June 26, 2015 at 3:28PM, Edited June 26, 3:52PM


Stuck! Writer's Block.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to shoot. Now let me give you a nice painting of what I have to work with.
My dslr, shotgun mic, and tripod.
A house, and one acre backyard in a quiet neighborhood.

I want to make a little short but Im not to sure with ideas.
I've been thinking of maybe making a sci fi short, but that may be a little to vfx heavy and missing, well, a plot. I have scripts for little skits and stuff but I have no one to help me with it.
So I ask you, dear nfschooler's, what type of short should I make?

Any ideas are welcome!


Every film starts with an idea. Do not shoot anything until you've found an idea worth shooting, otherwise you're just creating meaningless images. I know this sounds a little harsh, but it really is the truth.

A good idea changes everything.

June 27, 2015 at 7:47AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thank you for responding! Ill get to thinkin

Kyler Wagner

June 27, 2015 at 5:47PM, Edited June 27, 5:47PM

May I humbly plug my first short: http://vimeo.com/62477862

Made with 550d, no sound recorder, kit lens. I may have used the nifty-fifty as well, can't remember. A stills tripod held together with gaffer tape. An actor who is actually a poet (and friend) who was prepared to stand around and be filmed for a day. Locations within walking distance of my front door.

I'm not saying it's Citizen Kane or anything, but it turned out okay. And I think a lot of that was because of the limitations. You can always find someone to act in a film. Approach local acting groups, theatre groups, colleges that have performing arts degrees. So long as you're honest about your resources and ambitions people will often help just for sh*ts and giggles.

I agree with Guy that you should have a solid idea and make it worth the effort of shooting; but at the same time don't use this as an excuse to just do nothing for months/years.

Good luck!

June 27, 2015 at 2:56PM

Jon Mills

Thank you for your input and ill check out your short now lol

Kyler Wagner

June 27, 2015 at 5:47PM

As you walk around your "quiet neighbourhood", listen. What's going on? Can you hear birds or animals? Is someone working or can you hear a conversation going on? What could then happen to make that very ordinary scene extraordinary? An alien, as you said, would do it. What about a criminal, an accident, or someone's personal tragedy?

June 27, 2015 at 10:06PM

Julian Richards
Film Warlord

Sound more like a doer's block than a writer's block.
Stop doubting.
Make that SF short, even if the plot is thin. A short can still be cool to make and great to watch if the idea is cool.
Post crew and casting calls to find people who want to help.
Look for crew calls to help on other projects: that way you will meet other people with the same interests.

And: write down ideas without worrying about possibilities: just brainstorm and keep the mind open. Nothing is wrong in this stage. Let every idea lead to a new idea.
Afterwards you can see what can be done or look how it can be done as well :-)

Time for action!
Good luck!

June 29, 2015 at 10:02PM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

Rober Rodriguez was in the same situation. He wanted to film something, he looked at what he had, (several locations, a guitarcase, a turtle etc) and he started to write something... that something became El Mariachi.

He kept a little diary with him and wrote almost daily about the stuff he did, pretty good read, it's called Rebel Without a Crew. Not saying that reading that book will give you an idea to film but just saying that it is a good read... ;)

October 7, 2015 at 8:38AM

Denniz Hout
Director, Editor, producer

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