With all films, the most important thing is the story behind any of the visuals, composition, editing or even the acting. To put it simply if you have no story, you may be able to get the attention of the audience but you’ll almost certainly be forgotten by them just as fast.
The power of a story can compel people to make drastic life decisions, inspire great thought or spark a much needed dialogue on a particular issue. They even how the power to produce hormones within our brains to make us feel certain things (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj-hdQMa3uA).
Coming up with a super original idea that no one has ever thought of before, and that everyone will love, seems like the most impossible task at times. More often than not, it can feel as though your idea may just be absolutely terrible and you’re going to create a cinematically wonderful piece of shit.
When I get hit with a wave of this self-deprecating doubt, there’s a quick little reminder I have which helps me get through it all.
I tell myself the following:
Out of all of the ideas you have you’re guaranteed to have more than your fair share of terrible ones. So with that in mind, write down every idea you get and really expand on the amazing ones which stand out at first. From this point, either further develop the crap ones until they become good or just scrap them completely and start to write down different things that come to mind and repeat the process.
One other thing that helps with coming up with an idea for me is to draw from reality, my reality. The beauty of this technique, which was pointed out in D4Darious’s Youtube video — 15 Mistakes Amateur Filmmakers Make (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1myw_0W5E8), is that everyone will have different experiences they can draw from and really know which means that by living the life you’ve lived to get to where you are right now is actually your secret source of fuel to drive you forwarding creating the story for your film.
For this film I really drew on the fear of losing someone dear to you and being left only with a promise you had made to one another years ago. Nothing like being left with an inconclusive promise that you had made to someone who will never know that you were able to fulfil it — but there would be one person who’d know. It’s you. We often make a shit ton of empty promises on a day to day basis and rarely are we stripped of the opportunity to fulfil them later on — in this particular story we were though.
What do we do when we’re given the choice to fill a sense of emptiness within us? We fill it. Now there are a few things that can come from this. Firstly, we complete the task and feel that accomplishment once it’s all said and done. Hooray, right? Sort of. Humans are quite the ambitious creatures, in my honest opinion, and once we achieve something we develop a yearning for more and I feel that this sense of further yearning is actually us growing and subsequently becoming more as people.
I guess the main concept is that, within my own life, I was forced to become more after the passing of my uncle — I honestly don’t think I’ve ever gotten over that feeling — but that event has helped to shape a new better version of myself.
And so to really communicate, we only have one life that we get to live and if we waste it away doing the same shit we hate everyday not only will be get the chance to see people around us live the lives they dreamed, we’ll also get the chance to see those who we care about slowly deteriorate and then pass while we let our own lives fly by. We need to ensure we take on each of the opportunities to propel ourselves forward otherwise we’ll live in a world of “what-if’s” and “I could’ve’s but I didn’t’s”.
Remember if you screw up entirely you can always get a job you hate — but if you die without pursuing what you truly love, then did you even live you life?
Let’s make the most of this life.
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