Writing Around An Actress
I recently received a question on TikTok about how I generate ideas for short films. Here's an elaborated version of the answer I provided:
For my most recent short film -- "Rebrand" -- I found an actress (Rae Irelan) before I had a script. Well, she wasn't a working actress. She could act, but she was primarily a singer who had a lot of charisma and knew how to confidently be on camera. Plus, she possessed a successful artist's work ethic. So, I approached her and said, "Hey, wanna make a short film together?". She was game and we started throwing some ideas back and forth based within a particular parameter, namely: a one day shoot, small crew, small cast, and one or two locations. With those criteria established, we discussed her strengths and preferences.
She was into drama and comedy, so I came up with some concepts that utilized her skills and pitched them to her. From there, I developed the one she liked the most and wrote a short.
Again, knowing and establishing our parameters that was a big help to getting the script quickly finished. I wasn't exploring a buncha paths. I knew I was going to shoot it, so I didn't want to make something too complicated. Also, since she hadn't formally acted in awhile, I didn't want to write anything too challenging. I kept all of the acting to a range that she'd be comfortable with. I didn't put in any crying scenes, fighting scenes, or things outside of her comfort and training. She was a singer so I put singing in it. Added production value!
From there, I presented her the script and we started rehearsing and moved into pre-production. This was an awesome way to quickly get a film produced. I've attached the script, if you're interested in reading it and / or comparing it to the final "Rebrand" short film that is on my website and YouTube. #RebrandMovie #Screenwriting #ShortFilm