Many short films failed in 2011 because of one major factor

Short films, documentaries, feature films and anything in between all have a place in our film industry. When filmmakers submit their finished movies to film festivals, there’s the excitement and anticipation of getting selected, and of course, the pain of rejection. However, some of that rejection comes from one major technical flaw, which I see particularly in short films and low budget indies: The lack of good sound design.

Sound, is by far the most important technical element that time and time again gets overlooked and put to the side, even by the most creative of filmmakers. After watching many short films this past year I have seen a pattern of success and failure. Those that failed to get their films off the ground excluding story elements, didn’t deliver acceptable sound design. Bad cinematography is more forgivable, particularly in low budget situations if story and editing are good, and sound is clear. However, when your movie soundtrack is bad, people will switch off almost immediately.

There is no ‘welcome sign’ for bad sound design. When people go to the cinema, good sound is an automatic requirement and we have been conditioned to expect it no matter what format or how low the budget is. It’s a harsh lesson, but if you are about to send your films to festivals, and the volumes of your actors are off key or inaudible, there’s only one thing I can recommend. Run back to that post office, grab your film, and head over to the studio right now and fix it.

Check out The Matrix and see what I mean by good sound design. Listen to the depth of the sound it’s soundtrack has.

The Matrix trailer

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