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  • Oyl Miller

How to Use Pinterest to Develop Film Ideas

When planning a film, it’s always important to keep the look of the final film in mind. Lately, my collaborators and I have been turning to Pinterest to quickly build up flash ideas on what the aesthetics of a project could look like. Pinterest gives you the ability to create private boards that can serve as trusted spaces to brainstorm.

Fallen Angels | Wong Kar-Wai, 1995

We usually create a new Pinterest board as soon as we start discussing a project. Then we start adding references as they come to us. Pins for what the characters could look like. What the environment looks like. If there are any conceptual themes or motifs, we start adding them in as well. After a while, Pinterest’s AI kicks in too and starts feeding us adjacent ideas that relate to what we’ve been pinning.

Even as a writer, I find it incredibly important to start fleshing a film out visually. Especially when you are collaborating, it’s important that the project starts getting some definition to it. A set of guiding visual principles that can serve to spark more ideas. “Oh, the protagonist looks like that?” Or “Think about the action we could design around a location like that!” Our Pinterest boards become lightning rods for additional layers of ideas.

We keep the boards active through the life of the project. Whenever an issue or challenge comes up in production, we can quickly start pinning new solutions and inspiration to overcome the new hurdles. We see what locations come back and it forces us to brainstorm in another direction. We dive into Pinterest and find the references that excite us again. Sometimes plan B turns out to be even better than plan A.

In addition to brainstorming my own films, I also pin classic film cinematography and references on my own Pinterest boards. These are the boards I revisit when I want to remind myself of the power and magic of the cinema arts. Check out some of my favorite film-related boards below:

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