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    Need criticism on my short film idea!
    #1
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    I think I got an idea, it's called "The Red Balloon" or whatever, if you guys can come up with a better one that'd be pretty cool.

    Basically It's about a boy who is sad and one day while he is sitting alone at a park, an elderly man see's the depressed boy and gives him a red balloon (or the red balloon can come from nowhere and float down to the kid) the boy is uplifted by this and becomes closely attached to the balloon and acts like the balloon is his best friend. Now I'm coming along with the story as I type so there are two approaches I just thought of:

    1. The boy could hold onto the balloon until adulthood until he's satisfied and let the balloon go to find another child to brightens their day.

    or

    2. The boy and his red balloon comes across girl with a blue balloon and they start playing and become best friends and eventually let the balloons go together and end the film on the balloons floating away.

    So this is my idea. It'll be under 5 minutes, I think t'll be pretty easy to do, there's no dialogue either. You guys may suggest different approaches if you'd like.

    Does this sound like a good idea?


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    I think you can spice it up with a gun, an explosion and a kidnapping.


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    #3
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    It's a good idea but one that many have had before you. It is second I think only to zombie films in that respect, every second short film festival I've been to has a variation on this and the balloon is always red. But don't let that stop you, following a well-worn path makes it easier to focus on the technical aspects of filmmaking. This is an idea that can be creatively presented and presents an opportunity really explore the visual aspect of film. When you've finished you'll be able to see where you currently sit on the line between subtle symbology and sledgehammer metaphor.

    The balloon itself is an excellent device as there are so many ways it can be used to imply meaning. A helium balloon can float off, it follows the owner like a cloud, it can be deflated, inflated or burst. Given or taken, lost or found. All visual qualities. So it is a great idea for an exercise. But before you commit to the balloon consider whether you could achieve the same objective with a different symbol or whether you could take it somewhere really different. With a bit of thought you might find something that triggers an even more creative idea. If not then you can fall back on this one - a solid idea with creative potential, especially if you are just starting out.


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    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    I think you may be channeling an early childhood memory of a short that is pretty much the exactly as you describe and titled, 'The Red Balloon'. It won an oscar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2Y1tRBOXfA
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
    ______________________________________________
    Samurai ScriptFest: A Dream of Electric Revolution (1st Place)
    Suspense ScriptFest: A Clockwork Darkened(2nd Place)
    Trapped ScriptFest: Trapped (3rd Place)


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    Seem isn't new plus seem like tons of arty fartsy scripts tons of new filmmakers make cause they want to make an art house movie to follow a certain trend or something. I would suggest try to use personal stories and listen to people talking about there past and get life experience and write something more realistic. As basic setup of story be intro - introducing the main character - 2nd set a goal would be something the protagonist want to achieve - 3rd struggle as life isn't easy there be something in the way of achieving his goal - 4 overcoming the struggle finding a solution- 5 achieve the goal. However can have multiple struggles. Another thing you need to explain what the balloon symbolises, if you don't do that there is no meaning in your story.

    story 1: A young boy holding a picture of a women in red is crying and walking with his father on the street, the father ask the kid if he would give the picture to him but the kid does not want to let it go. As they walk past a clown with balloons the father ask if he would trade it for a big balloon and the kid chooses a big red one. As the balloon become the representation of his mother. From here you can go two ways either dress up the balloon as the mother or play it that he just become grown up with a balloon, however there should be struggles like the balloon being popped , kids trying to steal it or get a leak and he need to fix it and see there is all kind of bandages to fix it when he is an adult. But when he meets a girl who wears red like his mother with a balloon they stare at each other, while both look at each other the guys accidentally let go of his balloon and they both look at the ballon when it floats away. Then the girl approaches him and gives him her balloon and they both smile at each other and walks away together. The end.

    I don't like story 2 seem to make no sense for them to let go of their balloons.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahMilro View Post
    I think you can spice it up with a gun, an explosion and a kidnapping.
    Throw in a stabbing. If there's a stabbing somewhere, it immediately gets my interest. Boring story, boring, boring - STAB - and I perk up!

    Put the stabbing anywhere, and it'll improve the story, guaranteed. Boy sits on the bench - gets stabbed. Police tape, investigators swarm, the old man with the red balloon walks by - a smart detective sees him, arrests the old man. The balloon used to be white, the old man used the boy's blood to color it red, and is making his getaway, but doesn't get past the smart detective - another crime in the city of a thousand stories, solved.

    or

    Boy sits on the bench, sad, old man with a red balloon is walking by, and suddenly he gets stabbed by a Bad Man, and the Bad Man takes the balloon and runs away. Undercover police swarm out of the bushes, cursing, because it was a sting operation, the red balloon was a signal to drug dealers to make a deal, only it all went wrong, and the boy burst into tears, because he really wanted the red ballon, instead he finds a package of heroin behind the bench, but that's OK, he gives it to his dad who sells it and buys the boy a red balloon and himself a Corvette.

    or

    A sad boy is sitting on the bench, sees an old man with a red balloon, runs up, stabs the man, takes the balloon and pops it. He feels a lot better. Along come running the mental hospital orderlies - they finally found the psychotic boy who ran away from the hospital this morning.

    Anyhow, doesn't matter where and how, just include a stabbing and you'll have a great little short film. Best of luck, and remember: STAB!


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    Throw in a stabbing. If there's a stabbing somewhere, it immediately gets my interest. Boring story, boring, boring - STAB - and I perk up!

    Put the stabbing anywhere, and it'll improve the story, guaranteed. Boy sits on the bench - gets stabbed. Police tape, investigators swarm, the old man with the red balloon walks by - a smart detective sees him, arrests the old man. The balloon used to be white, the old man used the boy's blood to color it red, and is making his getaway, but doesn't get past the smart detective - another crime in the city of a thousand stories, solved.

    or

    Boy sits on the bench, sad, old man with a red balloon is walking by, and suddenly he gets stabbed by a Bad Man, and the Bad Man takes the balloon and runs away. Undercover police swarm out of the bushes, cursing, because it was a sting operation, the red balloon was a signal to drug dealers to make a deal, only it all went wrong, and the boy burst into tears, because he really wanted the red ballon, instead he finds a package of heroin behind the bench, but that's OK, he gives it to his dad who sells it and buys the boy a red balloon and himself a Corvette.

    or

    A sad boy is sitting on the bench, sees an old man with a red balloon, runs up, stabs the man, takes the balloon and pops it. He feels a lot better. Along come running the mental hospital orderlies - they finally found the psychotic boy who ran away from the hospital this morning.

    Anyhow, doesn't matter where and how, just include a stabbing and you'll have a great little short film. Best of luck, and remember: STAB!
    I think you need to add a bicycle, and a bicylce thief, and perhaps a suicide, or at least an attempted suicide to get on the 'inside indie fest' track.

    And add in an 'it was all a dream' ending...


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    #8
    Senior Member nycineaste's Avatar
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    itll take you 5+ years of hard work and study and practice before you can even begin to hope to write that killer-clever-super-good short that goes viral, so shoot all your early stories, theyll be full of cliches and awful dialog just like mine

    start learning to tell stories of conflict. Start with a guy running from a killer in the woods or a guy arguing with his girlfriend in the bedroom, based on your chosen genre. No Im not kidding. Will be real difficult to make it interesting (youll likely fail, read the above) but at least youre in the right territory.


    join us (bruhahahahah)....
    Be wary, my pre-2014 posts are full of arrogant dogmatizing. Little older and wiser now.

    "Noone is as arrogant as a beginner"
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    "The foundation of film art is editing"
    - V.I. Pudovkin

    -Cinema is closer to language than it is to painting"
    - Sergei Eisenstein


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    #9
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    Senior Member nycineaste's Avatar
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    hey good stuff, he built the story around a CRISIS (sad lonely boy) which is another way to look at plot (crisis and/or conflict)
    Be wary, my pre-2014 posts are full of arrogant dogmatizing. Little older and wiser now.

    "Noone is as arrogant as a beginner"
    -Someone

    "The foundation of film art is editing"
    - V.I. Pudovkin

    -Cinema is closer to language than it is to painting"
    - Sergei Eisenstein


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