Initial Ideas for Short Film

Here are some of the ideas we put forward during one of our early critiques. Some have potential, others we scrapped fairly quickly.
Please Note: Unless it is stated that I wrote the idea, I did not write it.

Idea 1

Over The Hill:
Over The Hill is a comedy short film about three old friends who decide the time has come to experience a festival together despite age not being totally on their side. Each of the men throw themselves into travelling and preparing for their big weekend but all is eventually revealed when we see they have instead set the festival up in their living rooms.

Mick Le Mare

Idea 2

We see an old plastic digital watch light up from under a newspaper showing the time is 8am, this preludes the subsequent alarm we then hear. We see a rugged looking hand searching for it among a bed of news papers and a worn, muddy blanket we then cut to a man who gives the impression that his best years are behind him.
He gets up and stretches for a few moments, allowing the audience to take in his appearance and make an instant judgement on what kind of man this is, in the background we see a desolate landscape lit only by a murky sun rise with plenty of clouds in the sky.
The man briskly collects his belongings, which include a cracked photoframe (the photo is currently covered in dust and dirt), his watch, an old unusually thin belt (that he doesn’t put on) and his blanket. He heads towards the woods with haste, looking over his shoulder occasionally as if he was on the look out for something or someone.
Once in the woods he takes time for a breather and begins to search the ground, the audience assumes for fungi and other vegitation, but this is to no avail. He begins to get frustrated and kicks a tree in anger, letting out a yelp of pain. This cues a dog barking faintly in the background, the man stops and listens for a moment, looking almost scared, before running. The camera follows a succession of fast cut close ups of his feet crushing the wildlife among other, hopefully, beautifully framed and lit shots of the woodland. We don’t, however, see any dogs.
The man continues to run until he reaches a small hut, he kicks the door down and looks inside but finds nothing. His face breaks into tears and he sits down, he gets out the dusty photoframe and as his tears fall on it and he wipes them away, we see a picture of him and his dog.
An easy and simple idea that doesn’t require any outstanding acting talent.
Locations are easy to find.
Pay off is pretty simple and should be easy to understand in the 3 minute limit.
No script (Subject to change).
Will use powerful scores to create tension and meaning.
Only 1 actor needed
The ability to cry convincingly is a requisite
The lack of script may cause a loss of meaning if we don’t execute it perfectly.
Might be hard to find someone who can create a decent score.

Rich Neal

Idea 3

A man walking through the woods minding his own business, touching the bark of the trees, running his hands through the bushes with a smile on his face. This person is likeable, there is nothing strange or out of place about him.
He see’s a child sitting happily on there own scratching into the moss with a stick. The child smiles at him and the man nearly smiles back while the child runs out of shot. We know this is not real, almost dream-like as lighting is bright with a soft focus. With this he begins to describe his childhood… loving happily married parents and never too much trouble in school. Details would be picked out to bring the audience into a more personal level.
He finds an interesting location within the woods and decides that this is a good place to lie down. All is peaceful, shots give of the idea of calmness yet close-ups of his expressions suggest otherwise. There is something noticeably bothering him.
“What was she thinking?” – he thinks to himself, “she didn’t know where she was, and certainly had no one to look after her”.. Flashbacks/visuals of two drinks on the bar, one a beer, the other a cocktail. “Why else would she be like that?”
While laying down and staring upwards the man turns his head to the side, only to see another dream-like figure. A middle-aged woman is watching him, smiling. This time the man sits up and looks ashamed of himself. The woman’s expression quickly changes to a resentful one and turns away from him, walks and disappears.
The man then looks back up into the sky as a tear rolls down the side of his face. “Maybe I could have just got her number…” (vision of a hand sliding over a number on a napkin)…
“Please..(a woman’s voice)” – a soft but powerful word that he replays in his mind hits him like a sudden headache. The audience begin to work out maybe what the problem is. Voices in his head get stronger and more painful to contain, he is now tense and presses his hands against his head until he begins to run. Rushing through the forest he has no idea where he is heading, he just wants to escape his thoughts somehow. He continues to run and appears out from the woods and up onto a bridge. Standing in the middle looking down towards the road below he contemplates. Its all calm again as he pears ahead preparing to jump. He looks down again and there is a woman standing in the road, where there was nothing before. Shaking with tears pouring down his face, he whispers “what was I thinking…”
Pro’s –
Chances to experiment with flashbacks, visions etc.
Fairly simple to find locations
Could be a powerful narrative
Con’s –
1 main actor, 3 other small roles
Finding a suitable bridge
Needs developement
Always a bit risky doing something on suicide, rape etc. however the audience interpret it

Rich Neal

Idea 4
Three guys, planning to rob a bank, in serious need of money and an escape route from the life they live. Gathering blueprints, weapons, tools, essential equipment and a get away car, the group have an idea how to rob a bank they just need to finalize the notion filling there pockets with millions, a life changing decision.
Getting ready for the day, not noticing the time (16:40) continue to prepare, loading the weapons finalizing the route and the getaway driver. As they leave they pick up their masks, one mask is on the clock on the side table, once picked up revealing the time now to be 17:05, still unnoticed they leave the house and enter the car.
Pull up aside the bank in an alleyway; all take a look at each other and give a motivational nod. They’re ready, stepping out down the side street watching carefully for security, CCTV and police. Lock and load their guns, burst round the corner in a quick dash, stop to kick the door down. One kick is given… The bank is shut, 17:00 closing on a Wednesday. “Maybe tomorrow boys?”

Jake Humbles

Idea 5

The Artist

A renowned artist, old, respected character portraying a rustic feel, gravely voice and old tweed jackets. It has come to the public that he now will be retiring; this will be his last product, the last artifact to his collection. This will be worth millions states the media, ‘his best piece yet’. The public knows that it will sell for millions, everyone will want to see it and it will be the best piece of art to this date. A high expectation to be fulfilled here, with a public expecting so much he finds himself under so much pressure.
He visits many locations, scanning landscapes inhaling the world’s beauty in its entirety. Scouting countryside, mountains, streets, rivers and streams. You see him sketch ideas and notes about the scenery, people and the surrounding areas. All theses ideas logged in an old bound book that contains his life work within.
The last two scenes consist of, the artist working on an easel, in an art studio, working away, taking inspiration, drinking tea, struggling through this art, sleepless nights. Finally he brakes through, working so hard, filling the days with colour and inspirational work shown through facial expressions, yet you still do not see the artifact he is creating. He has it all finished, titles it unknown, releases it to the media and places it in a gallery of his choice. The public shocked, uncertain on what to think…
We cut back to the studio as the camera tracks round a semicircle around the to on over the shoulder shot, looking at the blank canvas! We look down as he places at the bottom, By Henry maiden to finish off the sequence.
Little do they know that the last shot is of the security guard walking down the long corridor locking up for the night. The lights all flicker off as he locks the door and flicks the mains switch.
The last set of lights above his work flicker off and the emergency lights turn on, one is replaced with an ultra violet light. Reveled on the not so blank canvas is a beautiful outstanding piece of invisible ink art never to be seen by the public until the secret is discovered.

Jake Humbles

All the ideas have potential. Also check out my post on our fishing trip idea that unfortunately fell flat on its face. We were very keen on that until disaster stuck.


2 Responses to “Initial Ideas for Short Film”

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