Shorter is longer

The phrase I hear most often is “I only need a 30 second / one minute film, it shouldn’t take long”.  With modern media primarily consumed on ever-updating timelines through mobile devices, viewers react to punchy, promotional films that grab the attention and put across your message in visual bullet points. It works, the TV advertising industry has been doing it for decades.

I wish to let you down gently… Finished length is inversely proportional to required effort: Shorter is longer

Making short films is significantly more difficult and time consuming than making longer films. A two minute film requires all the same kinds of production decisions and activity required to make a longer film. BUT it also requires additional effort to edit the right sections of the right clips into a shorter time space yet retain overall meaning and context.  If you can imagine the effort required to read, understand and precis an entire text book into study notes that lose none of the information.

On average, one day of shooting requires on average 1.5 – 2 days of processing, revision and editing to produce a worthwhile film of under 5 minutes. 2-3 days total editing reduces it to about 2 minutes. I can easily create a 60 minute version in a half a day however few but the most dedicated will watch it.

I work quickly, have great equipment and lots of experience but many years doing this has taught me that on average 1.5 – 2 days editing for each day of shooting is what it takes.

Fashion & Freedom 30 sec promotional reel

Client: Belfast School of Art / Belfast International Arts Festival


 “sorry for the long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one”

Mark Twain