Where do you guys get your ideas?

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by Jace Taran, Aug 31, 2001.

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  1. Jace Taran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2000
    star 4
    How do you guys come up with ideas for fan films (specifially ideas for plots)? Personally, I find that I have to almost wait for inspirations, and then work from those...if I try to sit down and think of ideas, I usually just get stuck and frustrated.
  2. Animaster Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2001
    star 4
    Usually something just pops into my head. I never really sit down and think about it. Once I've thought of something, I start typing it up, or tell it to somebody. As I do that I'm constantly thinking of other ideas to add to a story.
  3. Ryallt Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 1
    Different people work different ways.

    I'm rather in your boat. I find that any creative inspiration isn't an intellectual process at all... it comes from a level of your psyche that you simply don't control. All a good artist can do is learn to recognize when those thoughts are flowing & capture them in some fashion.

    I think there are some things you can do to help spark that process though. For me, I was lucky enough to find a fellow who is very much in tune with what I want to do with Legacy. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, as long as you both are on the same mental wavelength, can be a great help.

    The way Geoff Glover (our head writer) & I work is I come up with a basic plotline in very crude forms. Sometimes it's nothing more than, "Jareece needs to do THIS at some point, I just don't know when"... etc. Then we sit down, sometimes pour some libation of alcoholic variety, and toss ideas back & forth.

    In the end though, the original spark of inspiration comes from a somewhat mysterious place that you, as an artist, don't have conscious awareness of. At least that's how it is in my case =)

    Kev
  4. SaqibS Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2001
    The very first thing I do is to choose my music. Everything just falls in place after that.
  5. SW_Jedi_Temple Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 1
    Mine has been in the making for about a year.
  6. Jace Taran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2000
    star 4
    My current script is from an idea that popped into hy head while I was mowing my lawn. The idea was about one specific scene...everything else fell/is falling into place via more inspirations. The one thing I don't like is that most of my ideas come when I want sleep... [face_laugh] Of course, I'm not telling anyone about my script (only as many people as I need to let know) until the movie is made, which won't be for a few years. [face_devil]
  7. Nathan PTH Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 4
    It seems I'm a lot like my fellow StarWarz.com brother up above (Kevin).

    What I tend to do when I have full freedom in writing a script is try to figure out the general theme or idea I want to present, maybe some subthemes, but from there, it's sort of as ideas that fit into that structure appear, I randomly write them down, and slowly they become an outline.

    That was basically what I did for Second Strike. I had a basic idea of the mood I wanted, and I came up with a few scenes I wanted to have or events that sort of had to happen to make the theme work, and I put those down in an outline with a lot of spots marked "fill in here." Then I actually go and write the scenes out of order as I feel I'm ready to flesh them out, and that tends to force me to expand into other scenes. That gives me a main framework of the story and maybe a lot of big scene chunks, and then it becomes a matter of building bridges between the scenes so it all flows. It's only after I finish quite a few scenes in a row that I go back and re-read it all straight through to make sure it all works.

    When all is written, I go back and start any revising and expanding once I can go through the story as a whole without stopping to see where it needs work.

    The original ideas, though, almost always come from a few things I think NEED to go into the story, and a main theme or "feel" I want for the story. After that, it's like building one of those old Lego playsets where they give you instructions in terms of pictures, but not step-by-step, block-by-block intructions, so you just sort of have to create bigger and bigger chunks, then fuse the chunks together.
  8. Jace Taran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2000
    star 4
    Nathan, how do you come up with the general theme or plot or whatever? Personally I usually have to wait for inspirations for that, too...

    Ok, here is another question: How does it make you guys feel when you guys get an idea you know is good?
  9. tumblemoster Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2000
    star 4
    I get my ideas in different ways.

    In the case of my current fan film script (one of several scripts in various genres I am working on) I don't actually remember where the original idea came from. I think I just wanted to make a fan film. I put the idea into my head, and let my background processors work on it for a while. Eventually I had scenes playing through my head.

    Working out specifics is tedious but neccesary. I wrote out a timeline first, putting in certain important happenings. Then I started writing scenes as they came to me. I still have a ways to go. This last week I've sat in the coffee shop and just waited, pen in hand, for dialoug to come to me, then I wrote it down. I've noticed that as I work out specifics my story changes for the better. My current script is a far cry from my original timeline, but it works.

    I guess what all my rambling is trying to say is writing is a very personal process. It works different for everyone. For me, I'm very visual, and am often overwhelmed with the things I see in my head. I just have to rely on the fact that somewhere in my head these rampant pictures will sort themselves enough to make it to paper. I think the most important thing to do is except how things work for you, and not fight your natural tendecies. Some people can command an idea into creation, and go. Others need a push. I write live theater. Usually I hear a piece of music and see something happening to it. I play the music over and over, watching the scene in my head. I play it through for a few weeks, and eventually write it down.

    I think its important to allow your personal creativity to work for you. Don't force it or fight it. Sometimes I'll see a person make a gesture and an entire piece comes to me. I can't explain it, but I except it and work with it. Except your abilities and your limitations, and writing your story will be much easier for you.

    Oh, I just remembered how my script came about: There's an open pit mine up north thats filled with water. It is U-shaped and the top is about 40 feet above the water. We jump off every summer. Well, one day I just wondered what it would look like to jump accross....

    -tm

    EDIT: 1. Spelling, etc
    2. If you want to see the place I'm talking about, Heres a video
  10. Darth Virru Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2000
    star 2
  11. PadawanNick Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 4
    Some inspiration comes from the resources at hand. I started out like Jace, with an idea for one scene that popped in my head while doing some chore. It's the pivotal, surprise ending scene of my film.

    Somehow, I ended up picture two people I knew playing the roles, and the characters developed from the traits of the two real people. The story that leads up to the final scene just started falling into place from there.

    Lucky for me, the two people I had in mind were excited by the story and are playing the roles that were written for them.

    Have fun.
  12. DarkATX Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2000
    star 4
    How do I get (story) ideas?
    Welp, it normally happens by chance and through a natural progression of storytelling.
    Seeing things in a movie is cool...normally it's just cool FX shots or a different way of framing scenes I'd pick up on.
    Cool gimmicks sometimes just pop in my head when again I'm looking for someting new...for instance what would you like to have up your sleeve in case you're ever in a fight with someone who's your equal? What cool tool, weapon or trick would someone use to their advantage?
    How do I feel about an idea I know is good?
    I'm never that certain an idea is good! I find the one thing you think is cool might be something people overlook/passover for something else they find more interesting in your story and that thing might be something that you thought wasn't all that big a deal when you threw it in to begin with.
    You just put it out there hoping people are in synch with your ideas and story...if not learn from it and try again :p
  13. Nathan PTH Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 4
    (Well, let's try this again. Having to rewrite this is going to make it shorter than when I first tried, but, eh, whatever.)

    "Nathan, how do you come up with the general theme or plot or whatever? Personally I usually have to wait for inspirations for that, too..."

    My themes, subthemes, plot, and characters all usually end up coming out of my own life, at least tangentially. That goes for anything I write. My best poem? It came from things that needed to be expressed between me and one of my best friends. My best song lyrics? Written out of the situation I find myself in now. It's just natural.

    Second Strike is probably the best example of this for me, since it has the most detailed characters, most purposeful themes, and was written in the most screwball time.

    When I first got the urge to write Second Strike based on the very loose idea of a "gritty war drama" that Devon had been thinking about, I had just been through an emotional ringer. I'd spent a year or so with a girl I loved, we'd planned for the future, etc., and I'd let myself get totally wrapped up in it. She was, for all intents and purposes, my life. Then, without my ever seeing it coming, she left me. Just BOOM, out of nowhere. I was an introspective, deep thinking, emotionally crosswired wreck. Writing was my way of coping. And, honestly, I don't think 2S would be what it is today if I hadn't been.

    My characters always tend to draw from my own personality in some ways, even the characters I only come in to flesh out more. Some lines you'll hear Lux say with another character near the end of PTH, for example, could've come out of my mouth, and, honestly, have a few times recently. For 2S, I was already in a mood where I was thinking about myself and trying to figure out who I was, or what was going to happen, without that girl in my life. It got me thinking about my personality and motivations, and that thinking process wound up creating the cast of 2S characters. Each aspect of my personality was basically given form as a different character. My naive side was Lolat. My emotionally-driven side was Lanas. My cocky side was Jivs. Basically, it was like I ran myself through a prism. I didn't realize I was doing it until halfway in, but that's just what felt right.

    The themes and the plot (which in some ways are inseparable) also came out of that time. I found myself relying a lot on my close friends and looking back at relationships in my life. As such, I found myself going into relationships as a theme (friendship, brotherhood, infatuation, lust, love, loneliness). I'd also started thinking back to the relationship I'd just lost, and I started to see things I hadn't before. Part of why I'd lost her was because without realizing it, I'd let my actions be controlled in some cases by jealousy and lack of trust that had its roots in the fact that I'd been left with "issues" about that from a previous girlfriend cheating on me with my best friend. Because of that frailty on my part, which I'd chalk up to just being human (if a stupid human sometimes), I'd set in motion events that culminated in her leaving, but I was blind to it at the time. That slowly began to emerge as I was writing as a theme of human frailty and its consequences, which ended up being the theme that carries all the way through the script, from Act I Scene 1 to Act III Scene 7. The entire script just emerged from different parts of my life I was having to deal with at the time. It was cheaper than therapy.

    So, I can't really say where it comes from, other than that it just comes from when it feels right. When I have something to get out, it comes out on the page. In a way, that made Second Strike the best fiction I've ever written, I believe, but also one of the easiest things I've scripted. It just sorta . . . came out.

    "Ok, here is another question: How does it make you guys feel when you guys get an idea you know is good?"

    I tend to get excited. I don't really feel "good" about something until after it's all written out and I know
  14. Muadibe_D12 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2001
    star 1
    well when i'm creating my lyrics i usually carry a notebook with me no matter when even in the car and school and whatnot when it comes up i write it down. a while back when school was still going on 1 line popped into my head and it came to me naturally and so i got about half a page of lyrics off 1 line of though hehe. plots may be differnt but the way they pop into your head isnt so try to atleast carry a pen or wrinting deveice at all times.
  15. buliwif Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2000
    star 4
    i take my boat to a far off island, where i stay for seven days and seven nights, no food, no water, with only my wits about me... then, on the eve of the seventh night, i am visited by the great cyawannabigoraton, the great island got of creativity... he then bestows upon me the inspiration to create the worlds in which my characters live....


    ---- or i just write down whatever comes to mind...
  16. Ryan_W VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2001
    star 4
    I work out from a single good idea. I usually conceive a cool shot, scene, or sequence, then sort of construct everything else around that. Sounds weird, I know, but it gives me a starting point to branch out of.

    Looking for inspiration? Pop in TPM, watch it in a half-awake state and let your mind wander. :)
  17. tumblemoster Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2000
    star 4
    Nathan-

    I just wanted to say I appreciate your last post. You exposed yourself for our benefit, you got personal, and I really respect that.

    -tm
  18. ExFilms Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2001
    star 4
    I thought I was the only one visited by The Great Cyawannabigoraton.

    Find your own island Buliwif!
  19. Happy Ninja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 6
    Where do I get my ideas? On the toilet!

    True, I was taking a crap, when I came up with my idea; I was just sitting there one day, trying to squeeze one out, and BING! There it came to me!!!

    I thought, okay, I'll do this, and this, and this... And so on. The idea really sprang from an idea that I had for a TV series I was developing at the time, and I thought that I could adapt it to fit the SW Universe (Or will I? You'll have to wait and find out!)

    I sort of followed the Shane Black way of doing things. When he was writing Leathal Weapon, he principally just came up with ideas for short sequences, and developed the story around them. I sort of had the same idea, by taking some of the sequences I had developed on my TV series, and wrote the screenplay around that, modifying the original idea as I went along.

    I've almost finished it; just another 10-15 pages to go, so that should take me to around 75 pages in total. As soon as I have the finances, I move into production, and world will never be the same again! :)
  20. Happy Ninja Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 6
    Where do I get my ideas? On the toilet!

    True, I was taking a crap, when I came up with my idea; I was just sitting there one day, trying to squeeze one out, and BING! There it came to me!!!

    I thought, okay, I'll do this, and this, and this... And so on. The idea really sprang from an idea that I had for a TV series I was developing at the time, and I thought that I could adapt it to fit the SW Universe (Or will I? You'll have to wait and find out!)

    I sort of followed the Shane Black way of doing things. When he was writing Leathal Weapon, he principally just came up with ideas for short sequences, and developed the story around them. I sort of had the same idea, by taking some of the sequences I had developed on my TV series, and wrote the screenplay around that, modifying the original idea as I went along.

    I've almost finished it; just another 10-15 pages to go, so that should take me to around 75 pages in total. As soon as I have the finances, I move into production, and world will never be the same again! :)
  21. Nathan PTH Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 4
    "I just wanted to say I appreciate your last post. You exposed yourself for our benefit, you got personal, and I really respect that."

    Thanks.

    Usually, I think I tend to try to be as open as possible on questions like that. It's just that around here we don't usually end up talking about topics that go that personal. Probably the place I get the most personal about 2S so far is the script. The final script is all footnoted right now, to explain why certain things were written and all that, and I go into things like where themes came from and whatnot. Where things came from and how it evolved are easier to talk about than the impact one particular scene still has when I go back and read it (given what I know how about someone I care about and what that person has gone through in her past), so I don't find it too difficult to talk about where it came from.

    I just wonder if the girl that caused the heartache that "caused" 2S will ever have the vaguest clue of what she set in motion with the story. After the relationship ended right as my sophomore year of college was starting, I think I only talked to her two or three more times before she graduated last May. It's doubtful I'll end up seeing her again, which, in some ways suits me find, and in others makes me wish I had a chance to get some things cleared up. :shrug:
  22. Bowtie Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2001
    star 1
    I get a lot of ideas while driving to and from work. When I get home I tell them to my friends, and this usually inspires them to add thing to the idea and make it blossom. They also do the same thing. Then we talk about how we can do them. Most of the ideas have to be put on the back burner until we have the equipment/software to do them. I find that a small incomplete idea can become something really cool if you talk about it with other like-minded people. I would never discount any idea until I've talked about it with my friends.
  23. Jace Taran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2000
    star 4
    Anyone else have any interesting/unusual stories about how you've gotten ideas for fan films you've made/are making?
  24. Lone_Padawan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2001
    star 4
    I think I am driven by an urge to strive for better things, and urge to film ,script and rotoscope and create landscapes battles and world in 3d. I get inspiration from the films, from other fanfilms, from the games,from the books, from anything at all, seeing somthing can spark off another idea. I am driven by a need to be a part of the Star Wars universe.
  25. Ryallt Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 1
    Well, this is going to sound cliche...

    The original inspiration for me to start any Star Wars fan writing at all came to me in a dream. *cough* No, I'm not kidding.

    I won't bore you with the details, but the characters in the dream eventaully became Larn Holden (Echoes of the Fall) and Jareece.

    Oddly enough, I wasn't particularly interested in Star Wars at the time. I hadn't thought about it since I was a kid, and then this dream suddenly happens. The next day I started writing Echoes of the Fall & haven't looked back since =)

    Kev
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