Short Film Pre-Production

My first idea for the short film project was called 2 Birds. The brainstorming of the idea was quite rushed even though I had 3 weeks to think about it – my indecisiveness is more debilitating than ever. I have plenty of stories floating around in my head but many of them don’t tick the student boxes of:
– no budget
– minimal actors
– affordable and achievable settings
– between 5-7 minutes

First Concept (2 Birds renamed to Houdini)
– After Terry (a games student) finds his food eaten, a dead bird at his door and a number of his belongings ruined, he is quick to blame his housemate Michael -a part-time magician. During his tirade of revenge, Terry finds cat biscuits in his room and realises Houdini the cat is to blame. But Michael isn’t done with him yet. Terry learns the hard way to not jump to conclusions.

However after feedback on my script (Houdini), I was urged to change the whole concept. So I got together with my Director of Photography and sketched out a new one.

New Concept (Magic Bones):
– Shortly after exercise science student, Jason, moves in with Miraja, an eccentric, gay, Indian magician who makes it his mission to seduce Jason, a closeted bisexual fitness junkie. This arduous journey of unrequited romance takes an unexpected spin when Jason wakes up in Miraja’s bed and must take the long walk of shame down the hall back to his room.

So with the latest and greatest (still waiting for the green light) I started from the ground up. I built the story up on the foundation of character motivations, vulnerabilities and how it’s visually represented. I have them here below.

The idea was to find opposing personalities so they clash in weird and wonderful ways. I love eccentric characters and their quirky personalities mixing with more conservative types. Of course I relate to this as I also have quite a quirky personality, I’m told that I ‘march to the beat of my own drum’. My social interaction used to be so awkward to the point where I got trained by a very socially apt young individual at increasing my social skills. I was constantly gaging my non-verbal communication and going through the motions of a ‘normal’ person.
Since then I’ve learnt so much and am much better, but still do my own thing.

Character Profiles

Miraja – 20 y/o


Short Term Goal: to impress Jason.
Long Term Goal: Become a famous magician. Find his own identity.
Overall motivation: hide behind his illusions, create his own version of himself.
Vulnerability: fear of failure and rejection so always heightens his effort.
How’s its visually represented: gets overly down with rejection. Giggles and bites nails.

Jason – 19 y/o

Short Term Goal: to make friends quickly to fight insecurities of being alone.
Long Term Goal: to become independent with an exercise career. Encourage a general healthy lifestyle (his parents are really fat).
Vulnerability: his persuasion for men to be discovered.
How’s its visually represented: Rejects Michael. Overly straight. Masculine posters of attractive men.

I found some incredibly relatable quotes in a book by Daryl Goldberg (2012) called First-Time Filmmaker F*ck-ups: The Common Mistakes New Filmmakers Make, and How to Avoid Them.

“Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff ’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” —Colette (2012, p. 6)

This in essence is saying that the initial idea, or any idea will ultimately change to adapt to the story. The article goes on to say that they need to change to survive. They will be changing and evolving through every part of the process from concept to post-production.   Over time as well, us as artists must change to survive too. Its the necessity of life.


Also this week I’ve been meeting with other disciplines, specifically audio, to plan and schedule a track for my 1 minutes ABC project – Killa-bite. It features a woman’s hand cutting up fruit and making it resemble blood and flesh (as spoken about in a previous blog).
I meet up with some lovely audio student and explained what I was after. After a couple of days he declined as he was under too much pressure from other assignments which is completely understandable! But luckily there are plenty other audio students trying to get their hands on another project. So I met up with another lovely person and explained (in a very unpoetic way – slaughtering english adjectives in my wake) that I needed a layered track with a soft instrumental bit with harsh experimental undertones of scratching and sharp noises underneath it with no rhythm. Of course the desire behind such a request is that the audience is made to feel uncomfortable. He seemed to understand what I was meaning and whipped up a 20 second track the same day of what he thought I meant. It was incredible! I just asked for more sharp noises. He was very lovely and accommodating. This experience has made me feel alot more confident about asking for work from other students, which is important if I am to ask for other disciplines for my short films that I create.





Goldberg, D. (2016) First-Time Filmmaker F*ck-ups : The Common Mistakes New Filmmakers Make, and How to Avoid Them. St. Louis, US: Focal Press, 2012.






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