How to begin
The first step is to develop your science fiction movie concept. You should be able to describe your movie in a single sentence – sometimes called a log line.
Do not proceed any further until you really nail down your concept. If you can’t tell people what the story is about in a single, well-crafted sentence, you probably don’t have a clear idea yourself.
Take all the time your need on this step. It isn’t costing you anything at this point.
I find the book Sell Your Story in A Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood (affiliate link) by Lane Shefter Bishop very useful when I’m working on my story concept. This book breaks the process down into a simple-to-follow procedure.
There are a lot of great examples in the book you can use to jump-start your own story generation process.
What resources do you have for your movie?
While you work on your story idea, it’s probably a good idea to take inventory of all the resources you have you can use in the movie.
For example, do you have an interesting location you can use?
When Daz Scales was working on the idea for his short film Darkwave: Edge of the Storm, he came across an abandoned communications outpost he was able to use. He set his story at that location and it gave his project a great deal of visual appeal.
I interviewed Daz a few weeks ago on the show – you can find out more by checking it out.
Maybe you know some cosplayers who could make some really great-looking costumes for your project. Perhaps you have a friend who is seven and a half feet tall who could play a scary, tall alien.
You can also ask around. Your friends may know of locations and props you could use to make a better science fiction movie.
Create your title
Once you have your story well defined and described, it’s time to come up with your title.
Come up with something simple but attention-grabbing that summarizes what your story is about.
This shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve defined your story well in the preceding step.
Use the title to create the movie website and social media
Your next step is to get started on your website and social media for the movie.
Start by registering the domain name for your movie web site. I recommend using the movie’s title as the domain name if that is possible.
If the domain name for your movie title is not available, try adding “movie” to the end of the name.
You don’t need to build your website at this point. All you’re doing right now is locking down the domain name.
Personally, I use NameCheap (affiliate link) for registering my domain names. It is very inexpensive and easy to use. I’ve been using them for about five years.
After you register the domain name for your movie, you need to set up the social media. Try and use your movie title when you create these. I recommend setting up the following:
- A Facebook fan page
- A Facebook group
- A Twitter account
- An Instagram account
- A Pinterest account
- A Snaphat account
For now, you can just set up these pages, groups, and accounts. You will start adding content later.
Make a poster
Recently, I talked about Jason Buff’s blog post, 5 Key Steps Before Writing Your Screenplay, on Indie Film Academy. He advises filmmakers to create the poster for their movie early in the process.
Having a movie poster makes the movie seem more real. If done well, it can help build excitement for your project.
I’m lucky because I have a friend who is a talented artist and he has a style that will work well for my science fiction movie.
If you don’t know any artists who can create your poster, you have other options:
You can also Google “crowd source design” to find other sites for your movie poster.
You may also opt to hire your own designer. Once again, Google is your friend when you are looking.
Spread the word and get feedback
Once you have your concept nailed down and your movie poster is done, it’s time to test market your movie.
In this step, you actively seek feedback from as many people as you can.
Do not skip this step! Your goal is to see if your movie is something people actually want to see.
This is where you will find out if your movie idea is worth pursuing. If people are excited about your idea, you can move on to the next step.
If they don’t like the idea, find out why. This is important. You might just need to make some changes to the idea. Make those changes and start over. There is no point in going further if they don’t like your idea.
In the worst case, people just won’t like your idea. If the feedback you receive indicates no one is interested in your idea, you’ll need to go back to the beginning and come up with a new idea.
If you have to start completely over, you’ll need to make sure your domain name doesn’t auto-renew – unless you can use the existing title for your new idea.
This process is very similar to the lean startup model used in business. In the lean startup model, you seek customer feedback during product development to ensure you don’t spend a lot of time and money pursuing an idea or product that consumers (your audience) don’t want.
Better to stop now if it isn’t working than to spend a year or more writing and producing a movie that no one will watch or enjoy.
- Tell us about your science fiction projects here.
- Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes.
- Subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
- You can share your video on our private Facebook group.
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
- Keep writing. Keep shooting. Keep learning.