It’s been quite a while since I started a meme, so here’s one to consider:
What single film or TV programme at some point in your life made you a) understand the filmmaking process and b) influence your own style of writing? [Then tag three people and reprint these instructions].
So here’s mine… Beware, there be spoilers.
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker
It’s hard to believe Seven has been around now for nearly HALF MY LIFE: watching it only recently, I was of the opinion it hadn’t dated much. Funnily enough, Seven isn’t one of my *favourite* films; I wouldn’t imagine it would even figure in my top ten. There were far too many giant leaps in logic for it to *really* hang together for my tastes. For example: even knowing there’s such a thing as plastic surgery, the woman accused of vanity would rather die of a paracetemol overdose? The gentleman accused of lust is able to fuck a woman to death with a knife strapped to his penis… really?! (Wouln’t that be a mega case for erectile dsyfunction at this moment?? Oh and btw, he’s the one who’s lustful, yet it’s the “tempting whore” who has to die? Niiiiiiiiiice – not). What’s more, it would be a few more years before Fincher really proved what he could do in my eyes with the far superior Panic Room. As for Walker, what happened?!
Yet there I was, watching this film at the cinema when I myself was approximately fifteen years old. And it was like a thousand lightbulbs went on in my head. Here was a concept I was very familiar with – the seven deadly sins – and it was that concept that SHAPED the film and what happens in it. Though I was yet to read any books about screenwriting (or even so much as discuss it with anyone), I suddenly became away of the notions of central concept and how it can STRUCTURE a movie. Whilst this might all sound obvious stuff, many many specs in the pile actually don’t do this… Nor did mine at first of course, practice makes perfect — but I knew what I needed to be working TOWARD and I credit Seven totally for this realisation.
Similarly, it was Seven and Seven alone that influenced my love of thriller and desire to write something similar. I found subsequent thrillers of the 90s and 00s lacking in comparison in terms of suspense or its claustrophobic, threatening element. For a while I got swept up in the desire to write the *next* big Horror, but discovered the market was flooded – with prodcos and the spec pile. What’s more, when it came down to it, I discovered I lacked the flair to spill blood on a grand scale, even on the page. So imagine my surprise when I churned out a rather generic thriller about two years ago and discovered, according to people’s feedback and my own gut it was *the* genre for me…
So over to you!!!