Iele – Short-film walkthrough – Part 1: The idea

Ever since I was a little kid I dreamt about being an actress. At the age of 14 I figured the easiest way to become one was to make my own film (of course at 14 I had no idea what that implied, everything seemed to be so simple, I miss those days :lol:).

An thus I began writing my first script. The movie was called: “Mysteries of the Underworld” (flashy name, huh?), and was inspired by “The Mummy”. It took me 2 years to finish it, I wrote it, and rewrote it like 5 times, and now I still laugh when I read it. It was so silly. I had no friggin’ idea how to, at least, format the script, let alone how to build the story and characters, but that didn’t stop me. And now I keep reminding me that. After all, there’s nothing in my way but MYSELF.

After all these years of writing scripts, that ended up in a closed drawer, of watching tutorials on special effects and editing, of reading tons of books  and 2 years of acting at the School of Art in Bucharest, I finally am on my way to make my first short-film.

And so we start…

The first step was to come up with a good story, being a horror I had to think about something that wasn’t used before, because let’s face it, we are all tired of restless ghosts and ugly monsters killing everyone. And then it hit me: Ielele! I used to hear stories about them when I was a kid, and I have to tell you … it scared the hell out of me. So why not use the legends to base my film on?

That was a good start, but I still needed something else, the story wasn’t even close to being complete. I’m not going to give a lot of details since I don’t want to give out the plot, but I am going to tell you this movie is going to have some other villains and a pretty dramatic ending, for which I have to give credit to my very good friend Stan Faryna. He really helped me a lot with writing this script. Sometimes by just asking me the ultimate question: “WHY?”. That’s right, “Why?”. It may seem stupid, but in the end that’s the most important question when you’re writing any kind of story, not necessarily a script. Everything that happens must have a point, you can’t just throw something in and then just forget about it.

Also, Stan is writing an awesome novel about the end of the world, you should check it out, it’s really good: Book of Carrot.

So…if you want to make a movie, especially if you are an independent film-maker, make sure your story is original, people will be a lot more interested in something they never heard of, that they are of something they already know about, and which is already a cliché. Just look at all those exorcism films, they all have the same story as a base, the possessed girl. So on top of that they have to come up with another story to incorporate the first, but also make it better. Most of them fail. Which make it even harder for the next people that will try to make a movie about it, because the audience will be like: “Oh, another one?”, and they kind of expect it to be bad. So be as original as you can!

Thank you for reading, sorry if it’s messy, the bad English, typos, etc. I haven’t read it after I wrote it… it’s late, I’m tired, but I just needed to post this today. I will correct it tomorrow maybe.

Next blog: How to build the story, and your characters.

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