In the old days, every movie ever made was short. In the mid-1910s feature length movies emerged. With the glorious age of feature movies rising, the shorts are cast aside. As time went by, people’s taste in entertainment changed. People were more prone to watch longer movies. However, the taste in entertainment is ever-changing. With social media and our capitalist fast lifestyles, shorts are on the ascent. Now there are many outlets to screen short films more than ever. Festivals and Internet are just a few. As Shorts are ascending again, many production companies are also producing shorts to deliver the right message. One very successful production company is VMP Films.
VMP Films is known for its unique story-telling style and understanding of the world. Producer and writer Vitaly Sumin committed himself to deliver many amazing movies. Inspired by classic literature, Vitaly Sumin and VMP Films created movies that are modern representations of the way of life. Some of the incredible feature films Vitaly Sumin is responsible for are Shades of Day – New Director’s Cut – 2022, Notes from the New World, and AN LA STORY: The Making of the award-winning Notes from the New World (post-production has just been completed). But more than that, they also created short movies to deliver a clear message.
During the postproduction of the feature-length AN LA STORY (aka Dostoevsky-BTS) Vitaly Sumin produced a number of short movies in order to create awareness about the forthcoming release of the feature. The selected three shorts, in particular, are the main subject of this article.
What is a Short Film?
When we think about Shorts, it is likely that we think they will be the shorter versions of a feature film. But creating a short film is completely different than creating a feature film. A short film has an idea. The idea needs to be fresh and delivered immediately. Thus, a short needs to be focused, specific and simple. Admittedly, for most people, short movies are harder to compose than feature-length films. Feature-length movies usually have time to set up the background story which is not the case for shorts.
“Aristotle and the ancient Greeks had it right: the unity of time keeps a plot from going slack.”Gurskis, D. (2007). The Short Screenplay – Your Short Film from Concept to Production. Mason, OH, USA: Course Technology Cengage Learning.
In Dan Gurskis’s book about short films, he touches on many delicate qualities of short movies. The concept of time in a short movie is one of the most important components of it. Time, or rather the limit of time, is one of the main characteristics that differentiate short movies from other movie forms.
How Shorts Affect a Filmmaker’s Life
“According to Ruppert, the biggest advantage of making a short film is that “they help the filmmaker find and hone his or her voice.” “Kar, P. (2019, October 26). Five Resason Why Short Films are Still Essential. Retrieved from The Visual House: https://www.thevisualhouse.in/blog/five-reasons-why-short-films-are-still-essential#:~:text=According%20to%20Ruppert%2C%20the%20biggest,on%20to%20a%20feature%20film.%E2%80%9D
The most significant quality of short movies is that they help a filmmaker to find his/her voice. Finding the voice to execute an idea is crucial for a filmmaker. Especially if a first-time filmmaker, a short film might be the smartest first step to take. For instance, VMP Films gave a very talented first-time filmmaker a chance to display her talents. Patricia Gunadi who graduated from Loyola Marymount University directed two shorts (Burglary and Lipstick) under the supervision of VMP. The result is outstanding! These two shorts are also two out of the three short films this article is based on.
Additionally, Short films give an amazing opportunity to deliver a message. A clear message is sent in VMP Films’ recent short movies Burglary, Lipstick, and Spiderman, and Crime & Punishment. That message is… Well, it is for you to discover… The hidden message is not difficult to reach: You can simply click on the links down below to watch these amazing movies:
In Short: AN LA STORY
Vitaly Sumin and his crew have been bringing modernized versions of classic literature-inspired movies to the big screen for a while now. These movies received many awards from festivals around the globe. Moreover, Vitaly Sumin still continues to deliver amazing movies. For instance, An LA Story: The Making of the award-winning Notes from the New World – the post-production process has just ended! This amazing movie was initially titled Dostoyevsky Reimagined. However, while the story and the plot were coming together, they had a different story in their hands, which was about the indie movie production in LA. Thus, they changed the title to AN LA STORY.
PLOT OF AN LA STORY
An LA Story: The Making of the award-winning Notes from the New World portrays the struggles the crew faced while filming another movie. It was not easy to film Notes from The New Word… Vitaly Sumin and his crew have faced many challenges including ancient cults, betrayals, and disaster after disaster. “A tsunami of unforeseen challenges“, says Vitaly Sumin in IMBD Summary. Therefore, the crew filmed a behind-the-scenes documentary and showed all the struggles the crew faced: Good news is, AN LA Story is completed! Soon, we will be lucky enough to watch this amazing documentary!
Patricia Gunadi in the Director’s seat and Vitaly Sumin in the Producer’s seat, Burglary tell the story of two burglars attempting to gain information from their hostage. Original idea by Vitaly Sumin, this movie is a combination of thriller and Hitchcock’s suspense. The movie opens with MacGuffin. (MacGuffin is what triggers a character and gets him/her into action. However, the audience’s knowledge on the matter stays irrelevant.) In the MacGuffin, the audience generally doesn’t care. But, in this particular short, they should care about what triggered the characters. This amazing short movie has received 4 awards so far. To check it out please click here.
Another great short by VMP Films is titled Lipstick; so far it has won 3 awards. A beautiful woman puts on lipstick. This mundane act is interrupted by a dramatic approach when she cleans the blood on herself before she exits the scene.
“The simple, everyday act of cleansing the face of makeup slides seamlessly into wiping away the evidence of a horrific crime” – Lipstick Press Kit
The idea is simple, execution is incredible. Moreover, the intriguing editing and the message it gives at the end only make the audience wonder and want more. And the audience CAN have more, by just following the message this movie gave. Click here to reach the message. But be careful, you might want to know more…
Spiderman and Crime & Punishment
This short documentary essay is quite different from the rest; however, it gives a similar message. Carolyn Ho and Katherine Marie Penney discuss the similarities and differences between Peter Parker and Rodion Raskolnikov in Spiderman and Crime & Punishment. You might think, what can a marvel hero and a murderer from Dostoevsky’s novel have in common? Even though it is still a discussion, the answer is one click away. This documentary essay discusses the Theory of Morality, Vigilantly and Heinous Deeds. These two characters both do good deeds, according to their own moral code. The deep meaning of this movie has been rewarded so far by 4 international awards.
Similarities of These Short Movies?
Needless to say, Vitaly Sumin and his crew at VMP Films put a lot of thought and effort into structuring these movies. The screenplay, acting, editing, and every other component are remarkable. So much so, that these movies were appreciated by film festivals all around the world. Additionally, the deep meaning and the message they give are astonishing and brilliant. These movies are clear representatives of Vitaly Sumin and his crew’s unique way of seeing the world. Moreover, they raise awareness about the upcoming production: AN LA STORY. To discover more about VMP Films you can sign up for free by clicking here.
In conclusion, after the rising of feature films, short films lost their place. However, they are regaining their glory. Short movies are an essential step that a filmmaker should take to find her/his voice. They need to be sharp, focused, clear, and simple. There is no time to lose. Also, shorts need to deliver a clear message to the audience.
As VMP Films and Vitaly Sumin completed AN LA STORY, they also did an amazing job with their short movies. In other words, they utilized the unique approach only a short film can have. Their short movies Burglary, Lipstick, and Spiderman, and Crime & Punishment are successful on so many levels. The deep meaning behind the plots of each of them is remarkable. Moreover, the message they give is important, focused, clear, and simple: They are making sure this message reaches as many people as possible. At the end of the day, this message is the important thing.
Want to know about VMP Films and about the films we make? Want to participate in our projects? Sign up to get tickets to the premiere of our movie, AN LA STORY -BTS, and grab our FREE e-books !