‘The Phone Call’ (2013) is an Academy Award-winning short drama film directed by Mat Kirkby, starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent. The film websites I have reviewed until now have all been for full-length, Hollywood feature films, so I wanted to take a look at the website of an acclaimed short film to see how it differs. The website of a short film is bound to look a bit different from the website of a blockbuster in terms of the types of content offered, and kind of promotion. Looking at this website, one of the first things I noticed is the fact that it does not feature the option to “buy tickets” because short films are distributed through film festivals, not theaters. Therefore, while the marketing for feature films revolves around buying tickets and going to the theatre, the marketing for short films revolves around promoting film festivals.
This is why the home page features a list of the film festival awards that ‘The Phone Call’ has won. This conveys to the audience that the film was very critically acclaimed, making them more likely to be enticed into watching the film themselves. Usually, this is the biggest selling point because short films do not typically feature the kind of A-list stars the blockbusters do. Apart from this, there is even a separate tab called “Festivals”, which has a list of all the festivals that the movie has been a part of across the world. This is a very crucial part of the film’s promotion because the primary way the audience will get to see this film is at a film festival. Even when designing the website for my own short film, I will have to be sure to focus on promoting film festivals.
The homepage also features links to social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as to IMDB. This kind of free digital marketing is crucial, especially for short films, as they do not have a large budget and are usually tight on cash. This is true of my short film too, so I will also rely on interesting digital marketing techniques as opposed billboards and TV ads.
When you scroll down on the homepage, it has a short film synopsis in order to acquaint audiences with the story, as well as “contact” and “news” information. The contact information allows anybody to directly reach out to the writers, directors, producer, etc. This is a level of accessibility that is not seen with people on major Hollywood blockbusters, but is important for people working on smaller projects to get new opportunities and get recognized. I should be sure to include contact information in my film website too.
The links to news articles are accompanied by short, personal, informal comments, so the whole thing reads like a blog. The problem with this is that the links seem to go on monotonously for a long time and the formatting is too plain and boring to really trigger any interest from the users. There are no vivid colors or images to make the page more visually appealing.
I also felt this way when looking through the “Press” page. Here too, the links are presented in a very plain, simplistic manner. I also think the choice of font adds to the dullness. There is nothing special or even particularly appealing about the font. I think a bolder, more eye-catching font would have made a world of difference.
On the whole, the film website is pretty conventional. The “About” page has a little information about the film and lists the names of all the crew members, along with a few photos. The “Trailer” page displays the film’s trailer, and the “Director” page has a short bio about the film’s director and a photo of him. I felt that the design could have been a lot better and more interesting, but the website gave me a good idea about the typical components of a short film website. I will definitely be able to apply this information when designing my own website.