• Anthony Hett

How to write a short film - Developing your ideas

Hello and welcome (back) to my blog, where I will be offering simple and practical advice on how to write and then make an interesting, engaging and hopefully successful short film.

Today we are moving on from inspiration. Hopefully after my last blog, those blank pages have started to fill themselves up with fresh new ideas. Now you have the ideas, we are going to look at how to choose which idea(s) to develop.

You've got that killer idea. The one that's going to make an excellent short film, that's really going to get people's attention. The only problem is that you've gone from having no ideas, to having a notebook full of them. So now you fins yourself struggling to see the forest for all the trees.

When you have several undeveloped ideas, it is easy to find yourself in a position where you want to develop them all. However, it is important to decide which idea(s) to prioritise.

But what can you do to help decide which idea(s) to develop into a script?

Try asking yourself the following questions:

Question #1:

How original is your idea?

Is your idea different to anything you have ever seen before? If not, is it a different take on a familiar story? If the answer is still no, think about what makes it special or maybe think about whether you have another idea with more originality?

Question #2:

What is the message?

Does your film have a clear message? Is this a message that you think it is important for the world to hear? Will the theme of your film capture the imagination of a wide audience?

Question #3:

Do you have the resources to make this film?

How easy is it to make this film on a limited budget, with a small cast and crew? Or how can you adapt the idea, so that it is possible to make it within your budget and logistical constraints?

Hopefully asking yourself these questions will help you to decide which ideas become scripts and which stay locked away in a draw. However, if you are still struggling to decide which idea to develop, I think that this is one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever been given. Try asking yourself:

If you could only ever make one (more) film, which would it be and why?

This will hopefully lead you to the story that you are most passionate about and this is important. The filmmaking process can be very long and you want to try and choose an idea that you can remain passionate about right from having the initial idea, all the way through, writing, pre-production, production and post-production.

I hope that you find these tips helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments below and maybe leave some of your thoughts on how you choose which ideas to develop. Be sure to check out my YouTube videos and I will see you back here soon. In my next blog I will be discussing the advantages of writing a short film with two characters and one location.

And remember, if you're interested in 1:2:1 mentoring sessions, where I go into all of the topics I cover here but in greater detail, send me a message through my contact page.