Update: Want to see how this turned out? Check out the follow up post to this one – In 2015 I watched 55,160 Minutes of Movies and Television
I have decided that this is the year of watching movies. I have become obsessed with television over the past few years and I have decided to turn my attention back to movies. Watching movies was all I used to do when I was younger, I lived at the movie theater on weekends and filled all of my spare time watching movies or working in a movie store. Now that I am working in the film and television industry I want to watch movies to help me and inspire me at work.
Here are the Reasons I am Watching Movies to Get Better at My Job:
1. You can’t make movies if you don’t watch them. It drives me crazy when I speak to someone who works in the film and television industry and they tell me they don’t own a TV or they don’t watch movies. I think it is ludicrous to work in this industry and not know what is happening within it. I am not watching more movies so that I can steal from them, I am watching them to get inspired and learn about things I never knew.
2. Movies are the reason I do what I do. I grew up watching movies, they were the reason I wanted to go to film school and work in this industry. I have spent the last five years so focused on television that I have forgotten how important movies used to be to me.
3. Television wouldn’t be what it is without movies. Television has come a long way in the last 10 years and I think we have movies to thank for it. It is more than seeing movie stars appearing on TV, it is about the quality of the stories and the risks that are being taken. I think TV had to step up it’s game to compete with what movies were doing and it did,very successfully, but movies are what started it all.
4. Movies are easy to consume and don’t take up too much time. Movies range in length, but they will almost always be shorter than any season of television. In the time it takes to watch 12-24 episodes of a show, you can watch about 6-12 movies. The movies you watch can be so drastically different from each other and cover multiple genres. If you choose to watch one season of television, you are going to see a lot of the same people, locations and continued stories. Watching movies allows you to consume more unique content in less time.
5. Movies are inspiring. Not to say that television isn’t inspirational, I just think that movies can inspire so many ideas because they tend to cover a lot of content in a short window. One movie can inspire multiple ideas, from scene to scene, you can pick up on so many things. It can be as simple as a location or a line of dialogue, movies are breeding grounds for great ideas.
6. I will never run out of options. So many movies have been made over the last 100+ years, I couldn’t consume them all in one lifetime, at least not with my work schedule! The options are pretty endless and I can always find a movie to go with the mood I am in. Movies are always being made and will always be a source of inspiration.
7. Movies are an escape. This one isn’t so much about my job as it is about escaping from my job. Even though I work in this industry, I still find that I can escape into a movie and I don’t want that to ever change. Whether I am sitting in my home, curled up on the couch or sitting in a movie theater with hundreds of other people, movies will always be a comfort to me and having that escape allows me to be better at what I do.
8. Movies are visually dynamic. Creating movies is more than just having an idea. The world that you create is a huge part of the process, look at movies like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or The Dark Knight; the visuals become a part of the story. I look to worlds that are created in films to inspire ideas all the time. I have seen things in movies that I never knew existed or that don’t exist anywhere else and a big part of escaping into a movie is buying into the world that has been created.
9. Movies leave room for interpretation and imagination. Something that I get more out of movies than I do television is the room for interpretation and letting my imagination fill in the blanks. For the most part TV is more cut and dry, since the story unfolds over a longer period of time, there is less room for interpretation. An open ended film can trigger an idea for an entirely different story. Movies all you to let your imagination run wild and come up with ideas that you never thought you could have. I love watching a movie with friends and then having a discussion about it afterward and seeing how everyone got something different out of it. These post film consumption conversations can be just as inspiring as the film itself.
10. There are endless opportunities to consume foreign cultures. Foreign films are a great place to be inspired, some people find them boring or tedious, but I don’t think that is fair. There are some truly amazing films being created all around the world and other people’s cultures are a great way to get inspired. Learning about things you know nothing about is a humbling experience. Foreign films can teach us things and show us new worlds, but they are also telling human stories that we can relate to and understand. Foreign works of art are constantly being interpreted for a North American audience, but instead of remaking their work, I think we should let their stories inform ours and help us tell our own.
This list might be more about why movies are important to me and my journey because it is hard to really say if watching movies will make me better at my job, but I am going to find out.
Over the next year I am going to watch as many movies as I can, my minimum is 365, but I would love to surpass it. I will do a monthly rundown of all of the movies that I have watched and hope that you will give me recommendations and suggestions along the way. I am open to watching any movie, there are no restrictions. Please share your suggestions in the comments below and hopefully we can discuss!