Ask the Right Questions
Having covered everything so far, I need to come back to probably the most important aspect of movie-making. You still need to know what your next movie is going to be about, if you don’t already, and to do that, you need to have an “idea.” So how do you conceptualize a film? How do you know what story justifies you sacrificing the next few years of your life making?
The Pianist told the true story of a Polish- Jewish musician struggling to survive WWII. The film earned 3 Oscars and many other awards.
There are two questions that when asked, will give you the answer:
(a) What kind of story do I want to tell?
(b) Why do I need to tell that particular story?
This may seem like an oversimplification, but those two questions are the driving force that will keep you hustling for the next one to three years as you labor over your next feature film. A good movie comes from within, it’s personal to the filmmaker. It means something to you. And, in my opinion, the only thing that matters when you’re coming up with your next movie idea is that you have an emotional or personal connection to it. You need to have a pretty good reason for making it. Making a movie for the sake of making a movie is a waste of everyone’s time and money but making a movie that’s important to you is something that will never go out of style.
Tips from the legend himself!
Those are the type of stories that linger on and make an impact on people. That connection, that “importance” is your mission statement – it is the reason for why you are choosing to make this particular film – and it will get you through countless production hardships. Take a look at these 15 movies that are based on real-life experiences and just see how the life experiences of the main character affected their stories.
If you’re an immigrant, write a story about an immigrant (literally or in the form of an allegory); if you lost a family member or have gone through personal trauma, that’s the story you should be telling next. Your next character should ideally be struggling with something that you are emotional about. That, in my opinion, is the master key to a good idea.
"If you truly love cinema with enough passion and you really love it. Then you can't help but make a good movie."- Quentin Tarantino