The 10 best films that started as short films, according to Reddit

Many movies start as short stories. The short version serves as a proof of concept, giving the future star or producer a feel for what the final project will look like. This makes sense, as it’s less of a gamble than diving into feature production right off the bat.

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With this in mind, Redditors recently got together on r/movies, the largest movie subreddit, to discuss which features that start as short are best. They have a very solid selection from many genres, including the work of some of the most influential directors of all time.

10 ‘Butterfly’ (1996)

Owen Wilson in Bottle Rocket
Image via Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

Bottle Rocket Yes Wes AndersonThe delightful debut of three eccentric characters – Anthony (Luke Wilson), Dignan (Owen Wilson), and Bob (Robert Musgrave) — who tried to pull off a series of heists without a thought. Anderson hits the ground running, showcasing his visual style, deadpan humor, and blend of heart and eccentricity.

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“Wes Anderson made a short based on a year after he graduated, with Owen Wilson, who was his college roommate,” said user morosco. The short film is 13 minutes long, black-and-white, and was screened at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it caught the attention of producers.

9 ‘The Good Hunt’ (1997)

good hunting' (1)
Image via Miramax

Matt Damon And Robin Williams Deliver memorable performances in this feel-good drama about a brilliant but troubled janitor at MIT with remarkable mathematical talent. When a famous professor discovers Will’s brilliance, he chooses between pursuing his potential or succumbing to the familiar patterns of his troubled past.

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“Matt started writing it for a class he was taking at Harvard,” user torchma said. “It was supposed to be an action movie until Matt Damon and the teachers realized they were dealing with something bigger,” Redditor Lebby1074 added. Damon said that the only scene from the original short that made it verbatim into the final film was where First to meet the therapist Dr. Maguire (Williams).

8 ‘City 9’ (2009)

Beautiful scenery from 'District 9'

District 9 Neill Blomkamp’s remarkable debut. It is set in an alternate timeline where a spaceship appears over Johannesburg, South Africa, and its alien inhabitants take refuge in a suburb outside the city. The film is based on Blomkamp’s six-minute short Live in JoburgThere are also leading actors Sharlto Copley.

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Live in Joburg There are spectacular visual effects, reflecting Blomkamp’s background as a 3D animation. The short introduces the iconic image of “Shrimp”, as well as the tight documentary style that the film uses so well.

7 ‘Dark Star’ (1974)

The ship in John Carpenter's Dark Star
Image via Bryanston Distribution Company

Many Redditors with the name Dark starA sci-fi comedy directed by John Carpenter and co-write with Dan O’Bannon, is the best film that started out as a short film. It’s a whimsical, whimsical film that follows the adventures of the doomed crew of the Dark Star spaceship on a mission to destroy an unstable planet to make way for future colonies.

Carpenter and O’Bannon originally did it when they were students at the University of Southern California. The first iteration of Dark star It is a 45 minute 16 mm short film with a budget of 6 thousand dollars. Manufacturer Jack HarrisHelp expand it as a feature with 50 minutes of additional footage.

6 ‘Who’s knocking at my door?’ (1967)

Image via Trimod Films

Who is knocking at my door? A debut film by Martin ScorseseStarring by Harvey Keitel, a young man from a small Italian town in New York City who struggles with his Catholic upbringing and the pressures of his society. He falls in love with a local girl (Zina Bethune) he met at the State Island Ferry but could not accept the incident from her past.

Who is knocking at my door? Started as a thesis film of Scorsese’s student at NYU, and then he took the original footage, recut, and expanded it into a feature. It premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival and pretty much launched his career,” said user PatternLevel9798.

5 ‘9’ (2009)


This animated film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where machines have destroyed humanity. A group of sentient rag dolls, each numbered from 1 to 9, wake up after destruction. Led by J Elijah wood), they must navigate a dangerous and isolated landscape while uncovering the secret of their existence.

9 Expanded from an active student project of the same name, made by (Director) Shane Acker at the UCLA Animation conference. Tim Burton The user ZorroMeansFox said, saw it and produced a long version, “.

4 ‘Whiplash’ (2014)

JK Simmons sings Miles Teller's character as he beats the drums in 'Whiplash.'
Image via Sony Pictures Classics

Whiplash Yes Damien ChazelleA sharp drama about artistic greatness and the sacrifices it requires. Miles Teller Play on Andrew, an ambitious young jazz drummer joins a prestigious music conservatory. Andrew’s dream of becoming a superhero is put to the test when he meets Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons), the famous and ruthless music teacher of the school.

The film started as a short 18 minutes, with JK Simmons as Fletcher but with content. Johnny Simmons Instead of Teller as Andrew. The short film received acclaim, winning the Short Film Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. “The short film (which includes the ‘do I rush or drag?’ scene) was created as a proof of concept so that DC could get funding,” explained user a_man_hs_no_username.

3 ‘Harold and Maude’ (1971)

Ruth Gordon as Maude and Bud Cort as Harold in Harold and Maude
Image via Paramount Pictures

Harold and Maude A quirky dark comedy directed by the legendary Hal Ashby. Harold Chase (Bud Cort) is a young man obsessed with death, staging detailed fake suicides for attention. His life changes when he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Maude (Ruth Gordon), a 79-year-old woman with a sense of strangeness and no spirit who accepts life with gusto.

“The play (of Harold and Maude) by Colin Higgins Started as his master’s thesis for film school, “Redditor readerf52 pointed out. The original version was only 20 minutes. At the time, Higgins had a job cleaning the pool of film producers. Edward LewisTo whom he showed the script, eventually selling it to Paramount.

2 ‘THX 1138’ (1971)

thx 11380

George LucasLaunching features of THX 1138, is set in a future where all aspects of life are tightly controlled by a totalitarian government. THX 1338 (Robert Duvall) is a factory worker who begins to question the limited nature of his existence and seeks a way to break free from the oppressive regime.

The film began as a 15-minute short Lucas produced at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It received positive reviews and attracted the attention of Universal Studios exec Ned Tanenwho continued to produce American Graffiti. “THX-1138 Very low. Some amazing graphics, and while it has a lot of dystopia sci-fi (’70s) in it, the theme is solid,” said user Expensive-Sentence66.

1 ‘Short Term 12’ (2013)

Short term 12

Short term 12 A brilliant indie drama set in a shelter for at-risk teenagers. It has killer performances, including Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr., Lakeith StanfieldAnd Rami Malek. “Short term 12 It was originally made into a short film before it became a feature,” pointed out user HarkonnenBeast.

Actually, the film started as a short 22 minutes, which the director Destin Daniel Cretton Made as part of his master’s degree in film at San Diego State University. This story draws on my own experience working in a place for teenagers. The short also won the Short Film Jury Prize that year at Sundance and earned Cretton a Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting, helping him expand it into a feature.

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