Writing has always been my Achilles heel of filmmaking. I love directing, cinematography, lighting, and editing, but writing has always been difficult for me. I always strive to be original and creative, but when I sit down to write, I either end up writing a movie that already exists or something i’m not even interested in. Therefore, I want to point out a few tips that could help in writing a movie you love.
Recently I have been working on a short film script and I always get to a point where I’m disinterested in what I’ve written. However, I think I’ve finally created a checklist for writing something I love while also making something worth watching. It’s simple, but it’s worth checking over when you’re writing your next film.
Movies have always been about entertainment. Making something you and your audience want to sit down and enjoy.
It seems obvious to say but when you sit down to create something it’s easy to get lost in the process of making it, how its going to look on camera, and who you’re going to cast. Although, when you take a step back and look at it from an audience members point of view, you have to ask “is this entertaining?”. If it is, then carry on and make your movie, if not, maybe take a second to see what you could change to make your audience happy.
Now that you’ve catered to your audience it’s time to cater to yourself. Look over your script and make sure it touches on themes you care about. What message are you trying to convey with your film? What do you want the audience to learn from watching your movie?
These questions will help you come up with a story that you are passionate about. This step is vital in my opinion. Because, there’s always a point in a project when I think to myself “why am I doing this?”. If I don’t have an answer, I throw the script out. If I have a message I want other people to hear that I genuinely care about, then that pulls me through the doubt I have about the project.
Budget, of course, controls everything. It can be difficult to write a story within your budget, so what I suggest doing is writing your story however you want. Afterward, start to scale it down to something that is doable with your budget. Don’t sacrifice your message, but keep in mind that a well done, low budget movie is better than a poorly done big budget film. It’s all about quality.
This part in particular is something I struggle with when writing. I would love to make sci-fi movies, but at the moment, I don’t have the resources to make them convincing.
As I mentioned, when you’re writing, let your mind flow free. Create whatever you desire, but when it’s time for draft two, start to scale down to something you can realistically make. There’s nothing wrong with shelving a project either. If you have a script you absolutely love but can’t make it at the moment, then hold onto it. Make something else before hand and work towards making your next film a reality when you have the time.
Short Film Making
It’s easy for me to get caught up in an idea only to realize that I either don’t like the script, or I’ve rewritten a movie I already like by accident. So, when you’re sitting down to create your next script, keep yourself in mind, remember your audience, and write within your budget.
Over the past few months I have been working on writing my own short film. These steps have helped me stay on track and create something I love. Hopefully, these steps can help you in writing a movie you love as well.