Here's a filmmaking exercise that could really help you make anything exciting.
We've seen a lot of viral challenges spread their philanthropic, mettle-testing, or otherwise ridiculous tentacles throughout the darkest corners of the internet over the years, but there aren't too many that are tailor-made for filmmakers. Filmmaker Brandon Li specializes in travel videos, but in the sparse moments where he's not taking in breathtaking scenery, he has found a way to ensure that every second of his time on the road can be used to master his craft. Hence the birth of "The Boring Room Challenge."
The premise for the challenge is extremely simple. In Li's words, it's “where you take a boring room and try and make a somewhat interesting watchable short film in the room that doesn’t break any obscenity laws.” The only limitations are your creativity. “I thought of doing this exercise to try and jog my own creative juices when I'm in a place that is not creatively inspiring, so all the inspiration has to come from within.”
[Editor's Note: Video Removed Due to Hotel Management]
The short he provides as an example may not be the most narratively fulfilling piece of work, but the value of this exercise is undeniable. This is about as barebones as you can get. All he needed to complete the exercise was a few lenses, a micro four thirds camera, and whatever lighting could be found from within the room. There isn't a much clearer example out there of how rules and limitations can help spark creativity within your work.
After the short, we get a look at all the tactics Brandon was able to employ to turn his boring ass room into something more. We know you have access to a boring ass room somewhere. This is something you could do in only a couple of hours, so if you have some spare time and feel up to it, get to work. If you do, please share your videos with us in the comments section below!