How to Come up with Ideas for a Short Film
If you are stressed to create short film ideas for your next film, don’t worry. There are so many different places you can look for inspiration, and we’ve compiled some of the best tips for discovering your next big story idea. We’ll also walk you through how to take a great idea, develop it into a fleshed-out story, and turn it into reality.
Start with a word, picture, or object
All a story needs are a seed that you can follow until it grows. Will it be made into a great short film? Maybe, maybe not. In the beginning, all you need to focus on in the beginning is to pitch an idea and see where it goes. Here are some effective brainstorming ways to get a story started:
A good way to start a story. Just start writing. Get out some paper and a pencil or sit down at the computer and keep writing for a set period. Say 10 or 15 minutes. Don’t worry about whether what you’re writing is a video companies near me or will make a good movie. You are just looking for an idea. You can write 99% spam, but there may be a small fragment that could generate a story. Give yourself an idea.
Try a word drill
All you need to get a story idea is a little spark. Generate a list of random images, the first words that come to mind: Kindergarten, Oakland, ashtray, oil painting. Excellent list. Find at least 20 words, then try to connect them. What does the list remind you of? An after-school painting class filled with kindergartens in the East Bay. A lit cigarette in a painter’s studio?
Start speculating on good ideas
A good way to kick off a story idea is to start speculating on weird, surprising, or absurd scenarios that might make for a good story. What if all diet was in medication form? What if you found out your dad was a spy? What if your dog could suddenly talk? Good plots and good characters can come out of speculation.
Look for short stories to adapt
A great way to come up with a short film idea is to adapt a story that has already been written by someone else. Check out recently released short story collections made up of stories with compelling plots and find one that might be fun to film.
Try to film real life
Who said a short film had to be fiction? Consider capturing the world around you and making a documentary if you want to make a short film. Find a local music festival in your area and ask if you can film interviews with the bands or try filming your friend going through his workout routine for the sport. Find a good story happening around you and get permission to record it.
Even if you don’t want to make a documentary, you can still draw inspiration from real people and stories all around you. You can also get help from a 3d movie maker to get the job done.
Keep a dream journal
Dreams can be a great source of inspiration for a short film, especially if you like the weird. If you want a dream idea, set an alarm in the middle of the night to wake up in the middle of it, then quickly doodle the plot. Dreams can be a great place to provide imagery, strange events, and dialogue for short films.
What scares you? A good scary dream can be a great way to start a short horror film. When writing your script and filming your short film, try to capture the same vibe of your scary dreams. Check out David Lynch ‘s short series Rabbits for inspiration.
Look at the story
History is full of fascinating and often fantastic stories. Other areas of study can also be equally rewarding psychology (for character development), geography, and more.
Adapt a feature film idea
There’s no reason you can’t adapt a feature film idea into a short film. You can adapt the idea by taking a scene, them, or a character from the feature film.
Summarize the story
Can you write a short sentence of 15 words or less that describes the basic concept and plot of your idea? Then you are on the right track. Once you have your initial idea, try narrowing down your “pitch”. Describe your film as briefly and as quickly as possible to give yourself the chance to write the best possible script and describe the story to others so you can recruit actors and production company near me. Avoid vagueness or abstraction and focus on storyline and plot.
Good examples of story synopses might look like:
A boy finds a little alien in a field and brings him home.
Kindergarten children start painting weird pictures after school.
Bad story synopsis examples might look like:
A man suffers from depression.
A series of mysterious events befall the people of Pittsburgh
Think about what is available to you and how you can use what you have. Make a list of all the locally available props, locations, and actors, and think about how they might make for a good story at the start. Maybe your friend who boxes three times a week could inspire a great boxing story.
Make sure your story is filmable. Equipment and sets are very valuable when you’re making a film yourself and working without studio support and without a lot of money. Again, it will be difficult to film a sci-fi opera in your mother’s basement. Try to make sure that you will be able to get the shots you need to make the movie you want to make. Will you be able to do a crane dive over New York if you live in Scranton and don’t have the money or a camera? Probably not. Go around it.