Learn from the Movies


October 9, 2012 by chriszumtobel

We all love movies.  Movies might just be the single most entertaining form of education, sometimes opening our eyes to worlds which we never knew existed or even certain problems in society we should be aware of.  I’m sure you remember how exciting it was when our teachers announced we would be watching a movie in class, rather than enduring another boring lecture.

Why not make a conscious effort to continue to learn from movies today?  It’s easy, relaxing, entirely enjoyable and gives you a great conversation starter with almost anyone(people love to talk about movies).  Merely picking the right movie is the first step towards a great learning experience.  But not only documentaries are educational, even blockbuster hits – maybe detailing an event from history or a remarkable person – or even completely fictionalized stories which make us think about our own lives and those around us can be very beneficial.

There’s an infinite amount of knowledge to be taken in from movies of all genres, but an even better way to learn is to take the experience one step farther than just watching.  Take a step back to before the movie was filmed and produced, by searching for the screenplay online to read along with either as you watch or before you watch the movie.  Get a feel for what actually went into the process of creating what you are watching: the creativity, the storytelling, the research, and the whole build up of the idea.

This is beneficial not only to aspiring writers and artists, but to businessmen of all trades.  Movies have found a way to market to all crowds of people and incite conversation and enormous amounts of media around a topic.  Reading the screenplay is a great way to capitalize on your movie watching experience, allowing you to engross yourself in the storytelling at work throughout the film.

It’s been proven how important a great story is to any marketing or idea.  When the story is powerful and easy to talk about, people will do your marketing for you.  And who has mastered this technique better than Hollywood?  We might as well take the time to learn something from the masters.

Here are some free sites to find popular scripts.  I recommend picking either an old favorite or a new release you haven’t had the time for and sitting down with its screenplay to admire the process that went into creating the film.

Any favorite screenplays you recommend? 


2 thoughts on “Learn from the Movies

  1. A very helpful post. I’d never considered reading the script before, that has the potential to add a lot of meaning to anything you might watch. However, you might also just try to read the book, if there is one. I can probably assure you that it will be better (Game of Thrones is a perfect example).

    • Great point! It is amazing everything that goes into adapting a book into a movie or television show. A movie that comes to mind, depicting the process and how difficult it can be on the writer, is Adaptation. Thanks for the comment!

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