Sunday, May 02, 2010

'Don't make a feature from your short'

On his blog, screenwriter John August has some straightforward advice that might seem surprising: 'don't try to make a feature film from your short'. He concedes that some good features have come from shorts, but argues that they are the exception.
Your first feature project should ideally be in the same class or genre as your acclaimed short, but not a retread. If you made a charming short about blind leprechauns, write a feature about kleptomaniac crows. Let the connection between projects be your ambition and sensibility, not a single storyline.

Go was originally written to be a short film — but we never shot it. Had the short version been made, I can’t imagine going back to write the full thing. I would have been too hamstrung by my original choices, and the scenes that had already been shot.

Worse, I wouldn’t have felt the same things the second time through. You don’t get your first kiss twice.

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