Idea for Film - Where to Find It?



If you want your movie to get a big audience, you’ll need to find a good story. Working on a film or a script is a lot of work, so it is crucial to choose the right story for a film. It would be best if you had a story that inspires you to dig deeper, connect with you emotionally, and that you are going to be obsessed about. Only after finding that type of idea, you can start thinking about its premise.

Finding a good subject

It would be best if you found a subject that interests you and that you are passionate about. Is there something that you want to dig in about? What do you usually think about when you are bored? When you watch the news or read a magazine, is there an item that interests you? Once you find the right subject, ideas will start to pop up.

To find a subject that interests you and that you know about, start by writing a list of your most moving experiences in life. Without judging your self, make a list with as many shorts descriptions of your past experiences. Now, try to find common elements (or a few) that repeat each time or some of the times.

Here is what you need to do when you choose a subject:

  1. Make sure it has enough “meat” to use it on a feature film. 
  2. On the other hand, try to make it as specific as possible. If the subject is too broad, you might get lost at the research stage.
  3. Start brainstorming ideas to see if you are in the right track
  4. Make sure it is a subject you’ll be able to read about and learn

Some tricks to find ideas

  • Choose a structure – Sometimes, the way you want to tell the story can affect the story you will tell. If there is an exciting type of story structure you want to play with like the multi timelines structures, the Reverse Chronological Structure or any other, you’ll need a story that will justify it
  • Look around – As a screenwriter or a film director, you need to start to carry a small notebook and write down interesting things you see. Don’t think about ideas yet; simply write everything down. Go over your notes and think of them. Sometimes it can be a location that will trigger an idea, and sometimes it can be a person you saw on the street, a situation you took part in, etc. 
  • Art – Watch and breakdown as many books, films, or any form of art you can think of. When you understand what it is that makes them work, that can trigger an idea.
  • Use your limitation – Start by thinking what it is you can shoot. What locations can you use, how much actors can you handle 
  • Read biographies – You can find a public figure that no one gave her the respect it deserves, or you can use it to think of exciting characters that will develop into ideas.

know your genre

The first advice many directors, screenwriters, and producers get is to write to a particular genre since it makes all processes more comfortable because of the many rules each genre is dealing with. Whether it’s your first film or the 20th film, thinking about the genre first is very recommended. By choosing the genre, you choose how the film is going to look and who will be your audience. When you look for the right genre for your idea, it’s good to have a few genres mixed, but you have to do it on purpose and not by accident. The genre is an excellent point to start with. You don’t have to follow each one of its rules.

Understanding if you have a strong idea

Sometimes an idea will make you excite intellectually, and other times the excitement will be emotional. I recommend going to the one that you feel emotionally excited about. This is an idea you will fight for, and writing, and creating a movie is something that needs to be worth fighting for. Once you sure you want to fight for the idea, try seeing it in your eyes. What type of movie is it going to be? What type of editing are you seeing? What type of shooting? Do you see an opportunity to implement your voice in it?

Another tip is not to tell anyone about it yet. Your idea was born just now, and it is still too young to stand in front of criticism and suggestions. Take the time to build the idea thoroughly before telling it to others.

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