With COVID-19 causing everyone to stay indoors, it can be a bit difficult for us creatives to find inspiration by ourselves, but I am hoping to change that with some ideas to help keep those creative juices flowing.
Setting daily and weekly goals for yourself is a great way to pass the time while also advancing your creative process.
For filmmakers, you could set a goal of writing one script each day, and at the end of the week you can set a goal of filming at least one of those shorts.
You could also set daily goals of trying out a new genre or camera angle or lighting technique, as well as weekly goals of new editing styles.
For actors, you could set daily goals of creating a new character, acting out one of your favourite scenes from film or television, or practicing makeup for film. You could also set weekly goals of studying different genres each week, creating an entire scene on your own using your living space, and more.
With all the time, you have more than enough options to test out anything you’ve wanted to try and set goals for yourself to help keep yourself on track.
If you’re in a bit of a funk trying to come up with new content, there are great acting and filmmaking challenges you can look up online.
Film contests are a great way to challenge yourself and put your work out there for others to see. You can find film contests pretty much year round which helps with setting goals for yourself.
You can also look up story prompts for writing to act out or create a short film with. Pinterest has a lot of great writing prompts to choose from so you can get started on your next short.
The prompts are also great for character creation when acting, it helps to break down the world around the character to help influence the actions the character might portray.
This could work well into weekly goals, because you can make a goal of writing a new story each week, as well as trying out different characters each week.
For both actors and filmmakers alike, this is a great one to try out.
Usually actors act and filmmakers create films, but I think this is a challenge great for both parties to test out for themselves.
Write a short film and shoot it all by yourself on your property. Make sure that you’re the protagonist in the short and get creative with it!
Test out genres, experiment with colours and lighting, practice blocking and the like!
For actors, this challenge is great for expanding your technical eye and editing skills which can help when making self tapes and showreels. For filmmakers, this is helpful to give you a deeper understanding of what actors go through when filming and can help you get more comfortable in front of a camera.
This also helps both parties with world and character building. Writing a short and acting it out gives a better understanding of the entire process of filmmaking and creates a deeper appreciation for all sides of filmmaking.
Testing out acting and filmmaking techniques
With all this time stuck inside, what a great way to test out new acting and filmmaking techniques you’ve been dying to try but haven’t found the time.
YouTube is a great resource to find tutorials on just that. There are plenty of channels dedicated to filmmaking and acting which showcase techniques for anyone to try out.
For the filmmakers, this can be really helpful if you’re wanting to learn ways to use everyday household items in place of normal equipment and test out ideas you’ve been dying to experiment with.
For the actors, this is a chance to learn how to utilize the space you have by either rearranging your house for different sets, or experimenting with lighting and backdrops.
This is also good for becoming more comfortable in front of a camera, as you are able to film self tapes, monologues, and other scenes to help familiarize yourself with the camera.
Collaboration with other filmmakers
A really cool and challenging idea you could put to the test, collaborate with other filmmakers and make your very own short film online.
In order to do this, you will need to have a small group of filmmaker friends, film equipment, or a cell phone and the ability to video chat online.
Come up with a short film idea with your partners, write a script, cast yourselves in the film, and shoot the scenes involving your character yourself.
Now, this will be a bit tricky, especially if your scene involves another character, but that’s where the imagination comes in.
Shoot the scenes like normal, but only focusing on your individual character, then once all the footage is compiled, edit everything as if all the shots were done together.
With some colour correcting, transitions and VFX, you can come up with a really fun project that you can do with others from the comfort of your own home.
A fun idea with this is to try and shoot a few wider shots that would include your scene partner and in post production, edit them into the shot to give the illusion they were there the whole time.
I know being shut indoors for now can seem exhausting and claustrophobic for some. That doesn’t mean your creativity and inspiration needs to be squandered.
Give these ideas a try, and hopefully they will help to bring out the creative passion in all of you.