How Film Inspires My Craft

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Hello, darlings.

I’m taking a slight detour this week. After posting my affinity for contemporary romance last week, I wanted to share another creative aspect that influences my writing.

TV and Film.

As a kid, I watched a lot of movies. It was a weekly ritual to go with my Dad to the video store and rent movies on Friday and Saturday nights. He introduced me to films I never would have chosen for myself. Die Hard, The Saint (with Val Kilmer), Gone with the Wind, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…the list goes on and on. We also watched Home Improvement and Star Trek: The Next Generation religiously. I loved the action and adventure, the romance and the drama. It thrilled me to experience a new adventure every week. Not to mention, it became a way of bonding with my father.

I carried the passion for film into adulthood. But it wasn’t until I took a film class in college that I was able to dissect and analyze the structure of the shows and movies I loved. At first, I thought it ruined my film viewing experience because I was pulling it apart thread by thread to see how the story was woven together. Then I realized how it could help me in my own storytelling experience.

No matter how much I longed to be in a film, either acting, directing, costuming, whatever the case may be, I knew it would always be a pipe dream. My gifting lays solely in the written word. I could visualize the story in my head, but words were the only way I could bring these adventures to life.

My husband and I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, even though we have very different tastes sometimes. He enjoys cheesy B-rated movies or corny 70s films. My tastes are a bit more varied. I watch Korean dramas and foreign films, but I also live for a good destruction movie complete with natural disasters or gigantic mutated creatures encroaching on major cities.

I will be the first to admit that reviews and recommendations are subjective. I’ve had people recommend movies and shows that I did not enjoy or abandoned with disinterest. There are ones I enjoyed, but they didn’t have what I desired most…

To be blindsided.

I’m not talking cliffhanger. No. I mean I want a twist so ingrained in the story that it caught me completely by surprise, but when I think back on the story, the answers were staring me in the face the whole time.

Now that I’ve discovered the patterns in storytelling, it’s hard not to see what’s coming. So when I find a show or a movie that does this, I’m addicted.

It seems HBO has this on lockdown for me right now. They started with Game of Thrones, but it’s Westworld that has me riveted right now.

During my husband’s deployment last year, I watched Westworld while waiting for Game of Thrones episodes to air.

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Holy crap, did they hook me good. I binged the show. The first few episodes left me confused. Were we in the wild west, the present…oh, wait, we’re in the present in a theme park filled with robots. Okay. Then they started throwing character after character at me. Halfway through the show, I finally got a grip on the basics. Who the players were, where they were, and what was going down.

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But I never expected it to play out the way it did. Not in a million years. I will not give spoilers, just in case you haven’t seen it but want to enjoy it with fresh eyes. I wish I could. It’s one of those stories I wish I could wipe from my memory and watch it again.

These are the twists I live for. The ones that make me go, “What the ever loving hell?!” or have me jumping off the couch shouting at the television.

I wanted more Westworld. I still had questions that needed answers. I wanted more William and Lazlo and Hector and Ford and the Man in Black…*grabby hands* But I had to wait.

Fortunately, the wait is nearly over. Westworld Season 2 begins on April 22nd, and I for one am ridiculously excited to see how the story continues. So if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you give it a try. There is excessive language, violence, and nudity. This show is absolutely NSFW and not family friendly. Adult content ahead. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. But everything in the show works to push the story forward.

I’m hoping that season two will give my muse a jump start.

It always amazes me how small elements, characters, settings, or even lines of dialog from a TV show or movie can provide a spark of inspiration. I love when those moments happen.

So, how about you? Do you find yourself inspired after you watch a good movie or an engaging TV show? Let me know in the comments. I’ll keep you posted on my Westworld addiction. *grins*

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Until we meet again, may your bookshelves be full and your hearts even more so.

All my love,

Kirsten

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Love Romance? Love Movies? Check this out.

My family loves movies. But none of them loves them the way I do. While I’m a huge sucker for romance novels, I’m very picky about the romantic movies I watch. Especially if the chemistry between the love interests is non-existent or forced.

There are some films I saw as a kid that stuck with me. These are still on my keeper shelf. Most of these have distinct elements of romance in them that held my fascination well into adulthood.

I would love to share a few of those with you.

Gone with the Wind (1939) – It just. It’s a hot mess of volatile emotions, but it painted such a vivid picture in my young mind. I never sympathized with Rhett until I was older. Scarlett never deserved him.

 

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Yes, please.

 

The Mummy (1999) – Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell. *swoon* What can I say, I love the action, the adventure, and the smoulder. The attraction between Rick and Evey keeps perfect pace with the film. I love this film so much. Why do you think I named my daughter, Evelyn. *wink*

 

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We totally understand why you’re flustered, Evey.

 

The Saint (1997) with Val Kilmer – What can I say, I love Val Kilmer. My dad recommended I watch this one when I was in high school. I fell in love with it. Not technically a romance, but the love story within the plot is memorable to me.

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The Saint.

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Don’t even tell me that’s not a romance at its core, cause it is. That injured Indy kiss toward the end screamed it loud and clear. Indiana Jones and Marian had wicked hot chemistry.

 

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He’s milking this for all it’s worth. Smart man.

 

Persuasion (1995) with Ciarán Hinds – This adaptation of Jane Austen’s book by the same title will always have a special place in my heart. I picked up a copy of it on a whim when I was sixteen. I have loved it ever since. The slow burn chemistry in this one just has my inner romantic squealing with delight.

 

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This scene though, it hits me right in the feels.

 

Oh, and how could I possibly forget to mention this little gem:

 

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Madmartigan for the win.

 

Willow (1988) with Val Kilmer (again) – You see the trend yet? I love movies with action and adventure, but my favorites are the ones with well-placed, simmering, and believable romance bubbling on the back burner. This one still makes me laugh and swoon every time I watch it.

 

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“You are my sun, my moon, my starlit sky, without you I dwell in darkness…”

 

 

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Me. Totally me.

 

Sorry, got a bit distracted there. *clears throat*

These films influenced the blossoming writer inside of me. They made me long to be like the independent heroines, full of sass and wit and fire. I fell in love with the snarky, dominant heroes who craved adventure and caved to the woman who enchanted them.

They helped mould the stories I wanted to write.

I’ve compiled a list of other films with strong romantic elements that have made an impact on me both personally and as an author of romance.

I realize that not everyone will enjoy the same movies I do. We’re not all wired to enjoy the same things. Recommendations for books or movies are tricky because of this. Still, I would love to share my personal favorites with you.

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So, I would love to hear from you. What movies would you recommend that aren’t on my list? Please post your suggestions in the comments.

Or, if you’d like to comment on my recommendations, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Until we meet again, may your bookshelves be full and your hearts even more so.

All my love,

Kirsten