A Reason to Make

It’s been a while since I’ve made my last short film, Save the Date. I would like to build up a portfolio of work that I’ve done outside of school so that one day I can direct my own films. I’ve knocked some ideas around, ones that I would like to see happen, but at this point I’m hitting the roadblock in the creative process that is known as “Why”?

Since I’ve started this journey of being a film major, I’ve gotten better at analyzing films, questioning why the scene was filmed a certain way or why this special effect was necessary. I’ve come across some films where things happen without a reason or detracting from the story. If I do find an explanation somewhere, I’ll take it into consideration and go from there. But most of the time, things happen for a reason.

I have four ideas in mind that I like to see happen; a sequel to Save the Date (script is written, it’s a matter of waiting for the actors to be available which probably won’t be for several months), a horror piece about a haunted theater (probably for next year as my big project), and two others that are humorous but played up as serious. With the last three mentioned, I don’t have a solid story in mind, much less a reason, for doing so and it’s becoming a problem.

On one hand, I could shoot all of those pieces without any sense of what I’m doing other than the basic explanation of gaining experience, even if it ends up being a painful experience. On the other, I want the work to be thought out all the way through; with that, the piece may come across as calculated and perfunctory, something I don’t want to happen.

I am in the process of writing a treatment for one of the funny-but-serious pieces; I don’t want to give the concept away as it’s the punch-line to the piece. Any advice on how to get over this obstacle of “why” is greatly appreciated.

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