Being a filmmaker and storyteller got a lot harder in 2020. As much as that year gave me a lot of time to write and create, it also crushed my dreams and caused a few projects to die on the vine. That's the nature of Hollywood and the creative process.
Some days you're up, other days you're down.
But where do you go when the waves are crashing extra hard?
Is there a movie, a book, a place you go to help reinvigorate your creative juices and just rediscover the reason for the voyage?
I was perusing YouTube and saw this video where the author talks about how much Mulan (1998) does that for him. It has an emotional connection that centers him and taught him to be the person he is today.
So I got to thinking, is there a movie like that out there for me?
Check out this video from Just Write, and let's talk after the jump!
What Movie Most Inspires Your Creative Process?
As a society, we're often ranking our favorites. What are your top movies of the year, of the decade, of all time? But one thing I think we fail to talk about more is the works of art that inspire our own.
Sure, we are all working toward finding our voice, or authorship. But we also need media to comfort us when that gets difficult.
When people ask why I became a writer in Hollywood, I often cite the adventure movies I saw growing up that inspired me to put pen to paper. But when things are going rough, I'm not sure I go back to them as often as I think.
I usually try and find a title dealing with what specifically I'm going through. And that usually helps.
But when I really thought about narrowing things down to one title, I got a little dizzy. I watched Star Wars a ton as a kid. So there's that. I wore out my copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I had a phase in college where I was watching Forrest Gump way more than a normal amount. (Get off my back, I think it's a story about what America can be if we all put aside our shit and work together!)
Or what about Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister? I talk about that so much on this site someone emailed me over Christmas and told me to get a new example for my storytelling articles. (As you can see, I have not.)
There was also the summer between eighth grade and high school where, as an experiment, I watched Guy Ritchie's Snatch almost every day to see if I could memorize it.
But I didn't pick any of those.
Instead, if there is a movie I go to to get me out of my writing funk, to burst me out of the prison of writer's block, or to conquer the devastation of the 99 "no's" for every "yes" in Hollywood, I think it's Chef.
Maybe it's because I think being a chef and being a filmmaker have a lot to do with each other. The passion, the dedication, the artistry, the attention to detail, everything that goes into being a chef also goes into entertainment.
For me, Chef is the ultimate title to break me out of my funk. It's about someone who is executing but stops being creative, which I think is the ultimate thing a lot of us deal with.
In it, we see that desperate struggle to be good, but also being unable to connect with an audience. We can feel what we feel, and I think that's what helps me get through stuff. It's not a movie about that block, it's a movie that shows that the tangible way to get over the hump is to work through it. To find your voice and tell the stories that matter to you.
That's why that movie works for me, anyway.
I want to know what movies do this for you!
Sound off in the comments. I'm always looking for more to watch.