Why You Should Make a Proof of Concept Short Film

Darker Colors
Seth Worley is a director who supports his dream by proof of concept films. Find out why. 

Sometimes it's hard to communicate your imagination to investors and buyers. The best way to do that sometimes is to...well...make it. A proof of concept movie can be the best way to communicate the bigger picture to the executives that make the big decisions.  

One of the directors working with these pieces is Seth Worley. 

He's made his name creating proof of concept films that help his ideas come to life. 

Lucky for us, he also made this video pitching why he believes proof of concept shorts are actually the best way to break in. 

But before you check that out, watch Seth's newest short film, Darker Colors

Alright, now...on to the tips!

What I loved about the information in that video is how hyperfocused it is on our vision as creators. What sets you apart from the crowd is what you have to say. 

Communication is the key. You have to be decisive, never boring and show a point of vision that inspires other people to create. 

Let's go through some of the finer points. 

What are some of the biggest tenets of the video? 

1. Show people what you are talking about.

Putting your ideas into short-film form shows everyone else the tone and style that is crystal clear in your head - but almost impossible to explain any other way. Give them a tangible thing to show your passion. 

2. Figure out what you’re talking about.

Going through the process of creating actually allows you to field test your ideas organically within a narrative. For Seth, this also enabled him to experiment with his more ambitious VFX ideas in a more flexible medium.

The better the plan, the more confidence people will have in your vision. 

3. Rethink what you’re talking about.

According to Seth, “In the process of working through the story in 10-minute form, I gained massive perspective and insight on its 100-minute form, unlocking things that I'd been struggling with for months.”

Creating a separate shorter version of your full-length concept gives you the opportunity to think ideas and storylines through in different ways without the huge risk. 

Plus, you can use them to get jobs on commercials or other short-form content. 

4. Make what you’re talking about.

Creating a feature-length film is hard. Really hard. Not impossiblebut there is so much that could happen (or not happen) to stop it from coming to fruitionso make the proof-of-concept because, if you don’t, you may never get the satisfaction you’re seeking in having your vision come to life, even if it’s not in the form you originally intended.

Have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Be consistent in tone and in genre. ​

How did Seth's proof of concept turn out? 

At the end of the day, making a proof of concept..well..proves your concept. 

So what was the concept behind Darker Colors

From Seth, “Darker Colors tells the story of Amber (Lexi Janicek), her brother Jack (JT Underwood), and their friend Bowman (Jeremiah Rusch) taking on terrifying creatures that are of Amber’s own design - literally. After Amber’s drawings are transformed into living monsters made of crayon and glitter, her older brother leads a mission into the woods to destroy them. But the idea for the film was inspired by the things Seth’s kids had drawn." 

So how did Seth use this movie? 

Well, first he has to show what the story means in short and in long form. 

According to Seth, “Some of it is so weirdly dark and disturbing and I look at it and I think, ‘Boy we would be screwed if this thing was a real thing.’ But then I also think about how art and creativity are the healthiest outlet you could choose to explore the darker things inside of you and how emotionally upsetting and horrible it would be if those things were suddenly thrust into the real world. So over the next three years this developed into a complex and emotional story about a young girl’s drawings coming to life and threatening the lives of those around her, taking her and her family’s unpacked emotional baggage and dumping it all on the front lawn so to speak.”

What are some proof of concepts you are working on? 

Are you excited by Seth's tips? 

Let us know in the comments.      

Your Comment

8 Comments

love this

April 10, 2020 at 9:49PM

2
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woww

April 10, 2020 at 9:49PM

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Stream Psycho by Red Velvet

April 11, 2020 at 3:33AM

7
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Awesome post!

April 11, 2020 at 5:59AM

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Chris Mcdonald
Founder
81

Pretty unrealistic for the majority of filmmakers.

April 11, 2020 at 7:57PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
342

Great post .... I'd love to know how much this endeavor cost! (Budget?)

April 12, 2020 at 8:35AM, Edited April 12, 8:35AM

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By the looks of his BTS we are talking 1000s of dollars. Like a lot. 100k even. For the elite.

April 12, 2020 at 6:52PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
342

ya ... i'm guessing considerably less ... as it was a 3 day shoot, with a crew of about 10 .... but ya ... still significant

April 13, 2020 at 4:42PM

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