Cafe Doom

General Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: delboy on January 13, 2010, 06:45:49 AM

Title: Writers! Lounge on the sofa and watch television without feeling guilty.
Post by: delboy on January 13, 2010, 06:45:49 AM
Following on from my Lazy Del - I Should Really Work Harder thread I thought I'd make mention about the amazing resource I've found... DVD Extras and Commentaries.

If you're anything like me you've got a small library of classic / favourite movies on DVD. I've loads of Hitchcock movies and Westerns and in the household we've got dozens of modern thrillers such as the Bourne series and Die Hards and Indiana Joneses. A whole bunch of chicklit romcom type things too. I must admit to struggling to find time to watch many these movies - let alone the etxras. But what a great, sometimes stunning resource they are! Whilst watching a Sergio Leone western the other day I found that you can run the commentary on the movie as subtitles - so you get to watch Clint blast away at the bad guys whilst learning. And okay, much of the learning is focussed on cinematography and cinema history and which Japanese films Sergio based his westerns on...but, you also learned what he was trying to do in certain scenes, how recent history provided the subtext, what certain effects were trying to achieve etc etc. Loads of this stuff can inform and inspire one to think deeper and harder about what one is doing in one's fiction.

It gets better. On many of the Hitchcock films there are extras featuring interviews with the writers and again we can learn how they worked and reworked their ideas. Brilliant learning!

And even better still. A copy of Misery, bought for just £3 brand new, contains an audio commentary by William Goldman. Goldman is an inspiration to me - watching his interview on TV last year (The Southbank Show) I was amazed with how much consideration went into every aspect of his work, expecially the character building and the dialogue, how much stuff is unsaid, what he was trying to do at any given moment. I love his set pieces, too, the dentistry bit in Marathon Man, the ankles bit in Misery... I'm looking forward to his commentary on the film more than the film itself.

Anyway, there you go. Feel free to lie on the sofa and watch movies all weekend long without any guilt at all. You might not be writing but you're learning and researching!

That'll be my excuse anyway.