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Riadnasla

Regarding Inspiration, or How to learn to stop fussing and find your relevant voice

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Good morning everyone!

As far as I understand it, there are two aspects of filmmaking. Creating beautiful imagery, and telling a story. 

I love the first one, and why I chose the BMPCC to be my new camera. 12-bit RAW at 3:1 compression. I've ordered cheap filters to learn with and accommodate for the camera's weaknesses. Some of you have seen my F3 work, while not the best, I enjoyed maneuvering the camera and wrangling every bit of detail out of the image in Resolve. 

I also love telling stories, but always find myself at a loss. I honestly don't have stories to tell, or an opinion to spread. When I lead my DnD group, I must have a pre-generated story, though I can edit and change the story to what my players need.  I'm a person who goes on a hike, and instead of collecting interesting stories/sights along the way, just sits down and enjoys the weather (rain especially) for an hour before continuing. My only projects to this day are simply (or complicated-like) collecting others' stories via interviews or narrative work. 

Some work I am emulating whenever I can get out: 

Mr. Ben Brown: http://bit.ly/2exHb3G (I like how even though there's not a obvious story, you're still engaged in the beauty the entire time)

Tested Arctic - A Short Film: http://bit.ly/2wCc9mg (This is closer to what I'd love to do. Solid, beautiful images, but with a story and ending on an opinion.)

So the question of this whole post:

What do you personally do to find inspiration, or bolster a story that should be told? What is your process? I am not asking for an idea to fix my problem, but I'd love to learn from your experiences, and perhaps figure this matter out though the conversation. 

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I am a screenwriter before I am a filmmaker. One of the reasons I began with screenwriting is because I always had ideas for movies but never the money to make them. So I may look at the storytelling process differently but for me it always begins with a "What If?" 

I've also always been a people watcher... always curious who is who and what is what. So being in tune with your surroundings and asking rhetorical questions about what you see can also be helpful. 

There are ideas all around you, they just need to be grabbed. By knowing the types of stories you want to tell helps your brain weed through the irrelevant ones. 

Also like the old editing adage... if you can't solve it... dissolve it, for storytelling... when in doubt... adapt.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of public domain stories, poems and songs that could make interesting modern stories. Since there is no such thing as an original idea any longer, we as modern storytellers, need to embrace that the only key to an original piece of work is our own take on a tired tale. 

Also, although confusingly named, this subforum is designed to show finished work, so you may want to ask a moderator to move this thread to the main board... especially since, sadly, this subforum is rarely visited.

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14 minutes ago, mercer said:

I am a screenwriter before I am a filmmaker. One of the reasons I began with screenwriting is because I always had ideas for movies but never the money to make them. So I may look at the storytelling process differently but for me it always begins with a "What If?" 

I mainly have two ways of starting a project. Either with an idea I'd like to explore but have no idea how to, prompting me to bring the camera out and wing it to discover the idea properly. Or, I just sit and soak it in, then realize "I should record this". Either way has me in the same boat as you money-wise. 

17 minutes ago, mercer said:

I've also always been a people watcher... always curious who is who and what is what. So being in tune with your surroundings and asking rhetorical questions about what you see can also be helpful. 

I've spent a lot of time with my T4i and a 200mm lens.....not creeping! But rather, appreciating how different one looks when they don't know a camera is around. I find the "not posing around a camera" is still posing. Other than that I don't really find people all that interesting, though I see your point of being in tune with surroundings. Perhaps I'll make a point of parking more often and just looking around to soak it in. 

20 minutes ago, mercer said:

Also like the old editing adage... if you can't solve it... dissolve it, for storytelling... when in doubt... adapt.

Could you go into this more please? I'm not familiar with the original adage, and beyond taking it as soapbox wisdom, I don't know how you mean it to be interpreted. 

22 minutes ago, mercer said:

Also, although confusingly named, this subforum is designed to show finished work, so you may want to ask a moderator to move this thread to the main board... especially since, sadly, this subforum is rarely visited.

Oops, my bad. For some reason I thought that the main page was a sum of the parts, not its own forum. I've messaged Jon already to try and have this moved. 

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1 hour ago, Riadnasla said:

Also like the old editing adage... if you can't solve it... dissolve it, for storytelling... when in doubt... adapt.

Well, there are a lot of times when editing, certain shots are missing to get a clean edit, the old trick if you can't cut it cleanly, then use a dissolve. So although I was being liberal with the comparison, I meant... if I can't think of a good idea or an idea I want to pursue, rather than sit around with my thumb up my ass, I'll read old stories or poems and try to find inspiration there. Sometimes the angle at which certain stories are told or a line of dialogue in an old English ghost story or a line from a sonnet or a parable from the Bible can spark an idea.

Of course, I'm a narrative writer, so the process may be different for documentarians.

1 hour ago, Riadnasla said:

Oops, my bad. For some reason I thought that the main page was a sum of the parts, not its own forum. I've messaged Jon already to try and have this moved. 

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like the forum police, I just think this is an interesting topic that would be more beneficial on the front page... and get more views.

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like the forum police, I just think this is an interesting topic that would be more beneficial on the front page... and get more views.

Nah, it's a good suggestion, and I'd love to have more traffic and conversation on this. I just didn't realize the front page was its own forum and not a sum of the rest. 

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4 hours ago, Riadnasla said:

So the question of this whole post:

 

What do you personally do to find inspiration, or bolster a story that should be told? What is your process? I am not asking for an idea to fix my problem, but I'd love to learn from your experiences, and perhaps figure this matter out though the conversation. 

Every morning, the Coen brothers read the news looking for interesting stories. Articles in the Rolling Stone or GQ tend to get me inspired (though, there's a lot to look through to find the good stuff).

If you must write, these are good places to start. But otherwise I'd say just do what inspires you: the camera part. Bring your services to people who have stories but aren't camera-inclined.

3 hours ago, mercer said:

There are hundreds upon hundreds of public domain stories, poems and songs that could make interesting modern stories.

Exactly.

Dark Knight Rises is basically A Tale of Two Cities, Westside Story is Romeo & Juliet, Lion King is Hamlet, Apocalypse Now is Heart of Darkness, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is The Odyssey.... The list goes on.

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