Movie making is one of the most difficult art forms. For example, a filmmaker cannot solely make a movie as they are dependent on their crew to come up with the ideas and resources that would help them make their film. When a filmmaker sits down with this team to understand what kind of content they wish to deliver through the art of filmmaking, they usually brainstorm different ideas.
As you will learn in this film brainstorming guide, brainstorming is a creative process that forms the foundation for different captivating concepts. Some of the major benefits of brainstorming for film ideas are:
- With film brainstorming, you can explore new ways to generate unique ideas.
- With brainstorming for film, teams can easily analyze each other's creative level.
- A good brainstorming session would lead to tapping on explored areas that would help the filmmaker achieve their desired shot.
In this article
How to Brainstorm Film Ideas in 7 Easy Steps
Making a film or a short film requires a lot of planning, and it all can begin by working on brainstorming the film ideas. Check out the easy steps on how to brainstorm film ideas in 2023.
Step 1Genre Understanding
The first thing you need to do as you sit down to make your first film is understand the theme. Whether it is a horror movie or a sci-fi drama, you must first identify the theme that would lead you to understand the story, plot, and narration. Once you have gotten yourself some clarification on these aspects, it will help you during your brainstorming session.
Step 2Team Gathering
As mentioned earlier, filmmaking is a collaborative art form, and you will need to discuss the plot, theme, ideas, concepts, and narration with your most trusted team members. During the initial days of the film brainstorming, form a team with fellow creative artists who will bring new insights to the table.
Step 3Gather Inspiration
Once you have zeroed in on your team and the film idea, it's time to dive into research. Watch as many movies as possible, and try to read as many stories as per your theme. Try distributing those movies and stories to your team members, as it would be helpful to them when you brainstorm.
Step 4Embrace Unconventional Thinking
Try not to stick with only one way of filmmaking. Break free from conventions and let your imagination roam to different lands. Ask your team members to challenge you and ask you difficult questions, as it will only lead to more productive filmmaking.
Step 5Use Mind Maps
After finalizing different ideas and doing all sorts of research, try incorporating mind maps into your brainstorming sessions. Use EdrawMind as this powerful AI-enabled diagramming tool that would let you collaborate with your team members in real time and help you put your ideas more creatively.
Step 6Accept Limitations
Most famous directors have stated in their interviews how they incorporated constraints as these constraints worked as a catalyst for defining innovative ideas. During the film brainstorming stage, try embracing limitations associated with the film production, like budget, location, and more.
Step 7Develop Ideas
Once you have narrowed down everything, try narrowing down the list and start finding the best way ahead. Try visualizing scenes and characters, and dissect the screenplay to see which scene works the best and which still needs some refinement.
10 Ways To Brainstorm Film Ideas
Now that you have understood how to brainstorm film ideas, let us help you with some basic methods to generate ideas for your first short film.
- Reverse Engineering: Focus on working on visuals in the beginning and then brainstorm backward to construct a narrative for your short film.
- Real-Life Inspiration: You will never go wrong when you try to inculcate your real-life stories and personal experiences into creating relatable stories.
- Multiple Genres: If you find yourself stuck in finding a good narrative for your short film, try combining two or more contrasting genres to create something unique.
- Characterization: Some writers have stated how creating a character helps them drive the plot. In the brainstorming session, discuss your characters and their personalities in detail.
- Story Backdrop: Try creating a story in the beginning where the setting plays a very important role in shaping the characters, their personalities, and their overall plot.
- Alternate Perspective: After creating the plot, discuss different ways to tell the same story. There is a possibility that during the film brainstorming session, you will find a unique voice in your plot.
- Symbolism: Symbolisms and metaphors play an important role in the plot. Try infusing deeper meanings by adding symbols and metaphors.
- Dream Addition: If you are stuck with ideas, try digging deep into your subconscious to see if you have any dreams or nightmares to add to your plot. Ask your team members to follow the same path during the brainstorming session.
- Discuss Technology: You can never go wrong when fusing your story with technology. Discuss with your team and examine the effects of evolving technology and how your characters would impact the same.
- History & Culture: Try discussing your characters from a different era. If you have written a character from the historical era, try finding how he will react in the 21st Century -- this way, you can explore culture shifts and give the story a different angle.
Film Brainstorming Template & Example
The following is a brainstorming template designed in EdrawMind. Here, we are discussing the plot points and character's background of the 2023 American movie Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan. In this film brainstorming example, we have added the story's background, mentioned the filming locations, and how the actual writing will take place. Additionally, we have added the details of the actors who played the role of Oppenheimer.
This template is designed in EdrawMind, which offers an easy import of the media option. This way, you can add media files to your brainstorming sessions and find connections between ideas.
Film brainstorming is a fun journey that requires collaboration, open-mindedness, and the courage to explore the narrative from a different perspective. In this article, we learned about different steps and film brainstorming techniques that you can use to develop innovative film ideas. We highly recommend going ahead with EdrawMind to collaborate in real-time with your team to discuss the first short film that you are about to make!