Need a Film Idea? Look At Yourself

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24:  Christopher Plummer, M...

Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor of Beginners. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I always encourage young filmmakers to avoid a lot of film making courses and  just start making films as the fastest way to learn.

The problem is they never know what to make the film about. Then they typically attempt to do a slight variation on the latest science fiction or action adventure epic they saw at the mutiplex.

Of course without a gazillion dollar budget the results are lame and no one but their mother is willing to watch it all the way through. Time for a lesson in storytelling.

People go to movies for a variety of reasons but what always hooks everyone is an honest, emotional story well told. Where do you find such stories? Look at yourself, or your friends.

Director Mike Mills did just that is his new movie “Beginners” that is getting rave reviews from all the critics. It’s just a film about growing up in his slightly unusual family and the discovery of his father’s long held secret.

Check here for an interview with Mike Mills and the trailer for “Beginners”.

Everyone has experienced, or knows someone else who has experienced, something very emotional in their lives that would make a great story people would really like to see. Make a movie about that. Don’t deprive the world of the chance to learn and experience what you’ve learned in your life.