Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

September 22, 2023, 10:26:42 pm

Author Topic: Major Help finding an idea  (Read 3914 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
Major Help finding an idea
« on: November 26, 2018, 12:39:59 pm »
I need major help finding an idea for my 2019 media film.

Unfortunately this year there are some restrictions on us, our films cannot include: Drugs, Excessive/Gratutitous Violence, Suicide, Murder, Driving, Nudity, Sexual Scenes, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Illegal/Dangerous Acts, Racism/Homophobia.

Preferably if it can be a film completed with one or two cast members would be ideal, but not limited to this.


  • Forum Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • bleep bloop
  • Respect: +76
Re: Major Help finding an idea
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 02:07:28 pm »
Hey! I know exactly how you're feeling. I struggled heaps to find an idea for my media film, but luckily you have plenty of time to think of something. I'll talk a bit about my own film and how i got my idea at the end of this post, but first, here are some tips/ thoughts I have about how to pick an idea:

1. I don't think those restrictions are going to be too much of a hindrance. One thing many students do is try to make their film too dramatic or intense. Murder mysteries, thrillers, etc, all sound like great ideas for a film, but they are really hard to execute well with limited student resources, actors, time, and filmmaking experience! In my opinion, the films that often turn out the best are ones with pretty simple plots, and lighthearted themes, such as issues that revolve around being a student, school, extra-curricular activities. I know this sounds a little boring, but you can still have an exciting idea that just deals with simple themes.

2. Write about what you know! I've seen many many many 3/4 media films, and i've found that most of the time, the ones that are easiest to make/ that audiences enjoy most are films that students have made about topics they know really well! It can be fun to write a sci-fi horror about aliens invading the planet, or a film set in the Wild West that follows the lives of two mortal enemy cowboys, but these are always struggles. If you don't have experience with it, the film will probably come off as inauthentic. If you're super keen to do something like this, I would say to save it for a holiday project for yourself, and think of something more simple for your media film.

3. Search for 3/4 media VCE films on Youtube to get some inspiration. I spent ages browsing Youtube and it really helped me. I found a media film from a few years ago that was a mockumentary style (Here it is if you're interested https://youtu.be/DoMdHsm4a9c). It was hilarious and made me realise that I wanted to do a mockumentary style for my film too! My film dealt with really different subject matter, but watching this one film helped me find the style I was looking for. Find media films you like, and make a list about what particular aspects about each film make it good, and then work out how you can incorporate those aspects into your own film. I'm not saying to plagiarise!!!! Just think - "I like that this film revolves around just two characters", "I like that this film was set at a swimming pool", "I thought this film being an interview with someone in the community was a cool idea", etc.

4. Brainstorm: Get a piece of paper, and write down literally everything you can think of. Every single one of your interests, every film/ tv show/ book you like, characters you like, genres of film you enjoy. Make it a MASSIVE brainstorm. At this stage, don't think about whether something would be viable as a media film or not. Don't limit yourself. Write down everything that comes to you, even if it's something you think is utterly ridiculous. The longer you keep writing for, the more ideas will come to you. At the end you can go back over your brainstorm and highlight the words/ things that you think you would most like to use as part of your film.

5. How much dialogue do you want to have? My media teacher told us to try and think of an idea that would require little dialogue from the actors. This was because: (a) it's hard to write a plot with lots of good dialogue that fits under 10 minutes, (b) it's hard to write dialogue that sounds natural, (c) student actors sometimes aren't great at delivering lines. Of course this isn't a hard and fast rule. I made a comedy film which relied on there being heAPS of dialogue. But for my film, my characters were meant to be really exaggerated caricatures, so I knew that the lines didn't have to be delivered in a way that seemed natural; my whole point was that my characters weren't natural/ true to life.

6. You can always change your mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come up with an idea, start writing your script, realise you hate it, and change to something else! It's good you're starting to think about your idea early, because you've got plenty of time to change your mind if you don't like what you start with! You are never locked in to your first idea, and you can always change it completely, or just tweak it a little bit.

7. So how did I come up with my idea? Like I said, from watching other media films I realised I wanted to do a mockumentary style. I also really liked making short comedy films/ sketches, and knew that I wanted to do a comedy for my media film. (My media teacher advised the class against doing a comedy, because it's often hard to get right, but I thought why not try it out, write a draft script, and if it's no good I can just change my idea! Luckily my teacher liked my script and so I went ahead with a comedy!) I liked the idea of mockumentary style as well, because if a mic or some lighting got in one of my shots, or the handheld camera was too shaky, I could just write in my pdp that it was part of the design/ feel of the film  :P
For my subject matter, I made a massive brainstorm. I like music, so I wanted something to do with music, I liked tv shows/ films like Arrested Development, Parks & Rec, the Simpsons, School of Rock, This is Spinal Tap. It was clear to me that I wanted to make a mockumentary following the rise and fall of a fictional band. This was hard though!! I didn't really know how like real bands worked or anything, I didn't know anything about the music industry. And then it became very clear to me: write about what I know. I was in a band with some friends, we'd been practicing for ages for a particular school performance... why couldn't my film be about a band made up of students? That was my idea! After weeks and week of planning, writing the characters, coming up with the plot, my synopsis for my film read: "a newly-formed band of clashing personalities faces a series of challenges and setbacks in their quest to perform at battle of the bands". I based my storyline loosely on the story of the Beatles, made each of my characters have a very distinct and exaggerated personality, and also got to write all of the music I used in the film!

Here's my finished film, if you're interested in seeing how it turned out! https://youtu.be/V33pzC44EqI

I'm happy to answer any more questions about anything to do with media!

Tl;dr: start planning your film early, write about something simple, write about what you know!  :D
VCE 2015: Biology | History Revs | English | Legal Studies | Media | Methods
ATAR: 96.55

Currently: Arts/Law at Monash University - History Major, Journalism Minor