Acting in short films is a great way to learn the process of filmmaking, as well as developing your own collaborative process of working in film as actor.
There is a surplus taking place with short films today that didn’t exist before. Due to the affordability of camera equipment, there are more filmmakers trying their hand at making movies based on their aspirations and creative exploration of storytelling. Making short films is not only a fantastic training ground for filmmakers but also opportunity for an actor.
The development of more short films going into production means that there are more opportunities to get cast and grow your own network of creative friends. By working in short film as an actor, you are not only practicing and learning your craft as a performer but are also developing relationships with other creatives working in the entertainment industry. Such relationships may lead to additional work and genuine good friendships with your peers.
Actors are sometimes hesitant to work in short films because pay is low if any at all but the value you receive shouldn’t be based on dollars and cents. Working in a short film could potentially increase your work as an actor being seen at film festivals and with an online audience. You never know who is watching and there are hundreds of stories told each year of actors gaining ground in their career because of being spotted in a short film.
Working in short films means you are actually working, which gives off the signal to casting directors, agents, filmmakers and produces that you have things happening for yourself in your field.
Actors need to take the opportunities of working in short films very seriously but also be mindful as to what short film projects you actually do get involved in. The flip side to more short films going into production doesn’t always mean that every short film is a top quality short film piece. It is always a good rule of thumb to look into the key players of a short film, the director, other cast members and crew. Try to find out what equipment is being used. An obvious factor is the content of the script. Is it a strong story well written? As with any film project, there is never a guarantee of success but those are a few protective assurances you can give yourself before committing your time and hard work on a short film. The most important thing is not only the screenplay but also who you will be working with. At the end of the day it’s your own judgement call but be sure to weigh your options before diving into anything because if you work on a poorly shot film with an inexperienced team, you may find yourself in a situation you wish you never entered.
There are steps you can take to make your own short film, which is another smart way to get working.