a 'short' is an abbreviation for a short film or short movie or short animation.. basically any story on any medium that is short is considered a short . according to wikipedia.com anything longer than 1 minute and shorter than 15 minutes is considered a short.
for example.. the 15malaysia project (15malaysia.com) last year are all short films by different directors to commemorate Malaysia's Independance Day. shorts from that project that i kinda liked would be Chocolate by the late Yasmin Ahmad and Potong Saga by Ho Yuhang.
if you have ever been to the movies to watch a Pixar movie, each movie will start with an animated short not related to the movie you're going to watch. like for example Wall-E was paired with the short film Presto, a story of this magician doing this magic trick on stage but his rabbit isn't behaving like he wished. hilarious.. sorry i'm not giving a pretty good description because i cant quite recall the whole story but hey.. here's a preview
making a short is kinda like the platform for an aspiring director to launch their career.. and for most, the platform to practice their directoral skills to gain confidence before tackling a bigger project (with bigger budgets). making a short is a lot simpler than making a full movie.
simpler does not mean easier (well some directors might say it is an easy task). but in actuality, making a short will consist of the same production process of a box-office movie. pre-production, production and post-production. the difference would be in how much work to do.. and maybe the budget.
but i would say probably the quickest short to make would be a short movie. shoot with a movie camera, transfer for editing, edit and final output. of course before these steps there would be the pre-pro process (research, research, research) to go through.
i wonder if anyone reading this would be interested in making their own short. if yes, do let me know of your project. i would really like to see it^^. just keep in mind.. often, simplicity is the key.