How To Find A Film Idea Using Pinterest

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Step 1

Grab your favourite notebook and a pen. Now type a word into Pinterest such as ‘art’ or ‘paintings,’ - something that is likely to bring up beautiful images. My usual choice is ‘art journal.’ I think they’re so inspiring and I love seeing people’s creations.

Step 2

Find an image that inspires you. I’m picking this one. I love the colours but I am intrigued by the content. A little girl inside a glass jar. 

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Step 3

In your notebook, start jotting down some ideas. What sort of emotions or thoughts does this image conjure up for you? What questions does it make you ask? Here are some for you:

  • Who is the girl or woman in the jar?
  • What does the jar represent?
  • Is this literal or figurative? 
  • Who does the woman remind you of?
  • What sort of person do you think she is?
  • Why is she in the jar? 
  • What could the writing be on the background? 
  • Is it from a book? A poem? Her diary?

Step 4

Discover which of the answers to these questions makes you land on an emotion or thought that strikes a chord with you and that you can’t shake. 

For me, at first glance I am intrigued by the fact that this girl is trapped inside her glass jar, as if she’s in a prison, yet when I look more closely I discover that she is dancing. She seems happy…free. I love that juxtaposition. It makes me delve into her character a little more

  • Why is she in her prison?
  • Who put her there?
  • Why is so happy? What does she know that we don’t?
  • Is this prison of her own making?
  • Is it in fact not a prison but a safe place? 

Step 5

I start writing the answer to these questions until I start to form a person, an interesting character who may stay in this jar of her own making, in a fairytale world on a page - or my writings may take this character out of this art journal and into a modern day world where her jar and her bright orange dress of freedom are a metaphor. 

I’m already fascinated by this girl who finds ecstatic joy and freedom in a glass jar. I want to know her secret. 

Now that you have a character, you can use my Screenwriting Structure Guide to structure a plot for your character's story. 

You can do this exercise with any image that you find inspiring and I guarantee if you keep making notes, keep staring at the picture and keep asking questions, you will stumble upon a character or a moment that can lead you to write a short film or even the beginnings of a feature. 

My name is Jay, I'm a writer and film director currently directing my first feature film. Subscribe to my channel The Director's Logbook for weekly behind-the-scene vlogs and access to lots of other beginner filmmaker resources.