Turn a Movie Idea into a Script

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Thinking of a movie idea and turning it into a script is tough, but with the right approach, anyone can do it.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces must fit for it to work. It’s time consuming and stressful, but for your brilliant movie idea to work it is very necessary.

My idea for Travel Warning started simply as: I want to make a movie.

Sounds simple. But from that simple statement arouses a number of questions, which need answering.

First and foremost, what kind of movie do you want to make? i.e what would YOU want to watch if you were at home or at the cinema trying to pick a film.

I love all genres, but really I wanted to make this movie a horror film. Tick. Seems straight forward, but if you love sci-fi snd are making a period romance, you’d have to question yourself further.

A couple of more questions arise from this. Is there an audience for this type of film? For us, we know horror films have a large and loyal fanbase. If you are unsure of your audience, the next question is pivotal.

Why are you making this film?

We’re making this film for us, the horror film audience and as a potential mass distribution release. If for example, you were making an experimental film, the audience might be very small. However, if you are making a film for yourself, then that’s ok. You just need to know the direction you are heading, for all your decision making. The last thing you want is to set expectations on your project and not deliver.

What is your budget?

No budget. Tick.

Where is it set?

The apocalypse. Tick. A grand idea indeed, but also raises a flag. A no budget film in the apocalypse? From all apocalyptic films I had seen they benefited from considerable budgets. This isn’t an end to the idea, it just raises another question.

How is that going to work?

We are going to follow a single man and have him isolated from the danger, so the apocalyptic cities and ruins are more implied.

Now the questions, become more and more specific to your film only. Who is this man? Why is he isolated?

These ongoing questions are what is going to mould your original idea into something great and actually plausible.

The last thing you want to do is spend hours of time writing a script when there were holes in the idea from the get go. That is, unless you go into writing the script knowing full well you’ll be changing a lot.

Now after reading all this: ask yourself, what movie do you want to make?

1 Comment

  1. […] a recent article about turning your movie idea into a script, I talked about the questions you must ask yourself […]

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