For the last two weeks now I have been talking about books and saying how I have X many titles to recommend. So far it has only been two and I wanted to do another one this week or at least try to do more than one. But yeah fuck that. Lets talk about film.
Movies, cinema, and film are a huge part of my creative process. I see my stories as scenes in a movie with a soundtrack, a camera angle, and everything that goes with it. I visualize everything in this way about writing. Often to come up with a story I listen to a song. With each action falling in sync with the music. For most if not all of my stories I start of with the music video version of a story. How would I tell this story with no words?
I came up with an amazing video concept for the song Fineshrine by Purity Ring. Amazing track if you haven’t heard it. No offense to the creators of the video, but it sucked. Mostly because it wasn’t my idea filled with gangsters, hip hop references, and a badass angel/demon. I want to tell you more, but honestly I need the story idea. How does this relate to film? It doesn’t.
What I want to talk about, about film is the film makers that inspire me. Early Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and George A. Romero. There are plenty more, but those are the main three that actually inspired me as a writer. Parallels there being that they are also the writers for most if not all of their films.
Mallrats had a huge impact on me as a child growing up. Wait fucking Mallrats?? Yeah Mallrats. Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma are amazing films filled with some of the finest dialogue ever written. But at thirteen Clerks is boring as fuck. Mallrats on the other hand is fun and there is nudity… So win?
Honestly I don’t know why I latched on to this movie at a young age, but I did. As an adult I enjoy it for Smith’s ability to link all these characters into a world connected by words rather than shots. It gives you something more to look for beyond what you are seeing right before your eyes. I like that and try to implement this concept into a lot of stuff that I do.
Guess why I like Tarantino films? Because the writing is so fucking good. Tarantino has come a long way as a writer which is crazy to say. Kill Bill is a masterpiece. Jackie Brown is such an amazing film with one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. But neither of these films really shaped me as a writer. Not in the way that Reservoir Dogs shaped me. Being honest it isn’t my favorite film by him. Not even by a long shot, but what had an impact on me at a young age was his ability to tell a story with so little.
Tarantino’s talents lie in his ability to show you something you’ve seen a billion times and blow your fucking mind. Reservoir Dogs is a heist movie. Cool, but it isn’t. It is a movie about people who are in a heist. It is a movie about people. Reservoir Dogs showed me that I could write an amazing story about a heist gone wrong or I could write an epic story about people in a fucked up situation. What I took from him was that it is okay to base a story in clichés, but don’t make that the story. Make the people in the clichés the story.
The late great George A Romero… This one is going to seem like a cop-out, but it’s George A Romero. Need I say more? Okay fine. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is my favorite movie of all time. I own ever version of this film on VHS, DVD, DVD Special Collectors edition, and Blu-Ray. I have seen every cut of this film. I can watch the extended edition and the European edition, and tell you where he made his cuts. At this point I can tell you why he did and argue why he shouldn’t have. I used to watch this movie daily. Nothing on? Nope Dawn of the Dead was on. As a kid in high school I covered my walls with the script. I don’t mean a scene or two. The whole damn thing in order. I would read along to the movie or even other movies. I’ve been to the mall where it takes place…. Why on earth they updated I have no idea. It saddened me to an ungodly end. But it was still a fun trip if you like being disappointed and crushing your fantasy of it all….
I love the Dead series, but it is all about Dawn for me. The film is perfect in again telling this fantasy story about people. A zombie movie with little to do with zombies. They literally have it made. The whole worlds going to shit and they are living the life. Free to consume while the whole world is dying. They are the 1% in a world of nothing, but it is all fleeting. Because the world is always coming for you. The chaos of life will get you. No matter how much you plan, how safe you think you are, or strong. They’re coming to get you…