Since then, I’ve explored the nooks and crannies of their new platform for emerging filmmakers catering to short films. The verdict?
Shortverse is a place you want to be as an emerging filmmaker for several reasons.
I’ll break it down…
Shortverse is designed for shorts
In a world where YouTube is overrun by ASMR tarot readings and where film festivals often feel like black boxes of endless submission forms, I treasure a space that is truly meant for short film creators.
For years, the team of filmmakers and short film devotees at Short of the Week have been celebrating shorts. But there’s always been a catch.
While running Short of the Week — which, for years now, has featured multiple shorts each week — the programmers often love shorts that just miss the cut-off for being selected due to limited showcase spots.
Shortverse remedies this problem by giving shorts a dedicate platform to exist on, and even goes a few steps further…
The creators of Shortverse have been intentional about designing a space that fosters community for filmmakers. It goes beyond just showcasing finished shorts, and it provides the support that emerging filmmakers need.
From my conversation with Andy and Jason alone, it’s clear these guys want to support emerging filmmakers in developing their voices. Shortverse's user experience also shows where you can do things like…
Celebrate the Filmmakers you love, and discover new ones
Have you ever watched a short that moved you so much you wish you could turn to the filmmaker and personally thank them?
That was my experience watchingHot Motherwhen it was featured as a Short of the Week selection.
I was so affected by this film that I had to call my own mom to tell her I love her after watching it. I was also moved to share this experience with director Lucy Knox by posting a review on her Shortverse page, where I could give kudos to her cinematography, directing, and production design.
Of course, I want to see what Knox does next, so I followed her profile on Shortverse to keep myself up-to-date on her future projects. And hey, maybe she’ll follow me back!
'Letting Daisy Go'Credit: Courtesy of Harry Knight
You can connect with filmmakers in a meaningful, protected space
Shortverse is not Instagram or TikTok. The majority of creators on the platform have poured their blood, sweat, tears, and money into making their shorts.
And it shows!
With this personalized platform for filmmakers comes the benefit of a community that really knows the medium. Users are intentional about what they share, and the feedback they leave for each other. Plus, all shorts are moderated by the Short of the Week programming team. When it comes to creator projects, there’s quality over quantity here, and I love that.
On top of all this, since Shortverse is a member-supported platform, there are no ads – thank god!
It’s a hub for your unreleased shorts
Shortverse can serve as a landing page for your upcoming films, which means you don’t have to build a brand-new website for your short. I built out a page for my unreleased short, Yes, Daddy, where I customized colors but did not have to futz with the layout and backend. You can also preview your film's page before it goes public, which leads me to my favorite feature...
Get your unreleased short in front of industry eyes
Here comes arguably the most important element of the Shortverse platform…
Even if your short is in preview mode, you can make it privately available to industry professionals, including producers, managers, and programmers.
When Shortverse started, Jason, Andy and the team wanted to help facilitate the relationships between creators and industry professionals. Industry folks want to find creators before the festival hullabaloo. Too often, when a short premiers online after completing a festival run, it’s already been culled by the industry. This pre-release access provides a great alternative to Andy’sBe Everywhere All At Once strategy if you’re still dreaming about those festivals.
'Smile More'Credit: Courtesy of Paul Holbrook and Shortverse
You can track creators’ unreleased shorts
Does having a short in preview mode spark your interest? Then you will be glad to know that you can track these projects before they’re released. I’m looking forward toCat Dale’s Rubber & Glue, and will now be notified when it releases it online!
Your shorts are automatically submitted for Short of the Week
Right now, Shortverse has an Early Explorer offer of $9 a month. Compared to FilmFreeway's $39.99 per entry, Shortverse pays for itself if you submit three shorts a year. Plus, you get the benefits of the platform’s tools and community. Yes, creating three a year would be a major accomplishment, but hey, let’s reach!
I find financial incentives to be a motivator when it comes to accountability — similar to tricking myself into working out by paying for a spin class. I’m using my Shortverse bill to manipulate myself into creating three shorts next year. Setting deadlines like this and announcing these goals to the world (like I am doing here in this post!) helps to create accountability that will push you to be productive and create.
You’ll get a refreshingly human rejection
When I set out on this journey to become a filmmaker, I decided I would celebrate every rejection. Each “no” means I’m putting myself out there, which is a critical part of this marathon of a career. I maintain this practice of celebrating rejections, but the generic thank-you-for-submitting-but-no-thank-you emails can start to take a toll.
There’s something that softens the blow when you receive a personal message from a Short of the Week programmer on Shortverse. Sometimes, they’ll even provide feedback on your submission. It’s a reminder that on the other side of all these submissions is a human who is a fellow cinephile looking to celebrate great storytelling.
'My Mom's Eggplant Sauce'Credit: Courtesy of Shaina Feinberg and Shortverse
And finally, you can go on an inspiration-binge
I’ve found my time watching films on the Shortverse more nourishing and inspiring than elsewhere on the internet.
There are plenty of works to explore, but the platform is by no means over-inundated. With search filters, I can follow my bliss-watching horror shorts about breakups under ten minutes (this short currently doesn’t exist, but will someone please make it?). They’ve also moderated sections of the website that make discovering new short films easy, like the45 Oscar 2023 Shortlisted short films.
Wherever you’re at in your journey as a filmmaker, community and creation are absolutely key to growth, and Shortverse can be a tool to support both. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing you in Shortverse!
Will you be joining the Shortverse? Let us know in the comments below!