Site Specifics: Short of the Week
By Violet Lucca
Twenty years into the digital revolution, it’s not getting your message out there that’s difficult, it’s getting anyone to pay attention. And because the act of rising above the crowd requires a set of skills that have little (or nothing) to do with traditional creativity, YouTube and Vimeo are more often graveyards than springboards to success.
Short of the Week aims to close the gap between artist and viewer by spotlighting the work of emerging talent every week. Since shorts are a tried-and-true pathway to feature filmmaking and financing, the exposure and resources that Short of the Week offers help to ensure that neophytes have just as much (or greater) opportunity to showcase and workshop their films as their predecessors. The site offers detailed how-to articles on navigating festivals and interviews with fellow shorts directors, one-on-one feedback (included in the $29 submission fee), and a permanent home for the films.
Those looking to support and engage with the work of up-and-comers can view it all for free, with easy-to-navigate curated lists of films which may have screened at festivals. Nathan Honnold and Alex Zhuravlov’s LaDonna, which premiered at SXSW, is a beautiful nine-minute treat about a pot-smoking elderly couple. Having the oddity of late-night cable-access television, it’s a rare piece of art about the act of exploration that begs to be discovered. While no replacement for a theatrical viewing experience, Short of the Week delivers on the democratizing promise of new media, one film at a time.