Finite Films is giving new meaning to the phrase “movies on demand” – the group of short filmmakers create one impressive mini-feature per month. The catch is that the films are based on things suggested by social media users.
Michael Tucker, one of the group’s members, says it’s “basically an experiment in social media and co-authorship with the audience.” The way it works is that users suggest a plot element – known as a “constraint”. The group then picks the top 21 constraints for the month and users vote on them. The seven best constraints are then used as the basis for a short film. It’s sort of like a cinematic version of mad-libs, where almost anything goes.
Here’s an example of some of the recent constraints users can vote on for inclusion in a film:
- One character must be eating every time they’re on-screen.
- Every character must hold the same particular item at one point in the film.
- The film’s structure must be non-linear.
- The entire movie spans one full day
- The story must be influenced by or influence a previous short.
- Someone has to be playing music at a live show.
- Must feature at least one shot from a previous Finite film.
This is a really cool idea for movie geeks – it’s like having our own personal filmmakers ready to take our requests, but the beauty is the way the Finite team puts their own unique spin on the productions. These aren’t generic little shorts made on the cheap – these films are shot using great equipment, good actors, and by real filmmakers.
You can get in on the action by heading to the Finite Films website where you can not only vote on current constraints but start suggesting ones for their next production. Check out their promotional trailer below to get an idea of how it all works and what the finished films look like.