Think Outside the Frame: Creative Approaches to Finding a Movie Idea

When scripting and producing your movie or video project, you’ve probably been told the same thing countless times—think outside the box. While this advice is well-meaning, let’s face it: It can be intimidating. Where do you even start?

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can stretch your creativity and come up with an innovative idea for your next film or video project. If you want to think outside the frame and explore creative approaches to generating great movie ideas, here are some tips to get you started.

Conceptualized Ideas

 In today’s world of cinema, everything has been done. Being original can be difficult but it is a way to separate yourself from the crowd. Think about a concept out there; different people can’t help but be intrigued by it. It could be as simple as combining two genres or creating a unique story set in an alternate universe.

Research & Dig Deep

Research new ideas, and then do more research to go deeper into the topic. You might find something new and exciting. Search online or go to your local library to find your inspiration for themes, genres, characters and other creative elements of your film script. You can also research on trends and current events, for relevant topics you can discuss.

Talk With Others

Talking with your peers, friends, family and colleagues is a rich source of ideas for movies or videos. Bouncing these ideas around can help you see new perspectives and insights.

Create Interesting Characters

Characters do not spring to life already fully-grown and developed. Characters are developed to create interesting personalities and dialogue. Watch the news, current event coverage or documentaries to see real people thinking and interacting with others. Put yourself in the characters’ shoes and start by brainstorming who these people are, how they look, what drives them, and what makes them unique.

Explore Unique Settings and Genre Twists

You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional settings, genres, and conventions. Instead, think about ways to turn these concepts on their heads and create something out of the ordinary. For instance, what would a horror film look like in a post-apocalyptic world? Or what if you flipped a traditional comedy into a dramatic story?

Change Up Your Perspective

Sometimes the best ideas come from putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Viewing your project from a different perspective can help you think of unique ways to approach a film or video project in a new and exciting light.

Draw From Personal Experience

Draw upon your personal experiences, as well as the personal experiences of those around you—family members, friends, enemies, and even strangers. Often our own experience can provide a unique perspective on life that could be translated into an exciting film or video project.

Try Writing Ending First

Try writing the ending scene of your film first. Moving backwards, you can thresh out the logic and reason for their actions. It also makes their personality traits clearer. Check your material by moving forward to the ending that you already wrote, then review and correct for any character inconsistencies.

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Address Social Issues

Social issues are always relevant if handled correctly in your storytelling. Current events and their connection to social issues can draw the audience into the story. Finding a novel viewpoint is also easier when you flesh out the issues you want to discuss.

Pick Your Artistic Style

Choose a style or aesthetic for your film or video project that yo feel comfortable. It could be as simple as opting for a specific color palette or more complex, like incorporating surreal elements and special effects into the story.

Choose a Famous Celebrity to Bring the Project to Life

What is “Dances With Wolves” and other westerns, without wide plains and open skies. What are urban locations without street traffic, traffic lights and pedestrians on the sidewalk. The right location can be considered as another character in your film.

Location Scouting

What is “Dances With Wolves” and other westerns, without wide plains and open skies. What are urban locations without street traffic, traffic lights and pedestrians on the sidewalk. The right location can be considered as another character in your film.

Look for Funding Sources

Funding your movie can be difficult, but a unique story can get the attention you need to get it moving. If you can’t pitch to producers, try to get film grants. These have less money, and more requirements to submit, but also allow for your creativity to develop into a movie.

Network and Collaborate

Networking with others in the film and video industry is a great way to find collaborators, such as actors, writers, directors, and crew members, who can help you make your movie or video.

Mood Board

Creating a mood board for your project can help you stay focused on the style and tone of your film or video. Pull together visuals and audio clips that reflect the kind of story you want to tell. It will help keep your ideas organized and focused as you bring your vision to life. 

Overall, many creative ways exist to develop a great movie or video idea. Use these approaches to inspire your next project; you’ll have something unique and memorable. Good luck!

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