Not many would ask this question. Not many would think on these lines. Because most of us don’t understand that Time is money in Filmmaking. On our many encounters with Student Filmmakers in Student Filmer Production Program, Many people come with a storyline of not less that 20 minutes. They think 20 minute is enough to label himself/herself as a filmmaker. “Everybody should call me Filmmaker, That’s what I want to Prove” they confess!
But in introspection, if you think about it, 20 minutes is not a safe bet, if you are a first time filmmaker.
The Philosophy of ‘Aim Small Miss Small’ always works in Filmmaking. How much ever you envision, it will never be there in the screen 100 percent. That’s how it is. Because, your vision is Pure and innocent but practically speaking there would be many constraints acting that would bring down the original vision step by step. This could be your first-time crew, this could be your inability to manage equipments, this could be amateur acting, what ever, your original vision, will always come down, when you are trying things practically first time.
How can you Preserve your Original Vision, then?
Remember this is your first film. What exactly is your objective? Ask yourself. Is it to prove to others that You are a filmmaker (by birth)?Is it to see success (viral reach) in your first film itself? Or is it just to explore the craft that it is ? Are you taking the first film, just to learn the craft. Or You are taking the film just to tell a story or as simple as just to express yourself. Get your objective right, because that determines the output, that determines the duration of the output?
What is the Ideal Duration, then?
I may be wrong, but in my observation, 8 minutes should be your ideal time of your first film. Not more than that. But you can test a lot of things in your first film. We can see whether we can execute things in flawless fashion, See whether we can make people emote/think through our first film. We can even set out to challenge ourselves that nobody should find that this is out debut film. if they find out, then we lose.
To conclude, there is no hard and fast rules, but philosophies such as ‘Less is more’, Aim small miss small are golden rules for Aspiring filmmakers.
Your call anyway, Your art at the end of the day!