November 02nd, 2020How to Come Up with a Scene Idea for Your BrandHow to Come Up with a Scene Idea for Your BrandHow to Come Up with a Scene Idea for Your Brand
How to Come Up with a Scene Idea for Your Brand
Some time ago I sent out a survey to all the actors on my mailing list asking them about their experience with their demo reel.
I got back a ton of responses, but you know what one of the biggest challenges was?
"I have footage, but I don't think any of the scenes work for my brand."
And this makes a lot of sense given that the number one reason actors decide to shoot footage with us is because the last time they shot, whoever they worked with tried to push them into doing a scene that didn't work for the jobs they were looking for.
What happens if you love comedy or want to do an action scene and the reel production company pushes you to do a procedural scene?
And how do you know what kind of scene will work best for you anyway?
Well, today I'd like to present you with a very simple process you can use to instantly come up with a great scene idea that works for your brand and goals:
How to Come Up with a Scene Idea
Watch my branding video to figure out your Type, Pride Words, and Dark Word. Here's the video:
(BTW I apologize that I look like a crazy person in the screenshot.)
Think about what your goals are for your acting career. What kind of productions would you like to be cast in? Come up with about 3-4 shows you'd LOVE to be in.
Once you figure out those shows, use Google Image Search to see what kinds of pictures show up. Type in "SHOWNAME" and then the word "scene." Like "Law and Order scene" (don't include the quotes).
This will give you an idea of scenes in the show and will help you come up with scene ideas you can do (along with a general aesthetic for how your scene should look).
Example: If you wanted to be in Supernatural (which sadly has come to an end – I loved that show), you should type "Supernatural scene" and do a Google Image Search. You'll see images with Dean and Sam leaning up against a car talking, or driving in a car at night, or questioning someone in a house or office.
As you look through the images that show up, write down 3-4 ideas of scene ideas you'd consider doing. Don't worry about what the scene will be about yet – just think about how it should look and in what setting it could be.
Now it's time to take your Pride Words, Type, and Dark Word and work them into the scene. Let's say your Pride Words are "Strong, Compassionate, and Intelligent." And let's say your Type is "cop" and your Dark Word is "belligerent."
Looking at your general scene ideas, let's pretend you want to do a scene where you're leaning up against a car with another actor. Perhaps the actor can play your brother or best friend.
Now think of how you can work everything into the scene:
Maybe you're playing an off-duty cop leaning up against a police car, talking to his brother about being unable to save someone, feeling guilty about what happened (the person died). And maybe your brother is trying to convince you it's not your fault, and then you get a bit angry in the scene.
That will capture your brand perfectly: A cop who is strong, compassionate, and intelligent. But one who can get belligerent (angry) at times.
So as a recap, Step 1 is to figure out your brand, Step 2 is to figure out what kind of scenes would work for you based on your goals, and Step 3 is to work your brand words into the scene to help you come up with a story arc and logline for the scene.
Obviously you'll have to then write and shoot it, but if I explained how to do all that in this blog, it would probably be WAY too long!
It's extremely important to shoot scenes that capture your brand because the saying that "any footage is better than no footage" is not true.
You need footage that shows casting directors who YOU are and what makes you unique.
If you decide to work with us for a Screener Shoot, we will guide you through this process step by step, and then we'll custom write a script, find actors, shoot, and edit it.
Here's your homework:
Using the process above, come up with one scene idea and leave it in the comments below. I'd love to hear both your Brand and the scene idea you come up with!