Iele – Short-film walkthrough – Part 2: The story

Hey there, my friends!!! :mrgreen:

Sorry for my absence, I’ve been through a lot lately, and didn’t have time for what I like to do. I almost gave up making my film, but now I’m back with a new story and a lot of enthusiasm.

A little bit of advice: Films are like oysters (just like ogres are like onions :lol:, JK),  you have the shell which represents the consumer side of the film, and the squishy animal inside which is the content side, or the message. Here in Romania we have a little problem with merging these two, there are either consumer films or content films. Try not to do that too…let me tell you why. Let’s use the oyster metaphor again. If you only have the shell…it’s ok, it’s something nice, that you like watching, you put it on your shelf, you look at it, but….it doesn’t stir anything into your soul, it doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t live….it’s an empty shell. If you have only the animal inside….well, you know it’s alive, it has a story, a life, you will somehow connect (and if you know how to cook it it’s delicious too), but you can’t really look at it because it’s FUGLY as hell. 😆  Try to tell something with your film but also make it eye-candy.

In order to do so you need to write and rewrite your story as many times as necessary. Be ready to change the story, the characters … I know sounds like a hassle, and it is, but you want to make a good movie, don’t you. I know I do, it’s the 4th time I rewrite my script, I changed almost the whole story, my characters have now different biographies, and they react differently, because they are different persons now.

I had to do it because the story had a lot of flaws, there were a lot of unanswered questions, the characters were shallow … and so on and so forth.

The story has to have a structure!! Especially if you’re just starting in this industry. You can find more info on this on thescriptlab.com, they will tell you more about the Three Act Story and the 5 Plot Point Breakdown. You will need this in order for your film to have a nice flow and continuity.

Useful sites:

In English: http://thescriptlab.com/

In Romanian: http://creativemonkeyz.com/tutoriale/teoretice-01-cum-sa-spui-o-poveste/

All this can really put you down, I don’t even remember the times I wanted to give up, or I just didn’t have the urge to write … but sometimes just a song can put you back on track, if it’s inspiring in any way to you. What inspires me right now is: Skrillex – First of the Year(Echinox) and Bertine Zetlitz – Death in her room.

It’s a good idea to read your story to as many people as possible, this way you will find out if something is missing from your story, they will ask you really interesting things about it, things you haven’t thought about. Don’t get mad at them if they ask you something you cannot answer, but instead try to find an answer to that question together, ask them for ways to solve a problem, what they would like to see, how they would like a character to be, even if that would mean you have to change the story again … after all you are making movies for the public, not for yourself, so their opinion counts more than yours. 😉

This is all I have to say for today. See you soon, I’m getting back to writing biographies.

Thank you for reading, sorry for the bad English, typos, and the messiness, I suck at writing blogs(not a blogger, never will be).

Maddie C.

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.