I know this from bitter experience: if you make a couple of short films and people like them, you’ll play a few festivals, get praised, and win a few ego-gratifying awards.
After that, there will be the thudding silence of nothing else, because there just isn’t a market short film.
Shorts are usually cards for Hollywood, but now and then, they’re more. Usualy, they’re paid for by third parties, such as with Spike Jonze’s I’m Here, funded by Absolut Vodka, and available for viewing on the Internet.
The story of two robots in love, it’s odd, sweet, and sad. It says love takes sacrifice. And sacrifice is what makes love worthwhile. It’s a half-hour long. Thankfully, there is no product placement in the film (but in case I missed it: the placement certainly isn’t on the scale of a Lady Gaga video, with shots of name-brand Vodka bottles and close-up shots of cell phones).
The I’m Here Website is squishy and annoying, and much more of a heartache to fiddle with than YouTube or Hulu. It requires some thumb-twiddling wait times and then tries to force you into giving up your Facebook ID information.
Just ignore all of that crap, and watch the movie.
Bio: Meakin Armstrong is Guernica’s fiction editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @meakinarmstrong.