Today, after lunch, I took out our DVD of 30 Days of Night and saw it again, I think for the fifth or sixth time. I really, really liked this movie, which is why I bought the DVD the moment it was available at the store but also because I always felt that the movie had a really tight structure, a really good set up, and it was really very horrifying.
And all those adverbs are necessary because that’s how much I enjoyed that film.
We even had a funny exchange over lunch today, my Dad, my Mom and I, when I asked my Dad if I could watch 30 Days of Night in his room. “It won’t disturb you, right?”
And he said that it wouldn’t disturb him. He asked why I was watching it again and I told him I needed it as research. I wanted to look at the structure of the film to see if it could spark ideas for this film I’m writing right now. “It’s for research,” I said.
And my Mom then asked, “Isn’t Josh Hartnett in it?”
And immediately, I replied, “I can mix work with pleasure!”
I’ve been watching movies since I was four years old. It’s a perk for being the son of a director. Movies are a constant. Talking about movies comes easy for me. I can sit down and watch a film, enjoy it for what it is, and still be able to breakdown its technical points if I have to. This was further enhanced when I took up Literature in college and then later on when I began working in production.
When I watch movies, it really is part of my work. Even if I just watch a movie just to relax or spend time with friends, a movie (even a bad one) can spark my imagination to think up of new thoughts. A poem maybe? Or another idea for a film? Or maybe just watching another movie will give me better insights over other films that I end up watching that will come into play when I start reviewing movies again.
But 30 Days of Night really helped me understand how to set up this movie I’m putting together. It taught me a lot about horror and suspense. At some point, you realise that you don’t have all the answers and being a creative professional means knowing where to find works that can help you figure out your challenges. You won’t be able to materialise all that you need solely from your imagination and your talent. It’s good to be able to have the resources at hand that will help you get through your challenges, be it narrative structure or dialogue or tone; and also knowing where to get these resources and out of all the artistic products out there, to know which ones work best for you.
For other people, it might not be a movie. A book, a comic, a song, a play, a ballet might be the catalyst that will connect the dots and help you get to where you are going and making your work the best that it can be.
That’s why when I’m watching a movie, so many things are happening in my head at any one moment, and it’s all focused on the film but I’m coming out of it with so much more. I’m not just watching a movie and enjoying the experience, I’m researching, I’m learning, I’m critiquing, I’m figuring things out, and I’m also having a bloody wonderful time.
Watching movies is always business and pleasure. There is no line between the two, for me, when it comes to movies. I’m still too young and too new at theater to say that I have that same capacity when I watch a theatrical production. I’m not working on all those levels just yet with theater. But with films? Sure. Business and pleasure.
It’s my life.