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Most of the time, short films are turned into feature films. However, sometimes short films are used as prequels to movies, or to further flesh out and bridge movies together. Here are 18 short films that are companions to feature films.
- Hotel Chevalier. Before the release of The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson made a short film called Hotel Chevalier. It followed Jason Schwartzman’s character Jack Whitman isolated in a hotel room and going through a nasty break up with his ex-girlfriend, played by Natalie Portman. It’s a prequel story that kicked off The Darjeeling Limited. Hotel Chevalier was released on iTunes and was released and before special screenings of the feature film in theaters.
- Aningaaq. During Gravity, there’s a moment when Sandra Bullock’s character has a broken back-and-forth with someone on Earth via a weak radio transmission. The short film Aningaaq features the other side of the conversation on Earth in an icy Tundra. Gravity’s co-screenwriter Jonás Cuarón wrote and directed the short film.
- The Crimson Permanent Assurance. At the beginning of Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, Terry Gilliam directed a 16-minute short film called The Crimson Permanent Assurance. The short was actually supposed to be part of the film itself, but Gilliam’s production went over-budget and over-long, so they placed his segment at the beginning of the movie.
- Hail to the King. The companion film to Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is the short Hail to the King. It followed Trevor Slattery, the actor posing as The Mandarin. Slattery is in jail and everyone believes that he’s still The Mandarin, but he reveals that the real Mandarin hired him and is still at large.
- Animatrix. Before the release of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003, the Wachowskis released The Animatrix on DVD. It was a series of nine animated short films that fleshed out the world of the Matrix. The one short film that directly tied into the film series was Final Flight of the Osiris, which chronicles the rebels last ditch effort to get an important message to Zion.
- Before the Dawn. Twentieth Century Fox and Vice Media teamed up to produce three short films that bridge the 10 years between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The films followed how the apes became intelligent and the beginning of the Simian Flu.
- Fast & Furious: Turbo-Charged Prelude and Los Bandoleros. The Fast and the Furious is a strange film franchise with a wacky timeline. To keep the continuity, two short films were produced. Turbo-Charged Prelude bridged the first film with the second, while Los Bandoleros bridged the third and the fourth, while re-introducing Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto into the series.