Welcome to the third and final part of my Short Film Ideas exercise. In the previous sessions we did some exercises to create our character and to give them a goal, something they really really want in life. In part 3 we have a think about their deepest darkest fear. Something that truly scares your character. It could be anything. Commitment, dogs, apples, a spatula. But it needs to fit your character.
If you've been following these exercises you should have 3 things by now: (1) A character (2) Your character's goal (3) Your character's fear.
Now put the 3 together. Your character needs to go on a journey to attain his or her 'treasure.' But then to create drama, stick your character's fear in between him/her and what they want.
It's a really simple formula and you can expand it as much as you like or take it in it's simplest form to create a story.
For example, in my short film Piece of Cake, my dad's 'treasure' is a piece of cake. His 'fear' is my mum taking the cake away from him. You could have a literal fear as well, like Indiana Jones' fear of snakes (although his fear never seems to affect the story or journey of the character)
What if a man was afraid of getting ill but was forced to take care of his sick niece because his sister was in hospital?
If you have been wanting to make a short film but can't come up with ideas, I really hope this 3-part exercise has been of some use. Remember, it doesn't have to be complicated. It can be the simplest story in the world.
Every film you make is an experience and it should be fun. Every film you make is making you a better filmmaker.
If you've missed part 1 and 2, never fear they are just here: