It is not always easy to start a shot from the beginning, either for a contest or a personal work…
Many of us found a rig, an audio or an idea they like to work with but as soon as they start, they find theirself in front of the famous "Blank sheet" which avoid us moving forward.
I think the key is to give enough depth to the characters, actions or scenarios and simulate that this shot is part of a larger project, as if it was an animated film.
If you don't have the information you need from a director (See CASTING AND LAUNCH), then you have to do a great job of imagination and exploration for having an entertaining.
To help me, I created a list based on improvisation classes I use to inspire me and reach the purpose I have raised.
STORY AND SITUATIONS
Think of a general story:
• Visit to the dentist
• Job Interview
• Selling a house, etc. …
SENTENCES AND CONFLICT
Think about a conflict and how to transmit it:
• Leave me alone, i have a headache
• I like your dress. Can I try it?
• I'm warning you, I have got vertigo!, etc. …
TIME AND PLACE
Place your shot in an important moment:
• In a castle during the Middle Ages
• 1912 : The Titanic is sinking
• The end of the world from your sofa, etc. …
ENVIRONMENT AND WEATHER
Think how the environment can influence:
• In Sahara a rainy day
• It's too windy to be on the beach
• In a zoo a stormy day, etc. …
There are thousands of props that can be used to support your performance:
• Coffee Cup
• Christmas Tree
• a football, etc. …
Think about your shot in diferent kind of movie gender:
• Science Fiction
• Crime, etc. …
STYLE AND TONE
Think about the tone you are going to use:
• Suspense, etc. …
Think about the style of animation you are going to use:
• Snappy, etc. …
EMOTIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
Get into the character with his emotions and defects:
• Lame, etc. …
Make a caricature your character to making him recognizable:
• Camaleon one
• Fashion Man
• Dyslexic man, etc. …
To enrich my original idea, I'm choosing items in each category and add it to my original concept.
A very funny game is to, once you put several ideas in each category, randomly catch several elements. Often you will find surreal stories, but sometimes the ideas get linked and you will have a totally new concept that you would not have thought of before : You will get ORIGINALITY!!!
I hope that was usefull