View Full Version : Initial film idea - thoughts appreciated
11-07-2004, 12:22 PM
Im am wanting to start a short film project, and have had an idea. basiaclly it is about a ordinary working class man turns to drugs and it destorys his life.
opening scene will be happy wedding scene. wedding car then drives off with camera behind. The camera will then slowly pan upwards to the blue sky, and here there will be a kinda time lapse of the sky getting dark. Then camera will pan back down and itll be 10 years later. From here on the film gets darker. I will have a montage of images showing the gradual degrading effects that the drugs are having on this mans life. After montage had ran through it will then cut to present time of the man buying what will turn out to be his last drug hit. He shoots up and stumbles home to where his wife is waiting. An arguement breaks out, and the drugs finally push him over the edge and ends up killing her. The camera then pans to a wedding photo on the wall, and you hear a bang and see the shadow of the man fall to the ground.
I know it sounds like a lame shitty excuse for a story, but it did sound better in my head when i thought it up.
Honest feedback would be appreciated on improvemts alterations and where or not i should actually persue this idea.
11-07-2004, 01:45 PM
just seems cliche' to me. sorta sounds like requiem, at least the same message they conveyed. just my opinion. plus it doesnt seem like there's room to build up character- you skip 10 years of his life- thats a TON of time. maybe ten months of drugs or something.
11-07-2004, 03:05 PM
yes, its cliche...but, dont let that stop you. i say make your film. even if you it turns out not as you imagined or if people dont like it, whatever...you will get some experience making a film...which will make the next one even better...so shoot away man...
11-07-2004, 09:26 PM
And remember "It's not what's been done; but how you do it."
11-08-2004, 09:52 AM
I made a few cliched films at first, and I learned a ton from it. The biggest lesson for me in terms of the story was learning what translates well from the page to the screen. No one could teach me that, I had to learn it.
The basic premise of your story has been done, but so has everything else. Like John said, it's how you do it. A competent director can take a great story and make a good film. But a creative director can take a good story and do something special with it. As a writer I believe that story is king, but there are lots of ways to tell the same story. Maybe taking something "cliched" and finding a new way to shoot it is a good exercise as a director, or even as a writer.
11-08-2004, 11:47 AM
Go for it. However, it would be interesting for you to set a limit on this project, for example, can you shoot this whole sequence in a minute? I bet it would be a lot less cliche if you turned this into a strong visual silent minute.
I wouldn't call it a lame shitty story either, for some people it's their actual lives. I'll echoooo John and say, "It's how you do it."
11-08-2004, 12:30 PM
Isaac i agree, it would be much more powerful if i made the sequence fit in to a minuite or so, with no dialogue. This lead me to think that it could be fun to film the sequence to some music, almost creating a music video. For this particular project i though Don't Cry by guns and roses would tie in nicely if you are farmilar with this song? Thoughts?
Anyhow i will use this project as a learning curve.
Thanks for everybodys input. I am new to this board, as i am with film making, and there is some good advice here.
11-08-2004, 12:37 PM
Every film is a learning experience. I have found that notion to be quite liberating. I focus on improving something specific on each film I do. I don't neglect other things, but I focus on one or two. Doing things that way makes me believe I can't really make a mistake. I make more films that way, and get better each time.
11-08-2004, 01:45 PM
It's up to you, you're the boss. I would personally try and shoot and edit without music. If I felt it needed more then I'd try and find or compose music to fit the piece.
Whatever choices you make it will be a learning process, and it'll change your eyes and instincts about what will work the next time around.
12-04-2004, 01:25 PM
Your idea for the premise you want your story to prove to the audience, may be more valuable than your detailed ideas for scenes and set-ups.
Once you have your premise nailed down, everything else has a way of following.
12-05-2004, 02:00 AM
And don't forget that cliches are cliches for a reason. People like them, are familiar with them, and do them over and over again.
"I love you" is a cliche. You gonna stop saying it to your sweetie?
12-08-2004, 02:55 AM
You've probably already written, shot, and editted this thing, but here's my 2 cents.
It all sounds like a long "This is your brain on drugs" PSA. What if the lives of everyone the man loved was effected, but he was completely unaware. The world around him is crumbly but he's oblivious. Try and convey that on camera and you might have something. If it's too melodramtic your "dark film" might turn into a comedy. Be careful not to go over the top. Keep it subtle. Don't force the message in peoples faces.
12-21-2004, 06:36 PM
before scence 10 years later, i would throw in scenes that seem to have no relevence- to you. a moment of a child sitting at church, an unkind word to an 'unfortuanant', a shot of a plane exploding, a stressed out employee, etc. make a scene that could apply to a would be viewer, and in an accelerrated fashion- you will allow the viewer to feel he may be portrayed and rivit himself because he has been discovered. then you go on,..and you have a possible means he can resolve stresses.(?)
12-24-2004, 05:24 PM
ok forget whether it is a cliche or not, how about something that has a normal growth age death cycle, like a plant, flower, tree etc.
think along those lines and find something you can speed up?
maybe even a non-organic thing like a house aging?
not easy granted, but it is one way to go.
maybe something that could be done in after effects?
12-28-2004, 11:46 AM
I usually hate the '10 years later' stuff... but that's me, I could be wrong, maybe it's a terrible tragedy. chiche ideas conveyed in original was can be very amazing. good luck
I suggest getting Syd Fields book, "Screenplay" or Linda Cowgill's "Writing Short Films" and using these to help you create your story. Your ideas are vague but they will lead you somewhere if you work it.
Drugs, shopping, sports, sex, food, addiction etc... are symbolic symptoms of underlying needs, usually an emptiness that needs to be filled. This is a possible place where you can say something significant that connects with your audience.
What does this person want?
What gets in his way?
How does he overcome it?
How does it resolve?....these questions need to be answered.