You have a camera, a few different lens, a tripod, and the best editing software…what now? What do you write? What do you film? How do you possibly narrow down all your ideas, to create something worth watching? While everyone has different ways as to how they come up with ideas of what to shoot, I’m going to provide you with some of the techniques I use that help me create worthwhile film concepts.
If you think back to when you were in grade school, you might recall learning about ways to brainstorm for your paper. Some of these brainstorming charts include the bubble map and the flow chart. While these may seem too simple the older one gets, they are really useful tools to use, when trying to narrow down what it is you want to write and film. It also helps in figuring out what message you want to get across to your audience.
A flow chart is helpful because you can jot down an idea in the first box and from that idea you can fill in what that moment will lead to and so on and so forth. This helps one figure out the direction in which they want their film to go.
Another chart that can be used and is the one I personally use the most is the bubble map. While the bubble map may be something you haven’t used since the sixth grade, it is definitely something to consider using. I use it because it allows me to come up with a very vast idea or concept for a film and then narrow down the specifics. Once I have narrowed it down, I can do it again, to come up with the supporting details. While bubble maps might seem unnecessary, they are a great tool for someone who is struggling with finding a concept for a film.
Once you choose a format of brainstorming your ideas, you can look at all the ideas you have on paper and condense them. You want to take everything you wrote down and narrow your thoughts as you continue with the writing process.
Hypothetically let’s say after reading all of your notes you decided that what it is you want to film is a drama about a young girl who goes missing and in then end it turns out she ran away. That is a very broad concept. You still have to figure out the specifics. Where does she live? How old is she? What is her family life like? Before it was discovered that she ran away, who were the suspects? Does she have a history with fleeing? Is the film going to be violent or more mystery/suspense? There are many questions you must ask yourself when ironing out all the specific details.
There is no doubt that the overall concept is important; however, the minor details play a major role in the overall success of your film. They say in television shows and movies, everything is there for a reason. In that case, everything you write, should have some sort of meaning or purpose in your story.
One way to help yourself narrow down the specifics, is to make a list of all the questions you would want answered, if you were an audience member. It may help to make a list of all the questions that need answers and then try to answer them as best you can. If you don’t have an answer, don’t stress about it. Skip it and eventually, the pieces will come into play. Once you have a list of questions and answers you can begin the most rewarding but also somewhat tedious, part of the process…writing.
Sitting down to write can be one of the most calming experiences. For some, like myself, writing is an escape into a different world. Writing a story or a script in this case, allows the imagination to run wild and envision a world completely self-created. Nonetheless, writing can be difficult and even the best writers can get writers block. However, if you spend enough time gathering your thoughts and ideas, it won’t seem as difficult. All writers at one point or another get stuck. Even with all the brainstorming, it can be difficult to figure out what to say or how to express certain feelings. When this happens, don’t give up. Don’t doubt yourself or your ideas. Take a break and do something else. Make sure to clear your head, and then when you go back to writing, your ideas should flow more easily.
The biggest thing to remember when writing, no matter what it may be, is to keep writing. Write, write, write. And if you don’t like what you wrote, write again. Write until you are content and proud of the words staring back at you. Writing a story or a script for a TV series or a film is not an easy task. It requires time, effort, and most importantly passion. However, when you have a finished product in front of you, it can be one of the most rewarding feelings. One way to prepare yourself for writing a script, is to just write anything. Write poems, short stories, songs, essays, etc. You never know what could develop into something more.
C.S. Lewis said, “You can make anything by writing.” This could not be more true. Writing allows one to bring imaginary people to life, create worlds, face fears, and follow dreams, no matter how big they may seem. Whether or not the tools I mentioned above help you in writing your next story or script, the most important thing you should take away from this is, if you want to write…write, write, and write, again and again.Writer's block? Learn how to get past it! #Filmmaking #ScreenWriting #Writing Click To Tweet