I get this question every now and then:
Q: How do you think of ideas for movies?
Personally, I have a running list of probably thirty or forty movie ideas. I don’t say this to brag, but to make a point: write your ideas down.
It’s pretty much impossible to know where our ideas come from, but it’s important to recognize when you get them. When you get an idea, write it down! (Did I say this already?)
But lets go to a better source.
As Mitch Hedberg once said:
I think of something that’s funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen’s too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.
Okay, there are ways to create ideas…but you have to push yourself a little bit. A good way is to create hypothetical situations: “Wouldn’t it be funny if…”
Then the challenge is sorting out the ideas. “Wouldn’t it be funny if…an Obama supporter and a republican fell in love? …your keyboard could talk? …Coca-Cola started putting cocaine back in their drinks?” (Not the best ideas, but you get the picture.)
Then you have to decide if your idea is a movie, a short film, a novel, an article, a blog entry, a documentary, a joke, or something else. Separate your ideas, but yet still write them down!
A great way to generate movie ideas is to make a deal with a friend that you will email them FIVE movie ideas a day. If you don’t do it, you owe your friend…five dollars? Make them hold you accountable.
Try it for ten days! Here’s how:
Throughout the day, keep your paper and pen close, so when someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of thinking, “Stupid jerk,” you think, “What if there was a guy who followed everyone who cut them off back to their house…and made them apologize for it…until he ended up falling for a girl who was a really bad driver.”
Wait, that’s not half bad. That one’s mine! (Just kidding, you can have it. Sheesh.)
If you don’t have friends you want to bother with movie ideas, I always like hearing them. Tweet them over via twitter: @scriptdreric. That way you’ll really have to make them concise.
But if you don’t send me five, you owe me money.
Good luck, and…
P.S. If you’re worried someone will steal your idea, fear not! And also, you may want to read Will Someone Steal My Movie Idea?