It has been several months since we started the pre-produciton of short sci-fi film based on original short story “The Surface of Last Scattering” by award-winning sci-fi writer Ken MacLeod.
Until recently we used the working title of “The Surface of Last Scattering” for our short sci-fi but we put ourselves to the task of coming up with a new title for the film.
In order to do this decision I made a quick research on successful short films and their titles.
Initial research on IMDB showed that most names of short films have following similarities:
1. One word title:
Connect, Turning, Rite, Chalk, Jade, Mixtape, September, Soft, – simple one-word titles giving the mere idea of the theme rather then a subject. Too vague to speculate and give away the twists, but giving a flavour together with the poster, other marketing materials, especially a log line and a genre.
Some of them (like Soft) play against the title, where the main character was not really soft but rather had cruel nature as the end revealed.
2. Adjective + Noun title:
Something that describes the word hence giving the idea on what the the subject is like. Adjective adds the attribute, hence describes the word and gives a better picture of what the film will be like.
E.g. The Silent City – gives the idea of the world the story takes place and either how the world turns out or how the film will be like.
Imaginary Forces – shows the idea of a conflict or a struggle with some mystery nature to it.
3. Several words in a title:
Only Sound Remains, Pitch Black Heist, Love you More, Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Do Not Erase.
These films have very specific and poetic titles, often derived from a song, poem or some other reference, that rings a bell. They are also more popular with the short films from foreign languages. The amount of short films named this way is much larger then feature films especially recently as the marketing and advertising campaigns lead to have one simple word titles to allow the creation of poster and advertising materials that can be used in different languages.
After this research we decided to go with a one-word title “Scattered” and have a little test on twitter, asking them what this title makes them think of, and then what they imagine this film is going to be about knowing the genre of the film, and finally knowing the tagline of the film.
It was great to see that most people came to the conclusions that we wanted people to have prior watching the film and this way the title “Scattered” was chosen as a final title of the film!