Self Expression Magazine

Reading and Watching Movies

By Myfilmproject09

Reading and watching movies
Some of my students questioned the practice I recommend reading shooting scripts and watching movies on DVD's and Netflex and all the others that are out there, even VHS in black and white. Some people think it's stealing ideas rather than use what they feel is fresh and original 
First of all there is little originality left in the movie business in spite of what others may think. And watching movies that might be similar to what is considering writing is exactly the same as watching people and lifting their characteristics or speech patterns.
In other words, look around you and then try to find a fresh way of telling essentially the same story that has been told for centuries.
A great example was Shakespeare In Love, a totally fresh story about the writer that was mostly fictional. And the Coen Brothers remake of True Grit was their vision even though it was based on a book and was originally filmed with John Wayne in the 1960's.
Both movies had the same title and source material but each was distinctive. The John Wayne version was a sprawling was a sprawling western with the "Duke" filling the camera. Coen's version was based more on the young girl, who in the book, narrated the story.
Naturally their take was a lot deeper and with quirky characters where as the Duke's characters were big and over the top, which was more common in that era.
It was amazing to watch that movie version, sometimes going thru life without having your family I get the sense of not being beneficial because your family is not here, were I live. But when I watch that movie, without your family, there's so many other people that you have an impact in their life, and you change their life and make them feel better.
I am a total movie fan; I try to watch a movie every night thanks to Netflix and others. I'm not always looking for ideas from a movie; more often it's to se what's being made and what's good. And why it's good.
Since I've been watching movies since I was four, it's nothing new and am still looking at something new or old. Tell me a story is my search.
Reading us another thing writers should do and it's even odd to mention that as one would think writers read. But in an era where people tweet 140 characters in abbreviated words the "art" of reading an entire book or screenplay is beginning to fade.
Most of what I read are non-fiction as I find it hard to read fiction without starting to analyze it. I recommend reading any screenplay you can get your hands on. My favorite screenplay to read is Deerhunter, with Robert De Niro with Meryl Streep (her first big movie).
I found a screenplay of the movie and discovered something that was completely different. There are two actors, Duval and Chris Walken were main characters and in the screenplay I read, De Niro was the guy who dies.
In the movie, Walken dies.
This was an earlier version, interesting, and I wonder why they changed around. My idea is that maybe De Niro was becoming a star. And I wondered again what the actors were doing.  I also typed the entire screenplay word by word. Still have it today.
Reading and watching movies

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