Like many of us to ‘start’ or create something new is often so daunting especially when it’s a hobby that we care so deeply about. Let’s say perhaps producing a short film for the first time, well we all know that isn’t easy! But here’s my thoughts.
I believe the best stories in film usually come from personal experiences so why not start by using yourself – in other words when you feel stuck on ideas, lack inspiration or have nothing else to use, use yourself, friends, surroundings, a time you won first place at sports day, your bicycle (I shall explain shortly).
Once you have a notion in place, you may start to think about having excessive resources, beautiful locations, or even audio. Although amazing stories can be told right outside your front door, silently. You could make a film that takes place entirely in your estate, or on your local ground. Basically, you don’t need to go to some far-flung amazing location to find or make a compelling film. Go find it in a place you walk by every day (you get my drift now).
You may to need consider the following to what I call the ‘magic ingredients’ also known as filmmaker strategies in which I feel are essential if not crucial to what makes a good story; character focus to character interaction; causality to choices; surprises; sound and imagery; object; simplicity or deep. These tools are what spectators look for in a visual, that sense of ‘magic’ and experience that it brings to the eye.
Ultimately what counts above all else for me in a short film is whether or not there is magic in it. That can’t be taught or brought. It’s something that comes in a moment of grace, if you are very lucky. That doesn’t mean the storytelling strategies are unimportant, but they aren’t the whole picture. And while you’re doing the hard work involved in script development, a window should be kept open for some inexplicable gust of magic to enter the room and help bring the story to life.
To be continued…