But one thing not often talked about is the massive shelf life of a short. Everyone talks about the key 6 months after you have finished. And they have a point. This is when you are trying to secure a premiere at a big festival. And for producers and those in the biz - new is better. What's the big new film? etc etc
However, even a modest film can have a successful life and profitable life years after. I am reminded of this as my own film "10 Seconds" is in a new competition over at Film Skillet. Its a funky little short, it doesn't set the world on fire - but looks cool, weird and is tied together by a good gag. Give it a quick vote if you can.
These kind of films can do years of good service. If you follow 3 tips:
One Don't put the year on the end if you can help it. Sometimes you have to contractually. But sometimes it isn't needed. No need to make the film seem out of date if it isn't.
Two Don't be too topical. All those George W. Bush films are of no use now. Clearly topical films have their own plus points. But if your film is a timeless story - so much the better in the long run.
Three Keep a top quality, uncompressed, HD master on your PC / Mac. I have lovely 3 GB uncompressed master for 10 Seconds. By having that I can recompress the film for different standards as they come along. If I just had a DVD only copy then new youtube functions (such as HD playback) couldn't be taken advantage of.
And remember, the most important point is to keep looking for new opportunities out there. There are so many competitions that you film will almost certainly slot into some of them. Even if it doesn't come along for a couple more years.