This is part one in a two part series on where our ideas for movies come from. I’ll be giving you what I do in this post, and then the next post will be Rebekah’s thoughts on the subject.
After, “How did you do that?” the question I get asked the most often is probably, “Where do you come up with your ideas?” My idea generation process is at times crazy. I’ll start with a couple that aren’t too off-the-wall and work up to a crazy one.
Without being too psychowacky, one of my biggest idea generators is the fact that I can’t ever seem to sleep in. I find that when I’m lying in bed waiting for a decent hour to arise is a great time to just let ideas float by until something interesting comes along. This works better when I’m actively wondering about a place in my story I’m stuck on.
Ask Rebekah anytime, and if cornered, you might get her to say that when we collaborate on a script, a huge portion of my ideas are off-the-wall silly. Now, we made a movie based on that, but when you’re shooting for a dramatic production, silliness doesn’t always help. For me a big means of coming up with good ideas is to ignore the first three or four things I think of. Those are the silly ideas, and then I usually start getting serious. Your silly-milage may vary.
Okay, I said I had a crazy way of getting ideas. Here it is:
I know you’re going, “What in the world…?” but let me explain. This is a story. All of those little guys are characters. Some of them are good guys, some are bad guys, some will change “sides” at whim. At many times during the day, my siblings and I will walk by this shelf and make a few changes. Then we explain what’s going on to everybody else. The story changes and the plot twists almost daily. It sounds crazy, but I really think that this helps me to think on my feet while writing a script.
So there are three ways I get ideas. Stay tuned for Rebekah’s idea generation techniques.