What’s Next? Make the 2020 theme uniquely yours!

Need some inspiration on where to start?

Here's five ideas for including 'What's Next' to get creative with!

Hey filmmakers, 

It’s early days in the filmmaking process, so you’re forgiven if you don’t have your entire film script already written. In fact, we hope that you’re taking the time to get a really great story idea together!

This year one of the guidelines for the comp (read the rest here!) is to include the phrase ‘What’s Next?’ in your short film. Not only does this help us confirm you made your film this year, it’s also a fun way to start the brainstorming process… just how will you include those two words, and how creatively can you do it!?

That’s a question only you and your filmmaking team can answer, but we thought we’d put together some pointers that might help you narrow down the direction you’re heading with your short. 

5 ways to look differently at 'What's Next?'

Go Funny

Maybe your film is a mockumentary, and you can use ‘what’s next?’ as a way to continually raise the comedic stakes in your short? Maybe two characters meet and the more serious character asks ‘what’s next?’ of the sillier one. Working in comedy is great because you can be as ridiculous as possible!

Go Thoughtful

Short films can be a great place to explore issues and subjects that are really important to you, and share them with the world. ‘what’s next’ might fit perfectly in a film that’s discussing an environmental or social concern, or looking to the future of something you’re curious about.

Go Mysterious

Love to build suspense in your stories? ‘What’s next?’ fits perfectly in a film with an uncertain outcome, like a thriller or a whodunnit? 

Go Real

We love receiving documentaries in the competition – it’s a great way to make a film that relies on exactly what’s unique about you and your life- the people you know, the groups you belong to. And with the current COVID-19 pandemic, now is a great time to get creative and discuss ‘what’s next?’ through filmmaking.

Go Abstract

If you’re thinking “but I was going to make an animation, or a silent film” and are worried that you need to include dialogue for the competition this year, you still can! The more abstract and creatively you can include ‘what’s next’ the better! This could be as an inter-title in your film, or written in the background of a scene. There’s so many fun ways to animate words (called typography!), so think outside the box!

But of course, these are just some tips! If youv’e got a whole different idea of where to go with your film this year, that’s awesome! With entries open until September 21, you’ve got plenty of time to explore every creative angle you want. We’re excited to see your films and award some great prizes!


Happy Filmmaking!

Want to get a leg up on the competition and bring the Nextwave online filmmaking workshops to your school? Register your interest below!

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