PROJECT 13

Telling Your Story

Story is essential to your film. We live in a world of stories. We experience stories every day. Everyone loves a good story, but coming up with an idea for a story can be the hardest part of writing a film.

I like to think that we have a creative muscle in our brain. We don’t, of course, but I like to think we do. I also think that the more we use that imaginary creative muscle, the more we can come up with fresh and fantastic ideas. Look at the world around you. You are surrounded by ideas and themes and stories, all waiting to inspire a film.

When I’m thinking of ideas, I like to get fresh air, maybe a bit of exercise. I find that fresh air and exercise help me clear my thoughts and allow me to explore the creative caves of my mind. Try going for a walk or perhaps just outside. If you must stay indoors, be sure to turn off distractions like the TV and your smartphone. You may also want to meet up with your team to discuss ideas together — in groups, ideas often bounce off each other. One idea may spark another, better idea in someone else.

Our film crew came up with the idea for their story in this way, through discussing ideas as a group. They decided on the thriller genre fairly quickly, and then came up with the idea of children lost in a forest. They wanted to include a creepy character that the children meet in the forest and try to run away from, and from there, the story just came together.

Don’t expect ideas to come instantly. It can take ...

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