So you made a short film, what next?

Shortfilm money

Okay, so you are an aspiring film maker and have just completed making your short film. What do you do next? Can you sell it and make some money?

Well, first of all, why do you make short films at all? Contrary to the feature films where you have the luxury of a producer backing you every moment, short films must be made only with a specific purpose in mind. You could make it either to send it to a film festival / contest etc or as a trailer or teaser to show a prospective producer of your feature film idea. You could always do practice films and student works to hone your skills, but don't start making a film just to get that wonderful concept or idea that flashed in your mind last night in your dreams. Completing a film is just a step in the process and not the end of short film making.

So, if your purpose is to send it to a particular film festival do go ahead and send it as a neatly packaged DVD. There are thousands of online and offline festivals / contests to which you can send it. In this case you might not be able to make some cash but you would get a fairly good amount of recognition, particularly if you had roped in some famous actor to do a cameo.

One obvious place for short films that you already know is the internet. It is not just youtube, there are other(vimeo, vuze, ) who support independent film making talent. But you should try and enter into one of their partner program instead of posting them for free. This way the websites can show ads to people who watch your film and you will get a cut of their revenue.

You could get some corporate to do some in-film advertising and get benefited financially. Write a scene in which your hero uses one of their products and make sure you shoot their logo clearly. If shoot in a famous location, make sure you people watching your movie recognise the place by showing their logo or a person wearing their uniform. Don't just thank them in the end credit, talk a deal out of them

HBO, Showtime, TCM are some television companies that buy shorts for filling in. Write to them with your trailer / teaser and get them buy the TV rights of your short film. There are also music companies which might want to use your footage for their album.

The next way of making money is to theme your short film towards a particular event or emotion. (For example, Thumbsup supports adventurous spirit). You can probably sell it to a company that supports the theme. You can sell it to a gift / card maker for father's day etc. Check out iATTACHMENTS for example.

Last but not the least, you could get a bunch of fellow film makers and cut a DVD of short films based on a common theme. You sell it online as on-demand delivery or offline by directly talking to one of the DVD stores in your neighbourhood. The stores usually take a percentage cut based on the weekly sales.

If you know some other ways of making money in short films, do leave a comment. So the next time you plan to make a short film, remember, it could also bring in some cash not just recognition!