Help me make a short film!

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Frothingill Bellows

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Help me make a short film!

PostSun Apr 09, 2017 3:42 am

Hi. I need to make a short film, which could be something between 7 to 12 minutes. The main idea, the climax, is THE GUY (the only real actor of the film), gets trapped inside a television set! It's about a cinephile who's life is just watching movies and reading about them (books, magazines and...). I have problems filling the 7~12 minutes. Here's the parts I can think of:

1. We show him in his messy home, with his DVDs and books and movie posters around him. He's just sitting and watching films.

2. He gets kinda dizzy, in front of the TV, and falls sleep. When he opens his eyes, he's not in front of the TV anymore, instead he's inside the very exact location/place that he was watching before. It could be done cheap. I plan to pick a silent film with a very simple/basic set design and re-create it. So now the guy is in the movie, inside the television.

3. He panics, and starts shouting HELP! in intertitles. The intertiles get bigger and bigger.

4. Somebody, probably his brother or roommate or someone, comes out of his room. Brother/Roommate see's that TV is on, meanwhile THE GUY is still shouting HELP! but brother/roommate doesn't really pay attention to the TV. While he's shouting HELP! brother/roommate turns the TV off. As he's about to leave, he turns back and take a quick look at the TV, as if he's hearing something, but he just turns his back again and goes to his room.

5. The final shot is the turned off TV, and we're hearing Swan Lake, as an homage to Universal horror films, playing over it. The credit comes up.

I feel that my idea is still shallow and needs something else. I have a deadline and I have to to finalize the script in a few days. Please help me improve this idea. Pitch me any ideas, anything that I could add to these ^ 5 steps. The film has no dialogues. It could have dialogues, if it's necessary. But right now it doesn't.

Why am I asking help in Nitrateville? because it's somehow an homage to silent horror films. The film he's watching is a silent (I haven't picked on yet) and he shouts in intertitles.

Many many thanks in advance.
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oldposterho

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Re: Help me make a short film!

PostSun Apr 09, 2017 7:24 am

Of course the silent film he's watching should be Sherlock, Jr.

Perhaps mirror that film within yours, or add your own twist to it.
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Frothingill Bellows

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Re: Help me make a short film!

PostSun Apr 09, 2017 8:59 am

oldposterho wrote:Of course the silent film he's watching should be Sherlock, Jr.

Perhaps mirror that film within yours, or add your own twist to it.


Thanks oldposterho. Sherlock Jr. is perhaps the archetype of the classic self-reflexive films and would be an amazing film to use. But I'm thinking about a horror film, with a simple expressionist set. Because I want to re-create the very exact scene from a film and I'm looking for a Twlightzonesque atmosphere. The twist, is the ending. The TV gets turned off and he just gets trapped inside forever.
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CoffeeDan

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Re: Help me make a short film!

PostSun Apr 09, 2017 10:41 am

Frothy old bother, the problem is you're ending your story just as it's getting started. You start off with a bang, and then . . . nothing. You have to think more about your central character and his environment. Why does he love silent films? Does he love them enough to be in one? Or are they mere time-killers?

When he gets sucked into the silent film on the TV, how does he react? Does he hate it -- or does he enjoy it? Does he want to stay there, or does he want to get out? How does he interact with the people in the silent film? And if he wants to get out, how does he do it? What does he learn by being in a silent film?

Do you see where I'm going here? And where you should be going? Either you have a beginning in search of a middle and end, or you have an end in search of a beginning and middle.

Seven to 12 minutes is a longer time than you think. It's the length of a Biograph one-reel drama, or a Warner Brothers cartoon, to name a couple of examples. Think of what D. W. Griffith or Chuck Jones accomplished within those parameters. It's big enough to develop a single idea well, but first, you have to have an idea. Right now, all you have is an initial incident. Use your imagination, and start exploring and asking yourself questions about the environment you have created. THINK BIG!

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