1 week, 3 days ago

5 Films you must watch if you're a film production student.

As a film production student, films are pretty much my life. Watching films is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. I even dream about watching films, which comes as no surprise, considering I’ve spent the last three years studying how to make them. Choosing five out of the tens of thousands of films ever made is no easy task, though after racking my brain for the last couple of days I have made my decision. If you can only watch five films as a film production student, they should be these.

Alfred Hitchcock’s 'Rear Window'.

Hitchcock is without a doubt the most well-known director of all time. Despite this, a lot of students from this generation may not have even seen a single one of his films. Rear Window is unique for two reasons: one, it takes place in only one room of which all the actions happen through (you guessed) the rear window, and two, this doesn’t get boring at all. Throw in a murder mystery, a journalist in a wheelchair, and some great dialogue, and you will get a prime example how a simple premise can make a great film.

Tommy Wiseau’s 'The Room'

Some of you may know of this cult classic, thanks to ‘The Disaster Artist’ Seth Rogan’s and Jame’s Franco’s take on the making off ‘the worst movie ever made.’ The room is on this list for one reason and one reason only. It shows you what not to do, and any mistakes you may make during your first year of media were probably made during the production of this film: bad acting, bad writing and bad cinematography. I would write up a description of the plot but to be honest, I don’t know if there is one. Though, to give the film its due, it’s fame has made it a (like it or not) a modern day classic. Take from that what you will.

Edgar Wright’s 'Shaun of the Dead'

Affectionately was known as the first of Simon Pegg’s and Edgar Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ this film demonstrates that not all great films have to be set in exotic locations, sprinkled with gunfights and serious themes. Sometimes a great film doesn’t have to take itself so seriously. Shaun of the Dead is on this list as a demonstration of how to make a comedy film right. Not only is the writing and direction almost perfect, but taking a common trope of horror, namely a Zombie Apocolypse, and flipping it on its head for comedic effect makes this film one of the all-time greats.

John Carpenter’s 'The Thing'

Just as Shaun of the Dead demonstrates how to do a simple and fun comedy, The Thing is a great example of horror. Not only is the monster as terrifying in concept as it is on screen, the shapeshifting creature creates a constant air of tension that is carried throughout the film and beyond, well-past it’s ending. If you're a film student who wants to make something that will keep an audience on the edge of their seat, this is a must watch. Also, Kurt Russell plays the protagonist so that should be enough of a reason to watch this film.

Quentin Tarantino’s 'Pulp Fiction'

Pulp Fiction, is, in essence, the A, B, C’s of film production. It demonstrates how to build tension, how to write good dialogue, and how to combine audio and visuals to make a truly unique experience for the viewer, all while weaving together the four intertwining stories of two mob hitman, a boxer, a couple of robbers and a gangster’s wife. Any budding film student has to watch this masterpiece for inspiration if nothing else.

Of course, there are many more films out there that a film production student or even just a film enthusiast should watch. If you have any in mind, please comment and let me know.

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