When I decided to make a short film, I had some ideas to take into consideration. The tricky part was to find the right story, something that I could be happy about. What would make me happy would be to actually create a story that was able to touch people, something that you could learn from. I came up with a lot of different ideas, and I would sit for a whole day at my desk putting ideas out there on a piece of paper. I got to interesting stories, but none would completely make me feel fulfilled with what I wanted. The funny thing was that it came to me, just by itself. I was having a conversation one day, and the person I was speaking with said something that inspired the premise for my film. I didn’t notice it at first, as I was involved in the conversation, but then after about just five seconds a light bulb went off. This was the beginning of my story. I couldn't even believe it. And for me that is how creativity works.
When you sit down to come up with an idea you are basically ruling out thoughts and ideas, leaving some room for the good ones. You prepare your brain with a bunch of different stories, probably not even closely related, but then you hear something when you are in a bar having a beer that makes your brain connect all those ideas and, there you go, everything makes sense. This is basically how I came up with my storyline. I always recommend to everyone to allow yourself to hear that. We write stories that come from life, so be open to look and find.
Once the script was written, it was time to make it happen and create a compelling story that people will connect with and feel moved by, which was my purpose at the very beginning. This is what I did and my recommendation to every new filmmaker is: put yourself in the audience’s shoes. There is no doubt you are making your own movie, but you are making it for people to enjoy, why do we forget about them? When I was in film school I saw that mistake made over and over again, nobody was paying attention to what the audience would think. For me it was important to engage the audience, which is why I looked for ways to accomplish it. I created hooks in both the story and the way to direct, so that it will make the audience think and get interested in the story. Just think about yourself at the movies, there is a moment on the film you really want to know what happened to the main character, you care about him, you don't want him to die but to succeed. Ask yourself, how did they make me reach that engagement point? Watch the movie again and look for it. You will find the answer. They probably were giving you details little by little, one after another, after another, and so on, until you are hooked. In my short In Tune With You, I carefully shot the scenes to take the audience by the hand and give them something new in each scene that would continue peaking their interest towards the end.
My experience with In Tune With You was incredible. I learned how to be open, to let the story come to me, and how to engage the audience in my film so it becomes something that people will remember. I have people telling me they cried with the film, or even that they related to it, and it is in those moments when I proudly think I did a good job.
Written by Ruben Navarro, Director of In Tune With You
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