8. Personal experience/Stories
Barry McEvoy took his father’s experience as a barber during the troubles to develop his idea for ‘An everlasting piece’ (Barry Levinson 2000). The comedy revolves around two wig salesmen who set up in business against a background of paramilitary activity. Everyone knows someone who can tell a funny story and this could be the beginning of their short film idea. Students should think creatively here. It may only be one element of the story which is useful. Perhaps the story can be played with, turned around or used whole.
Have your students take a blank sheet and think about their own life experience. Write down anything interesting or funny. When that is exhausted, extend the exercise to include family members and friends. (Everyone knows somebody who tells a good story). Now discuss how the story could be adapted for film. What elements should be left out? Should the narrator be included? How could it be creatively approached?