15 Second Short Film Assignment Begins

We’ve now moved onto making a 15 second short film with MAYA which includes 5 seconds for opening and 5 seconds for closing titles. We began by brainstorming ideas based on broad genres such as horror, comedy, war and sic-fi. This was taking into account everyone’s preferred genre, especially considering my interested can’t be contained in 15 seconds, so I’m happy to compromise with the choices already selected during my absence. The way I believed in approaching this was to start at a genre, break down the conventions then use these characters/settings/properties (I’m smug enough to come up with my own writing method called CSP – character, setting, property!) to formulate narratives. The process basically subdivides the genre into manageable categories so that the team can literally ‘construct’ stories with each tool and material. I see it as the Cludeo effect rather than randomisation eg. genre: Horror – Char: zombie, Set: hospital, prop: hammer – story: a zombie tries to perform surgery on himself… That’s the basic picture of this method.

In between this, by dividing the genres into each end of the board, the ideas merge towards the centre which then highlights the direction our story could be going. For example, between horror and war would be psychology due to the trauma of war and the thriller, while between sci-fi and comedy you may find absurdity and surrealism due to the contrast between make believe and observational humour. The idea of the board is to MAP where ideas come from. James sparked an interesting idea when he said he was interested in such area, which suggested maybe allocating where people would be on the board so that we were able to ensure fairness with the distribution of the ideas, however due to the indecisiveness found when more interesting ideas emerge, this was abandoned.

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As we began to connect ideas and generate associations, we decided to take 10 minutes to take a few ideas and merge them together to generate concepts for narratives. At the end of this, we could continue our ideation by taking all the concepts and adding our own input to it to see which 5 or so concepts really clicked with us then take them to the drawing board and work with them further. The whole idea was to go in and out. Start broad, get specific, branch out from specific then back in again. This way, we were able to avoid leaving gaps in our thinking process. It was a surprisingly workable process as we were able to make quick decisions considering the deadlines in front of us. Admittedly, we could probably be doing more to the ideation process and adding more concepts in order to get everything out in cause we begin to get bored by the idea at a later stage. However, for now, we have begun to focus in on an idea and be as ambitious as possible with it before toning it back to practicality reasons.

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