Two versions of the movie Cashback exist. One is a short nominated for an Academy Award in 2006, the other is a feature film built around the short.
The short film centers around how four employees in a Sansbury's supermarket kill an eight-hour shift. The screenwriter comes up with some great examples of how the clock is the enemy. Some of the guys are jokesters, some put tape on the face of their watch and one stops time. The real treat of the short is the story is told in 15 minutes. This skill is something not appreciated in Hollywood today. My most recent example is having recently watched The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford. It tells too much story and has inconsistent pacing. I enjoyed the dialog, how the film was creatively shot, the pace and the length of the short. I'd post a link to the film, but there's some serious gratuitous nudity (which is a whole other topic). After all, Strange Culture is a family blog.
The feature film is not so good. They took the 15-minute short and wrote a script that included the entire short, in-full. The lead character's gift of stopping time is explained by his insomnia. The screenwriter develops the insomnia story line for much of the movie, but the second half of the film devolves into a boy-meets-girl-in-a-movie-that-could-star-Hugh-Grant type of film. The dialog along with the first half of the movie is good. The lead, Sean Biggerstaff of Harry Potter fame, has a good performance along with Emilia Fox who plays Sharon, a checker in the grocery store. The film has a good beginning and middle, but the ending felt like an afterthought and completely contrived.
The problem is that the character of a good a 15-minute story was completely changed by adding an hour and fifteen minutes to the story. The only other film I can think of that was adapted from a short story was Shawshank Redemption. Technically, that was a written short story and not a short film. If we were to play the game "name the cliche that best fits this film," the winner would be "a good story-teller leaves the audience wanting more."
Are there any other films that started as shorts and were successfully made into feature films?
You can read Adam regularly at the Stone Report.