365 Movies and then some…
In 2015 I challenged myself to consume as much media/entertainment/pop culture as possible. I started with a 365 movies challenge, 1 movie for every day of the year, and then I expanded from there. I wanted to watch as much television, read as many books, see as many live shows, basically consume as much pop culture as I possibly could, all while working a full time job in the television industry.
What Inspired Me?
I was inspired by an article that Vulture posted about all of the pop culture that Steven Soderbergh consumed in 2014. He watched over 100 movies, read at least 30 books and watched dozens of TV shows. Every year he puts out a list of all of the movies, TV and books he watched and read. The article suggested that I had a “minuscule” workload compared to him and that I surely could consume more than he could. Hey Vulture, challenge accepted! Now I’m not saying that I work as much as Steven Soderbergh does, but I do work a lot, my job is my life and I am very passionate about what I do. So in order to keep up I would cram in a movie or an episode of TV whenever I could, it might sound silly, but it was hard! There were nights when I would get in from a 12 hour work day and then sit down to watch 2 or 3 movies. I wasn’t able to do one movie a day because life is too busy for that, but if I fell behind I would spend a weekend catching up. There were some weekends when I would watch 12 movies in two days! Those were my proudest moments. 365 days later, here is what I managed to achieve in my year of pop culture consumption:
- watched 371 movies
- watched 542 episodes of television (36 different shows)
- watched 6 one hour comedy specials
- saw 24 live comedy shows
- read 10 books
I had hoped to get in a few more books, but overall I am pretty impressed with myself! I know it seems crazy, or maybe not to some people, but I had a lot of fun doing this. I work in the entertainment industry because I love it, so it only makes sense that I would love an opportunity to overload my year with as much of it as possible.
I had really reduced the amount of movies I was watching in the past few years, TV became my main form of entertainment, but movies were my first love. I used to live at the movie theater; I would see 3 movies back to back on some weekends and I was such an honest little kid that I paid for all of them! My love of movies is what encouraged me to go to film school and start a career in the entertainment industry. I owe my current success to movies, so it only seemed right that I dedicate a year of my life getting back to that love. It was really rewarding, I was able to watch movies that I had been meaning to see for years, I watched a few favorites, but tried to limit the amount of re-watching that I did, I wanted the majority of my list to be made up of first time viewings. It would be impossible for me not to have watched a few duds, but even the bad movies were worth it. I watched some really amazing foreign films and I watched a ton of documentaries which opened my eyes up to so many things that are going on in this world that I was completely ignorant to before. Netflix was my best friend this past year; I don’t know how I would have gotten through without it.
What kept me going?
When I first started out, I thought it would be fun to try and watch a lot of movies and that I would probably give up at some point, but I didn’t. I loved it, I felt so engaged with everything that I did. I was planning out my time, which meant I wasn’t wasting any of it. I can see a million people rolling their eyes and thinking that watching 371 movies and 542 episodes of TV is a tremendous waste of time, but to me it wasn’t. I was doing something that I am passionate about and something that brings me great joy. I looked at it as research; I work in TV so why not watch TV. I would even exercise while I watched a movie, so I wasn’t just sitting on my couch for hours on end. I actually lost 50 pounds and got myself a lot healthier in the past year, so I really don’t feel bad about any of it.
For the year ahead, I plan to continue watching movies on a regular basis, but maybe not as strictly as I did last year. I want to catch up on TV, because believe it or not, I didn’t watch nearly as much TV as I do normally, I am way behind on some of my favorites. I want to read even more than I did this year; I got 9 books for Christmas so I better start reading. I will continue to see live comedy shows, because they make me happy and I am all about doing what makes you happy.
I suggest anyone that loves movies and television tries something like this. You might think you watch a lot, but if you actually start recording all of your consumption you might be surprised. I worked really hard to hit the numbers that I did and it wasn’t easy. I would try this again for sure, I learned so much about myself, my industry and this world, it was well worth it.
Now It’s Your Turn
At the top of the year I set out to do two things; get healthy and watch 365 movies and I did both. Now I challenge you to set yourself a goal in media/pop culture consumption. Take whatever you think you normally consume and double it! Nothing drives me crazier than meeting people who work in the entertainment industry and they tell me they don’t really watch TV or movies, I think that is insane! We need to know what is going on in the industry we work in and above all we should be supporting our fellow creators. So double your consumption and enjoy the rewards.
Interested in what I watched, read and saw in 2015? Check out the lists linked below: