direction and colour grade, I’m adamant that we will find a small form of recognition, or pride amongst ourselves.
James Reid, whose virtuoso piano aided us in shaping our soundtrack, for both the synth ideas and “His Theme”.
Our first step was recording my ideas into the piece. Having practised to Grade 7 with Guitar Theory, you’d think I’d know how to hold one, but no. Hours of experimentation with this acoustic guitar led to an epiphany which resulted in musical ideas that became quickly suitable and iconic to the film. For reference, I had drafted ‘Kat’s Theme‘ before we had fully crafted the idea – so parts of the film are influenced by this. For example, Scene 8 on the Glen, where they meet for the second time was a perfect opportunity to use the idea in it – you’ll understand when watching the film.
How did I craft the idea?
Part One: Harmonics
Harmonics are overtones which accompany normal tones when fretting (placing fingers lightly over) at certain intervals, as seen above. This sound can only be created when a string is vibrated on only an exact fraction of it’s total length. For example, the 12th fret harmonic is the loudest as it splits the string in half directly. We use the 12th fret harmonic in our soundtrack frequently.
But wait, there’s more. The intervals that you see in the diagram are used in the soundtrack, but only in His Theme. I discovered intervals above the 12th fret, over the guitar’s sound hole. I marked them, tuned the guitar to Drop D tuning (DADGBE), and wrote this.
We agreed that the harmonics allow for notes to really ring out and reverberate through the guitar. The layering creates a texture, and with the D-major key, we have a positive feel to the theme of this young girl’s short adventure into a Sci-Fi world.
We were missing something.
If you see Blade Runner 2049, you’ll hear the gorgeous murmurs of Hanz Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. If you binge Stranger Things season 2 you’ll be delighted by the light hum of Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein’s masterful score. The key to these soundtracks lies here:
S Y N T H .
Our film, being a sort-of Sci-Fi, needs to ramp up it’s Sci-Fi-ness to accommodate for the lovers of the genre. We decided to introduce some synth tracks into the film. It provides a gentle hum, or deep roar, which enhances the feel of a scene. We were delighted when we heard what James and Caleb could seperately achieve using special audio effects.
We’re still waiting on more synth, I’m sure it’ll be just as satisfying as the last.
On the day of recording, we also enjoyed the delightful experience of visiting Fox’s biscuit factory next door. 500g bags for £1 or less. Enough said.
Finally, before leaving the studio, we had one more issue. Kat had a theme, but the main character, the alien or ‘him’ didn’t.
I played a variation of harmonics, and James improvised for around 15 minutes after showing him a short scene, finally resulting in this, which we love.
In film, image and sound have a gorgeous relationship, and this relationship is solidified by the soundtrack of a film. Mood can be swayed or intensified by the soundtrack when applied to a scene if done well. With low pitched and slow soundtracks to slow down the pace and high pitched and fast tracks to speed up the pace. In addition to this, minor keys in music, or dissonance of any kind can cause moods of uncertainty or uneasiness in a scene while major keys can prompt feelings of happiness and security.
“Call me by your Name” has a collection of songs that convey the feeling of the narrative very well, which can be taken away from the film, still leaving artwork on their own. The first being ‘Mystery of Love’ produced by Sufjan Stevens. The scene shows the two main love interests: Elio and Oliver, being alone together for the first time since the met, letting their forbidden love flourish. This scene is a breath of fresh air compared to the intense secrecy and frustrating muteness of the rest of the film, which I think shadows the feelings of homosexuality: oppressed. This heartwarming and cathartic scene is extenuated by the song accompanying it. The song is also written to trigger memories. These memories being ones of both good and bad, in this case good. The summer romance between Elio and Oliver is given personality through this song and that’s why it fits so well and does such an excellent job of tugging on the heart strings of the viewers – that tingly feeling.
The second song of the same artists called ‘Visions of Gidion’ being the polar opposite of ‘Mystery of Love’ conveying heartbreak and sadness. This can be through it’s slow and minor piano throughout or even the first lyric of “I have loved you for the last time, is it a video?” showing the ending of the relationship. The line “is it a video?” being a line of remembrance, with Elio playing back the memories in his head, just like a video. The song plays throughout the credits as Elio looks into the fire and silently sobs, but nearing the end he smiles through the pain knowing that his summer romance is something special, giving him identity and something he will never forget. Without the soundtrack this scene wouldn’t have the same power it does with it and thus wouldn’t allow for the audience to connect and feel for the character as much.
The power that the soundtrack holds is immense and can make the most dull of scenes feel like masterpieces. Interstellar’s delicate, but weighty score does just that.
Strings being the wonderful Hans Zimmer’s instrument of choice for the score paired with beautiful piano gives allows for emotions to be attached to the song easily, but for a Sci-Fi this is unusual as synths and more futuristic sounds are paired with this genre as it is more associated with the future of technology and the way things ARE going to be. However Zimmer’s way of layering these instruments gives that power that synths can sometimes lack. With massive wide shots of whole stars this style of music is needed to get the mood across. The build up of low and how pitch instruments all at once overpowers your senses, just like if you were to travel at the speeds close to light, which is what happens in the film. These breathtaking shots of new worlds and incredible triumphs by the human race are perfectly backed up by the soundtrack, transmitting the feelings of the characters into the audience with this music.
Mountains really stands out with its blaring organ that brings out raw emotions in the audience and can build strong connections to the scene, especially if it is key to telling the story.
“Stay” being another of Zimmer’s songs that really hammers home the feeling of the scene near the end, being ridiculously loud to make the heightening of emotion in the scene as Cooper leaves his family to explore space.
FORMALISM: (Concept) The idea that films are in fact artistic works and not simply an entertaining representation of real life.
“Life as it is when we’re not part of it.” Virginia Woolf’s interpretation of film shows a more realistic film interpretation.
Formalistic films are often artistic or unfamiliar representations of life.
There are very few films which have no relation to the ones you’ve seen before – and the ones you’ve seen before are only realistic representations of life. We have stunning pieces, such as Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive, or the Spaghetti Westerns by Sergio Leone.
Blue Velvet by the magnificent(ly overrated) David Lynch features some of the best formalistic cues in any film that I’ve seen. “a clear blue sky panning down to reveal crimson red roses and a white picket fence.” This shot is a perfect example of de-familiarisation as it makes viewers wonder what they are looking at, and so this is NOT A TRUE REPRESENTATION OF LIFE.
Mulholland Drive is another David Lynch film – okay so maybe I quite like David Lynch. This masterpiece with Naomi Watts is set in a dream-like Los Angeles. Though, the interpretation of dreaming in this is presented in a far more formalistic way to some modern texts.
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) crafts a sombre and smooth, though more importantly, a realistic interpretation of Daydreaming. Walking through other people’s areas of life and being followed by what feels like one smooth seamless camera movement allows for an undisturbed flow, matching the confused feeling of the viewer. This is realistic formalism. I say that because it feels incredibly real, with the handheld camera movements and the interaction between the subject and the viewer.
Society (1989) – a scarring film, which takes the story of a normal boy with a normal life, and then introduces an alien-to-viewers sub-plot about unthinkable cults, which makes the film actually quite disappointing. Maybe we’re not ready for formalism in film.
Classicism is a blend of realism and formalism. Classical films deal with more dramatic ideas – for example, their use of camera and audio and pacing is far more realistic than the ones I mentioned previously.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. (2018)Room. (2015)
The spectrum of film reality stretches from the form of realism to formalism, with classicism in the middle. The film world currently sits mainly in the classicism region with films having more serious overtones and real-world representation, but having a premise that extenuates a real world factor, or creates a new one altogether. For example Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War has real world problems with tackling governmental involvement in global issues, but with having the whole new factor of superheroes being the one controlled by the government.
Realism has the premise that the camera is acting as a person and is just observing the world as it is. Films by the Lumiere Brothers are just static shots of everyday life which is as realistic as you can get… because it is real life. In my opinion this is boring as it relies solely on artistic interpretation and imagination of the audience without any ideas being given or hinted towards them.
While on the other end of the spectrum is formalism which takes every aspect of real life and takes it too extreme. The much stylised presentation and way of storytelling gives a very different approach to how realistic movies are made. Imaginative costume and set design combined with special effects are used to create things that don’t exist in the realms of the real world. Georges Melies is the pioneer of sci-fi with his highly recognized “journey to the moon”.
Classicism aims to combine both aspects of realism and formalism. This means that it uses the designed costumes and sets, while also using special effects and such, but it’s more focused on the story and making it seem real. A good example of this is the Lord of the Rings trilogy of the TV series Game of Thrones. These forms of film sometimes let shots play out into long scenes, however using pronounced lighting and exaggerate angles. In the 21st century movies have tilted towards more of a realism side, embracing serous and realistic stories. Directors like Christopher Nolan have risen in popularity for his magical ways of creating tension in films like The Dark Knight and Dunkirk.
Films can be successful all along the spectrum of realism, as long as it has verisimilitude. Verisimilitude is the purpose of the film or “inner truth”. A film’s sense of verisimilitude is similar to the Aristotelian complex of ‘Mimesis’ – a suspension in a false-reality. By creating a reality which is just on the line of being convincing to it’s viewers lets a film stick to the parameters by this reality, and becomes immersive. In the first few minutes of a film this reality needs to be created and presented to the audience and then stuck to. If this reality is broken in anyway it will confuse and audience.
This is my first design, a simple idea of a VHS tape with reflections from the film within. It carries that 80s style well, and suits the ‘Indie’ short film style – nothing too bold.
THIS IS MY DESIGN. A setup of the TV and the VHS player – a key electrical component and motif in this film. ‘The Sound of the TV’ is also our credits song. Also, it gives us an opportunity to include everyone else’s poster designs. The film is very much one with intertextuality.
For the design, I took inspiration from the Lady Bird (sick filum) poster. As you can see, they have drawn influence from the 80s nature of the film. The cassettes are designed to show the title of the film and the credits involved. We’d love to incorporate this kind-of meta approach to the poster. Lady Bird is a feature, but independent film, so we find that it’s a fitting influence for our independent short film. We’ll have film posters for Flicker in the background.
This is Matthew’s design. It features conventions of a far more conventional Sci-Fi film. The character layering and the abstract PS design around them has ties to the Thor Ragnarok Poster.
This is great for the kind of poster we’d have on the wall in the meta design. Matthew’s design is difficult to execute, given the number of characters which we have, though the layout is far more recognisable and eye catching for ‘blockbuster’ Sci-Fi cinema-goers than our others.
Annabelle’s poster is a simple still from the film. It would go on the wall of the main poster in the background, as it plucks out a key moment in the film and so would create an instant iconic image, with the two main characters connecting.
This is a raw still from scene 12. Libby’s green eyes still show through in our CLog profile. The flat profile reflects the melancholy nature of the scene. By sticking to this level of colour saturation, we can afford to increase it in the warmer scenes.
If we wanted to enhance the image to create a far more 80s profile, we’d increase the oranges and increase the contrast and import some grain. This is, however, way too dramatic.
We have to remember, that colouring can ruin a film. It’s not a particularly dramatic film, so a deep and dramatic colour pallet would not suit it.
Little change is a lot of change. We decreased the brightness and increased the contrast in the colour curves. Then, we increased the depth of the blues in the colour balance. This makes for more realistic take.
Is our film realistic?
I feel like the film is a realistic take on life, though the Sci-Fi element allows for an out-of-this-world element or perspective. So, a slightly exaggerated colour pallet may be appropriate.
I love video essays like these, or any in fact that slag off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There’s nothing wrong with the MCU besides it’s convolutes story arcs and especially here, it’s shockingly desaturate colour pallet – as if they left the final film in the log profile.
The argument is that Marvel’s films seem ‘more realistic’ because of the colouring. This is wrong. Marvel’s films are hardly realistic anyway, given their content. They lack any sense of humanity in them and most of the characters are totally un-relatable. So to be honest, the colour, or lack of it, is just incongruent with the story and visuals in the film. Rich colour and deep blacks would benefit the film.
They’re often lazy, even with your favourite films.
Buzznet.com provides us with a charming compilation of the classic back-to-camera poster shot.
Such horrific unoriginality is bound to occur when there are films which are essentially exactly the same in plot, only with different actors.
FYI, No Strings Attached is better for the sole reason that Natalie Portman stars. She is a treasure. Not national treasure to the US, but to the world. She is a global treasure.
These posters are dissimilar, but the films are the same. Friends with benefits chooses to go with the basic idea – ‘let’s just show a split-screen of the two very famous lead actors.’ – NSA could achieve the same effect, though at least they had the wit to direct an actual image. A cluttered mess with actual strings attaching the two characters may have been more intelligent – but the image captures the true meaning of the film. They can’t take their eyes off of each other. I find the FWB poster confusing. Justy T looks guilty and gives a smouldering look towards Mila Kunis, but she just looks embarrassed. It doesn’t give any depth or subtext to the film. Neither of them are great, but NSA has more to give.
I’ve never understood film posters which shoot the actors in some well-lit, but bleak studio, distancing them from the mimesis that the film spends an hour and a half creating. It’s no better than compositing two images of the actors from GI. As far as the distributors can see, the actors are the most important aspect of the film in FWB, showing that the film doesn’t have much more to offer than soft-core pornography. So, after this rant, I should thank FWB, because had I already not seen the film, I might have just not seen it had I seen the poster to begin with. A valuable lesson learned.
Would it be okay if I set a disclaimer stating that I do not enjoy this film, though it is a valuable lesson to any ‘film-buff’ out there, that you should watch Lars Von Trier’s experimental sex film.
This poster is gorgeously minimalistic. Unlike the previous posters, it tells us something about the film; it’s bleak. By using two bracket-like symbols, it reduces a sexual symbol of a vagina to it’s bare minimum. The artist has chosen a symbol which can be shown on a mass-scale, but doesn’t iconically showcase any of the sexual signs in the film. It’s an art-house film, yes, but that doesn’t excuse potential blockbusters from trying a little harder to catch the eyes of their potential viewers.
Any Marvel poster is a complex mess of colour – just like their films. Take that as you will.
David Davis, the Conservative Secretary of State for exiting the EU after the 2016 Brexit vote has openly shared his acknowledgement of a fictional dystopian film in reference to the future of the UK.
“With Britain plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction. These fears about a race to the bottom are based on nothing, not our history, not our intentions, not our national interest.”
It seems worrying that someone in a situation of social and political power is forced to use a fictional text – despite their acknowledgement of the text’s genre – as a leeway into the general public’s media-saturated minds. By even mentioning such a dystopian nightmare, we are greeted with a serious panic. If that’s all the leaders can say about the future of the UK, that it exclusively will not be like Mad Max, then I think that’s encouraging a slight apprehension.
An element of hyperrealism can be suggested in what Davis has said. He’s describing people’s expectations of the future with a dystopian fantasy text.
The moors shoot (part two) was more challenging than the snowy, freezing-cold first. This one was freezing cold as well, though we managed to experience gale-force winds which compromised our audio quality [as you can see below, we had to make sacrifices]. Furthermore, working with the sun was difficult as in we had to wait for clouds to die down to maintain the verisimilitude of the scene, not to confuse the viewer.
This was an intense and meaningful scene, which included dialogue. It was important that we kept our spirits high, despite the cold, and ploughed on through the shoot.
We were seriously proud of an interaction between actors Peter and Libby, which created emotion effectively when we cut it together later that week.
Sundance film festival is an annual event held in Park City, Utah. It stands as the largest film festival in the United States and in 2016 there were more than 46,660 attendees; it is because of these not inconsiderable numbers that so many independent film creators elect to display their products in the festivals competition.
Why do independent productions use film festivals?
The publicity gained from participation in the competition alone, never mind actually
winning, can make or break an independent production. With an ever expanding roster of
awards to be earned (from eight in 1984 when the festival began, to thirty three in 2016) there is ample opportunity for an array of independent film makers to gain recognition for their productions and perhaps even garner interest from media giants of the likes of Universal.
Who has succeeded in the film world because of Sundance?
Benh Zeitlin for example swept the festival circuits with ‘Beast of the Southern Wild’, taking the top prizes at both Sundance and Cannes and later going on to acquire 4 Oscar
nominations in 2012; this clearly shows the impact that film festivals can have. Interestingly, this significance is further emphasised by the fact that this startlingly well received independent film was funded by the success of his previous work, ‘Glory At Sea’ at the South by Southwest film festival in 2008, without which his critical success might never have come into existence in its recent form, if at all, due to a lack of funds.
In the first scene of this film making showreel, I have included footage from what we shot on Monday the 18th. As you can see, this is not a scene it is just a visual compilation set to the OST Soundtrack which I composed and recorded myself. The fact I’ve used it as a device to apply to University with, showcases the shoot’s success.
£52 billion dollars. Is that what it’s worth to bottleneck our sources of media, strangling yet another source of news and politics. Disney have made a deal with 20th Century Fox‘s Rupert Murdoch, in which they inherit “its 20th Century Fox movie and TV studios, cable networks and other international operations.” When this deal commences, Disney will take Fox FX, National Geographic, Sky, and Hulu.
As you can see in this disgraceful diahegram, we can see that Disney will eradicate 1/6 of the major media companies. Disney will inherit $78.4bn of market capital.
This deal strikes us as being peculiar as Murdoch has been focused on expanding his conglomerate as opposed to selling it. However this deal may prove a step in the right direction for Murdoch as he wished to focus on the news side of the business. This also makes sense as Fox executives believe that their film and TV assists wont be able to keep up in the world of merging media companies.
This deal also effects the sky news bid for the 61% that fox doesn’t own yet. This will directly effect the bid as Disney owning fox then takes over the offer and can end up buying into the rest of the Sky stocks. This outcome is highly supported by the UK government due to the mixed history of the company, such as the Phone hacking scandal.
HIM: Peter Cook (my grandad). 80 years old. White-British.
Our decision to have Peter as the alien character is based on his lanky, though wise and aged appearance, as well as his boyish mannerisms which will carry through on screen.
KAT: Libby Aske. 9 years old. White-British.
We chose Libby because she has the perfect look for a bright and inquisitive young girl, and has acting experience. She is impressively mature for her age.
TOBY: Evan Hughes. 14 years old. White-British.
We chose Evan with thanks to the drama teacher at our school. He was recommended to us as he has experience with acting – including acting groups etc – as well as links to the TV/Film industry through family. He looks young for his age and appears to be mature and easy to work with.
UNCLE: Douglas Rooks. 60+ y/o [not too sure]. White British.
If you take a look at any of the film projects made at Titus Salt School, DR is the go-to actor. We have had the opportunity to work with him on several occasions and have never been let down by his talent. He has the great look for a roughed-up nasty detective/father-figure. He appears to be excited for the project.
Libby (Kat) and Evan (Toby) looking very interested in my presentation.
On Sunday the 10th of December – escaping the snow by the skin of our teeth – we hosted a full cast and crew meeting at my house. It was in order to present the actors with the initial call sheet and a thorough overview of the production schedule. We feel that this further gained people’s interest in the project, and excited them.
Peter (Him LEFT), Annabelle and James (CENTRE), Libby and Evan (RIGHT).
This meeting, though painful to host on a Sunday morning at 10am, was fantastically productive, as it boosted the confidence of everyone involved – especially the two younger actors. It cleared up everything to do with narrative – i.e. the police aspect of the story. Also, some ideas were floating around the room – for instance, Libby contributed greatly towards a moment in the 5th scene of the short. Moreover, the meeting ensured that the actors knew where they needed to be and when.
It was also a great opportunity to capture head-shots of the actors.
The most important aspect of character creation in film is making the audience care about them, something that is exponentially harder in a short film simply due to the fact that you have substantially less time to develop the character to its fullest extent as one can in a full length production.
To start with, making the audience care follows a handful of general rules. One aspect is the viewer’s imagination, many films have had romantic scenes for example in which there is no dialogue, only music and we, the audience, fill in the blanks ourselves. This freedom of interpretation with characters, the ability to impose one’s own ideas on a character or scene, helps with relating to a character.
Another integral point is the characters ‘itch’, their drive to perform certain actions. A mother characters ‘itch’ in a drama for example may be to work two jobs in order to provide for her two children. This is naturally a very stereotypical example but it holds weight nonetheless as a prime example of a character with a goal, a motivation. To see a character working towards something humanises them and allows the audience to relate to them, another important factor in making a character likeable.
The aforementioned importance of relating to a character is perhaps the most important of them all as some degree of emotional resonance is required to understand a character, any character be it hero or villain. If the audience has no avenue through which to invest themselves in a character then they won’t be able to bring themselves to care what happens to them.
In the context of a short film as compared to a full length feature film or TV series everything has to be condensed; characters still have motivations, back stories and blanks which the audience fill in themselves but for one you can only develop a small handful of characters at most due to time constraints and secondly you have to exercise efficiency with your shots in order to both develop a character and not spend so long making us care for the character that there’s no time for them to actually do anything.