Short Films Are Resume Builders by Keith Sutliff

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: From a film distributor’s POV, would you say that short films don’t matter (they don’t count)?

Keith Sutliff: They do count. I mean they are resume builders essentially. Because if you can’t make a good short film, how do you make a feature? If your short film doesn’t look good, how are you going to persuade someone that if this is your first feature “Hey, this is going to look good.” They do count, however, I think today things have changed. It’s cheaper to shoot a film than it was. There are a lot of things that are shot digital now versus back in the 90’s and before (everything was like film). So making a short film back then was a lot more expensive.

Now you can make a feature film for relatively cheap. You may not have the best lighting or cinematography or the camera package or something, but you can shoot it relatively cheap.

So with that in mind, making a feature that’s a lot of people’s calling cards now versus a short film used to be. Kind of your way of building a big resume. It’s kind of like now a feature film is cheaper to make so a lot of distributors and a lot of people are expecting you to make a feature and have a body of work.

If you’re asking for financing on another feature, they are expecting to see features (not so much shorts) under your belt. But they do count, absolutely.

Film Courage: How many shorts did you make before THE MASON BROTHERS?

Keith Sutliff: Like four.

Film Courage: Four? And when you were a little kid were you filming stuff, too?

Keith Sutliff: No.

Film Courage: No? You weren’t one of those kids who were taking things apart? You know how you always hear about that?

Keith Sutliff: No. It wasn’t until I got to Los Angeles that I got into filmmaking and everything really.

Film Courage: And so you had another course for yourself and you decided to come out here? And you had people who loved you back home who wanted you to stay it sounds like?

Keith Sutliff: Yeah. Of course.

Film Courage: It’s a big leap.

Keith Sutliff: Yeah, it’s a big move and big change but it’s what I wanted so I came out here and went after it.