Get started with your film these school holidays!

Finding Formidable Film Ideas

As we head into school holidays, this is a great opportunity to put your film feet forward! Set yourself a goal for the next two weeks – it can be as ambitious as having a draft script or as simple as coming up with a concept for your film! Even if you simply challenge yourself to carry a notebook and jot down interesting imagery you come across – first steps first.

This year the guidelines for the Nextwave comp are to simply make a film under 5 minutes, and include a pineapple somewhere. Think laterally and try to use the signature item in a way nobody else will (or squirrel it away in the background of a scene….)!

Here’s our top tips for taking guidelines and rules and making them all your own.

1. Mind-map time!
A super rewarding way to start the process is to sit down with a slab of butchers paper and colourful pens, investing some time in brainstorming, making random connections, drawing pictures and seeing which idea threads rise to the forefront.

2. Get real
Maybe you know a person, are part of a group or care about a topic that you think deserves a spotlight – shine it! Have a think about a real subject you might like to make a film about – you could make a doco, or draw inspiration for a fictional story!

3. Take your time
You don’t need to sit at a desk to brainstorm ideas! Chat with friends and family, go for walks, watch your favourite films and simply let your mind wander while you’re out living life – just be sure to take notes when those brainwaves do arrive!

4. Stay positive
Keeping up positive self-talk, and good mental health practices such as eating & sleeping well, getting active and maintaining positive social connections are crucial tools in not only our creative toolbelts, but in our lives. You can find great strategies & support at headspace – plus working on a creative project, setting and achieving goals (such as making a film) are super rewarding!

5. Look to the theme
Plus, of course, we’ve already given you a starting point! Nextwave has a theme and/or signature item every year, and while it’s partly our way to make sure nobody has plagiarized their short, it’s also our way of giving you somewhere to start from. Have a think about how you can use pineapple in your film – are they the only source of food on a deserted island? Will you make a cheesy b-horror about the attack of the killer pineapples? does your protagonist have a talent for juggling pineapples? Will they engage in a furious debate about whether or not they belong on pizzas? Maybe your piney-est idea will kickstart your entire concept!

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