30 Ways to Brainstorm Short Film Ideas

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I always like to start off the New Year by sharing content designed to inspire your next film project. To get started, feel free to review these articles that I've posted over the past couple of years:

Recently while browsing through my Twitter feed, I came across this handy resource from Studio Binder that gives you 30 ideas for brainstorming film ideas. They have a printable version available on their website.

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Try These Short Film Starters for 2016

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It's here again - New Year's Eve. The closing of one year and the start of another always prompts a moment of introspective reflection: How many goals did I achieve this year? Where did I come up short? What can I improve upon during the upcoming year?

Around this time last year I talked about this in an article about being an artist right now. The point? If you want to be a filmmaker, don't wait. Shoot something. Practice. Fail. Try again. Improve.

I realize that it's difficult to get started when you're staring at a blank page, pen hovering over the notebook paper; or fingers poised over the keys, waiting for just the right spark of inspiration. So I thought I would list a few creative exercises that you can try to help you take that first step toward producing something new for 2016.

  • Limit yourself to one location. What kind of narrative can you create within a single space?
  • Pick a favorite director and create something that's inspired by his/her style.
  • Improvise everything. Create a story outline. Know your beginning, middle, and end. Make the rest of it up as you go. Need more inspiration? Check out the independent film Last Stop for Paul. 
  • Go against your own tendencies and produce a short in a genre you don't particularly like.
  • Shoot everything without human actors. Use tabletop elements instead.
  • Limit yourself to only 48-72 hours to write, shoot and edit your film.
  • Go to an art museum and select one painting that really inspires you. Create a short film from that image.
  • Select a song from your library, pick out a section of lyrics that are particularly meaningful and build a narrative around those lyrics.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started on your first film project for 2016. Have any other creative exercises to share? Leave them in the Comments section below.