For those of you who read “Read a Book* in 10 Minutes”, don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you read a synopsis instead, or scrub through a video at 10x speed with the subtitles on. As a former filmmaker myself – I directed my first short at 17 – I fully understand the craftsmanship and attention to detail involved in making a film, and would never suggest any sort of diminished experience over what the filmmaker intended. In what I suggest here, you’re still getting the real deal. It’s just a way of making our consumption of entertainment more efficient, and arguably, more free! It’s already saved me hours this week, and I’m more entertained than ever!
First off, I’m a bit of a horror nut, and though I love the genre, a small part of me wishes they could just cut to the good parts. Show me the asshole teenagers, then get straight to the killin’! Superhero movies too. Most of the time, I’m like “I KNOW HOW DEADPOOL BECOMES DEADPOOL! GET TO THE KILLIN’!” (I grew up with hundreds of Marvel comics.) We can worry about how much I like onscreen death some other time, but the point remains: I was looking for more efficiency in my entertainment! I didn’t want a movie to waste my time. Now, how the heck do I solve THAT?!? It’s not like I can just skip the first 45 minutes of every movie. I might miss something!
Enter, shorts. After years of suffering through the same setup tropes in horror movie after horror movie, I finally had what I needed. In all the shorts I’ve seen, their narrative arcs were distilled down to their most efficient. Most of them were less than 15 minutes long, and by golly, I was ENTERTAINED. Does one short suck? Screw it, it’ll be over in 10 minutes and it might even get better. Okay, but did it REALLY suck? Watch five more in the time it takes you to watch a full-length feature! I can’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve struggled with poor movies and just sat there like an idiot while 90 minutes of visual trash flowed over me. This way, I’m getting told multiple stories in a shorter amount of time, and I have more control over when I want to stop watching, leaving me more time to get important things done!
Even if the idea of cutting down on overall entertainment time doesn’t appeal to you, free entertainment should. I know some of you are thrifty enough that you don’t even have Netflix, so let me link you to countless hours of entertainment! I use Short of the Week most often, and particularly love their horror selection. Film Shortage is also good. Obviously, you can find a lot of these shorts on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, but the two sites I gave you are expertly curated and get you to what you’re looking for in seconds instead of minutes. Even though I have Netflix, I still find myself watching shorts far more. It’s allowed me to reclaim more time, get more entertainment for less money, and support smaller filmmakers as they tell great stories.