How to Come up With Movie Ideas

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Staring down the "blank page" can be intimidating, but it's the first step in crafting a story. For filmmakers, coming up with ideas that will capture an audience's imaginations is no easy task either. Coming up with an idea that's unique, captivating and entertaining can be quite daunting. But once your inspiration takes hold and the creative juices start flowing, you find yourself in world with limitless options. This article will give you some step-by-step suggestions on how to get the creative juices flowing.

Things You'll Need

  • Music
  • Movies
  • Create a playlist. Music is always a readily available source of inspiration. Before you actually begin the writing process, think about what type story you'd like to tell. A love story? Comedy? Thriller? Horror story? Then flick on your iPod and start looking for tunes that will help you get into the right head space. Compile a few tunes into a little "Inspiration playlist," and click the "Play" button. Let the inspiration begin.

  • Watch other movies. Watch movies of actors, directors or writers that you admire. Movies that make you think, "Wow, what a great story/performance/shot sequence!" This will get your "creative engine" firing on all cylinders. Then ride this wave of inspiration all the way over to the blank page.

  • Look for inspiration in everyday life. Hang out with the people who inspire you. Take a spontaneous trip to one of your favorite spots. Get lost in a crowd or escape to a quiet place. Just drive in your car with the windows rolled down, and the music turned up. Break out your camera and have a photo shoot. Basically, do anything except sit in front of the "blank page." You'll get to that soon enough. For now, get out into the world and explore. Your inspiration is out there somewhere.

  • Now it's time to sit down and write. It doesn't have to make sense at first. It doesn't have to be brilliant. It doesn't have to have structure, or a through-line (a clearly mapped-out character arc). Just get the ball rolling, so to speak. Start writing character descriptions or random dialogue. Start writing potential "back-stories," or histories of the characters in your movie. Write the log-line, or three-sentence summary of the film. Write the underlying theme. Get the words down on the page, and soon you'll be happy to discover that they're actually starting to go somewhere.

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