Almost every one of us had an idea for a movie. But finding a really good movie idea is not easy, especially for inexperienced ones. Quickly something is copied, according to the motto: “Better well copied, than bad self-made.” But there are much better ways to find good ideas.
This article is for those who prefer to think for themselves instead of copying and for those who do not know what to look for.
How to find movie ideas – What does it mean?
Developing an idea for a good movie does not mean compellingly to write a story that has never been there before. Of course that would be perfect. But with so many films that appear daily, that’s almost impossible.
Therefore, you should approach the whole thing from the beginning with realistic ideas. A movie idea can mean very different things. For example, not to be distracted by certain genre clichés. How about, for example, a horror movie in which all characters always do the right thing? Or a movie in which the main character dies in the middle of the film? Incidentally, both examples already exist.
If you want to shoot an adventure movie, you probably will not be the only filmmaker whose main character fights through a jungle. But perhaps you will be the only filmmaker in whose history the jungle exists only in the thoughts of the protagonist and does not really exist.
A good example is the movie “Avatar”. The story of a stranger who knows and loves a nature-loving people is not new. Already in films like “Pocahontas” or “Dances with the wolf” this story is told. But never before has such a story been told on a foreign planet between man and alien in such a spiritual way. So the basic idea was old, the idea of implementation and the nature and whiteness of the narrative, new.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who can not write a “never-told” story. And that will be most.
So finding a good and unique idea means incorporating certain elements into a story that did not exist before and that makes the movie extra special. Or even to really find something that has never been there.
How to find movie ideas – Be a master
Why is your own movie idea so important?
As mentioned above, many filmmakers copy good ideas because they do not have them. This is not uncommon and is often and gladly done. It does not matter if it is a music video, a short film or a feature film.
The theft of intellectual property is modern and has become a trend. Good ideas are becoming rarer. German showmaster Rudi Carrell once said:
“One recognizes a good idea because it is stolen.”
But despite all the theatrical thieves, one thing has been shown throughout history: Good film ideas (and, of course, good implementations) are always better than a story that has been seen a thousand times. Of course, that does not mean that if you’ve found a movie idea, the internet has to search for days for days just to make sure that you did not steal “accidentally”. Many ideas develop in different places at the same time. This is normal and not averted. So you can never really be sure that you are the only “author” of a movie idea.
However, one should realize that a good idea makes the movie something special. And that’s exactly what you want to achieve. Nobody wants to put months of work into a movie that is a copy of a copy of a copy. This is boring, ineffective and testifies to laziness.
That’s why it’s important to develop a good idea yourself. Uniqueness pays off sooner or later!
Tips for your own film idea
There are many ways to develop a good, tellable story. Of course this includes the classics like brainstorming, mind mapping and all the other things you learn at school. Often, these methods also help to find first approaches. But if that is boring in the long run, you will quickly look for new ideas for brainstorming.
Before you simply try to find an idea, you can ask yourself a few questions in advance, in order to identify a rough direction.
- What are you currently doing?
What moves you? This is probably one of the first questions you should ask yourself. What do you often think about? What do you enjoy or what are you worried about? These questions often reveal first approaches of an approximate direction and can be very helpful in the search.
- Why do you want to make a movie?
Although this question may seem strange at first glance, it is still very important. You should be aware of why you really want to make a movie. Because if you just want to do the movie to become a star, you better think twice. Knowing one’s motivation is a great advantage for later ideas.
- What kind of movie?
What kind of genre should your movie have? Should it be an action movie or rather a love movie? An approximate direction should already be known before the actual brainstorming. It helps with the later course of the search for ideas and already sets the first cornerstones for the story. Also, the approximate length of the planned movie should be known. It can also help to narrow down the later search. Mostly, these answers are, however, before the actual idea of wanting to make a movie at all.
- What do you want to achieve?
Also this question, you should ask yourself at the beginning. Do you just want to expand your Youtube channel, or do you want to become famous and make money? Or do you prefer to stimulate thinking with your film? Knowing the answer is very helpful.
• What is available to you and who helps?
Knowing what you have in advance is fundamentally important. If you only have a small digital camera, you do not need to dream of a full-length feature film. It is better to stay realistic and to ask yourself what you can do with the available resources. This automatically sets limits for later ideas.
- What is the target audience?
Who do you want to achieve with your movie? This question is very important and should be stated relatively early. If you want to make a movie for the older generation, you probably do not need to think about action or kung fu movies. Do a movie for people your own age, then find out what these people are up to. Certain motives of life appear differently in the age generations. Young people often feel love pain and older people are probably more worried about retirement.
- What else?
These fundamental questions make the search for an idea or a rough set of ideas a lot easier. And that can help a lot later. Ask yourself questions about your future movie and you’ll see how the ideas come all by themselves.
I do not know how to continue! – Tricks for lack of motivation
How often did I think so myself when I was working on a script for a short film? You want to write, but you do not know what.
This can be quite depressing in the long run and you lose motivation quickly.
So that it does not get that far, there are a few small tricks to make up for lacking motivation and concentration.
- Keep going
Rule number one is “carry on”. Why? Anyone who does not know what to think of and wants to have a drink with his friends will not get very far. You have to develop a little ambition and force yourself to work.
- Possible distractions
Once you are in the phase where you do not know how to go on, every little thing can distract you. As the ringing of the phone, a message on Facebook or even quiet background music. This should be considered from the outset and avoid all possible disturbances. So you stay focused in the matter.
- Take short breaks
Short breaks are vitally important. Anyone sitting in front of a blank sheet of white paper for ten hours goes mad. That’s why you should take breaks, even if you have not put the whiff of an idea to paper in the last two hours. The most important thing: continue after the break.
- Set goals
A good way to motivate yourself is to set smaller goals. Make a plan until when you want to have developed which elements of a story. Or set certain days of the week and times in which you want to work on your movie idea. Regular work leads to better results.
Only those who make mistakes will learn!
Making mistakes is very normal and above all very important. Anyone who thinks all the time that he has just brought great ideas to light sooner or later will fall on his nose. Because no one is perfect and no one can just pull an idea out of his pocket.
You must not be afraid to make a mistake. Without mistakes you would not get ahead! Best one starts early to accept this fact. Then you can make your own brainstorming without much disappointment.