In my group, we are working towards shooting 12 films in 12 months - a version of my 52 Films 52 Weeks project. Right now we are pulling together our story ideas and one of the very best exercise I know to help create stories from absolutely nothing is the five-minute stream of conscientiousness exercise.
Basically, you find a quiet place, choose a sentence from a random book or article or even a song lyric, write it down, and then set your timer for 5 minutes and just write.
It feels a little awkward at first, which is why you need a quiet place. Using this method, I can guarantee you will write a story of some kind. No one expects miracles, it might not be perfect, but it is an excellent place to start.
In my group we have each brought in our stories and they are all remarkable. So varied, so crazy, funny and horrific. It’s amazing what lurks inside us and pours forth when we give it a little encouragement. All the films in our 52 Films project were sourced this way. The stories picked from a year long version of this writing exercise, which is why they were so wildly different. Each day we are full of something new, a new feeling, a new sadness, a new direction, so it goes without saying that what comes out will be different from one day to the next.
Our films so far will take us from the beach to the mountains, the meadows to the streets and underground…imaginations are precious things!
Once we have worked on these stories a little more and then adapted them into screenplays, we will plan out the rest of the year's filmmaking. It feels so good to be working with such a group of inspiring and creative fellow filmmakers. I can hardly wait to see what we create together.
Working in a team, even a small one, can be the difference between dreaming of making films and actually making films. It’s hard to do it alone, even If you hire crew. Having your filmmaking family beside you from the start will keep you focused, honest and inspired. If you don’t have your own group, filmmaking classes can be a great resource, not just college, but online, or local private filmmaking classes. Google what is in your neighborhood.
It’s also a great way to share the cost of filmmaking. Even when you have your own equipment there are always cost involved…food mostly. It all adds up, but shared it’s much easier to handle. I know everyone wants to crowd source, but honestly, I would avoid that until you have your ultimate dream project to make. Most crowd fund money really comes from friends and family and in my experience that’s a one hit wonder - don’t blow it on something you are not ready for. Fund everything yourself…for now.
So, next time I write we will be further along in the project and I will have much more to say about it. For now I am very happy to be on the way to making movies…they will be brilliant because they will be ours.
Now get out there and start something!!
Here’s a reminder of what we created with 52 films/52 weeks…I’m feeling a little nostalgic!