How to Plan a Sikh Short Film
As you may know SikhNet holds an annual film festival. It's for the youth. It's totally online. Over the years it has generated a lot of creativity and inspired Sikh youth to use film to make their voices heard. Check out the competition winners from last year.
It might be helpful to watch some other films. Many times this inspires us and gives us ideas. The intention is not to copy someone else's film, but to let their idea spark your mind. Inspiration might come from many other places too, perhaps a song, a person etc. Many inspirations just jump into our minds when we're not expecting it, but the important thing is to be looking for it, and using your mind power to attract it. It probably won't come to you if you are not focused on it, so spend some time getting inspiration.
Sit down, and start writing 5-10 concepts. Concepts are WHAT your film is going to be about; the issues your film will address. Think of things related to Sikhi that are on your mind. Write down whatever comes to mind, even if you think it might sound stupid. Concepts would be like; bullying, dealing with prejudice, how to meditate, Sikh unity etc.
Pick 1 or 2 of those concepts that you are most passionate about sharing with others, and start writing story outlines for them. A story outline, is a brief description of what happens in your film. This is HOW the film shows the concept. Write several story outlines. Writing several of them might help your story to go in a direction you wouldn't have thought of at first. Lets say I chose the 'How to meditate' concept. My outline could be about interviewing people and seeing what they have to say. Or maybe I can make a story where the main character has trouble meditating, meets a teacher, and then learns. The outline doesn't have to be longer than a paragraph.
Write a script/storyboard. Once you have chosen your outline it's time to get into detail. The script is where you write out what each character is going to say. If it helps you, you can make small quick drawings of what the characters are going to do. This is called a story board. This can help you decide camera angles, length of scenes etc. It helps to plan how each scene of the film is going to look before you pick up the camera. Keep in mind what resources you have; actors, equipment, setting etc. because that can determine how your story is told.
These first 4 steps are the most important part about film making. And guess what? They are free. There are lots of films out there with a simple production, but they are good because of their concept. Check out "Intoxicated" by Narvir Singh.
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