Material below was adapted from the 2019 IB Film Teacher Support Material
Before you form core production teams, it is a good idea to identify personal strengths, weaknesses and intentions for the project in order to ensure that you begin with a clear rationale for what you want to get out of the project, and perhaps even clear genres or areas you want to work with.
Blog Post Title and Heading Titles
- Make a blog post titled, Igniting The Flame
- Create the following headings:
- Creating a Character
- What if?
- Story Plotlines
Content for Blog Post
Creating a Character
- Each student creates a character—the more interesting the better. This does not need to be the protagonist of the film but simply a person that might be included in the film to some extent.
- The student should create a full character profile including likes, dislikes, demographic information and deep, dark secrets.
- Encourage each group member to pitch their character to the group and see if a story can be started around one of them.
- Students can play the “What if?” game, where they think of an ordinary situation or location and ask each person to come up with the craziest “what if?” scenario.
- It is important to remove logistics and parameters from the original brainstorm for this game.
- For example: You’re at a bus stop … what if: a bird flies into your head? the man beside you has a heart attack? a dog starts speaking to you? a dinosaur sticks its head out of the bushes? … From the list generated, which could make the most feasible starting point for a film?
- Students research one of the following story plotlines (we see these in films all the time).
- Using one of these plotlines, students bring in their own experience and adapt it to fit the provided story arc.
|Monster in the House||Alien (1979), The Exorcist (1973), Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993)|
|Golden Fleece||Back to the Future (1985), Star Wars (1977), Wizard of Oz (1939)|
|Out of the Bottle||Bruce Almighty (2003), Liar Liar (1997), The Mask (1994)|
|Dude with a Problem||Die Hard (1988), Schinder’s List (1993), Titanic (1997)|
|Rites of Passage||10 (1979), 28 Days (2000), Ordinary People (1980)|
|Buddy Love||Dumb and Dumber (1994), Rain Man (1988), Thelma and Louise (1991)|
|Whydunit||Chinatown (1974), Citizen Kane (1941), JFK (1991)|
|The Fool Triumphant||Forrest Gump (1994), City Lights, Charlie Chaplin (1931)|
American Beauty (1999), Animal House (1978), The Godfather (1972)
|Superhero||A Beautiful Mind (2001), Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Gladiator (2000)|
(This list has been adapted from Snyder, B. 2005. Save the Cat. Studio City, CA, USA. Michael Wiese Productions. www.savethecat.com/.)
Other prompts for igniting creative film ideas could come from the list below. Students select one of these and rapidly draft a beginning, middle and end for the selected prompt. They share this with their group to identify strong suggestions.
- An encounter
- A twist of fate
- A surprise
- An oddball
- A disruption
- A dream
(This list has been adapted from Lanier, T and Nichols, C. 2010. Filmmaking for Teens: 2nd Edition: Pulling Off Your Shorts. Studio City, CA, USA. Michael Wiese Productions.)