6 simple tips to beat scriptwriter’s block

Hey Filmmakers!

Started thinking of an idea for your short film yet?

Remember that all completed short films are to be submitted by September 24, with over $40,000 in prizes up for grabs!

Read the guidelines. Make a great film. Win big!

Here’s a few tips for beating writer’s block and starting your story.

1. Watch movies!

It’s the best homework assignment you’ll ever get. Don’t just watch movies – watch ones that you like, ones that make you think in new ways (like Terry Gilliam’s films), ones where the stories just drag you in (like The Coen Brothers’ films) or ones that have interesting aesthetics (like Wes Anderson’s films).

2. Don’t let your good ideas stay good ideas!

Ever get a really great idea for a film and think “I should really write that down….”? Do it! Our memories have this funny way of forgetting these ideas. Start carrying a notebook, or use your phone to jot down a reminder when you see something interesting and come back to it later and brainstorm some potential story ideas around it.

3. Make a mind-map
What the heck is a mind map anyway? It’s a big bunch of random stuff you’d like to see in a film – words just jotted down on paper (eg. car chase, bank heist, boy meets girl, surfing, etc – all nouns) – and you use your imagination to start connecting these words together. A good idea is to start with ‘escape’ and ‘sign’ – this year’s theme and signature item.


4. Look to photographs for inspiration
Choose one or two interesting photographs that you like, and ask yourself questions. Who are the people in the photos? What are they doing? Where have they come from? Where are they going? And what’s their mission? Your story will start to write itself!

5. Teamwork makes the dream….happen

Consider working with a friend and emailing each other each time you think of something new, collaborating can be a great way to keep your mind ticking over new ideas. A good collaboration involves accepting that other peoples’ ideas may be better than your own!

6. Give yourself a break

Tried the first five tips and still nothing coming to you? Don’t worry – it will. Some of the best ideas can come to you at 3am in the morning – just make sure to write them down! Pop them in your phone reminders to look at later.


Happy filmmaking!

Scroll to Top