10 Flicks: Movies That Make Me Feel Like Writing

September 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

10 Flicks: Movies That Make Me Feel Like Writing

I feel like watching a movie writing.

Any other screenwriters out there have a list like this?

Now, a list of your 10 favorite movies would fit as well but I’m talking about specific movies that light the creative fire inside.

The list I came up with may seem random at first but each an every one of them share two things in common.  The first is the effect they have on my creative ignition and the second is how they all involve creativity in some way. I will now elaborate.


Computer programming

When I was in university, I accidently got myself into a core Java introductory course and ended up loving it.  I wound up staying for the entire year and learned a ton about object oriented programming and the Java language.  It’s really nerdy but interesting stuff.

The idea of structuring a program reminds me a lot of the screenplay format.  Writing a script is one thing but learning when to separate paragraphs and strategic use of white space are invaluable tools to master.

So when I watch Milo (Ryan Phillipe) talking about bottlenecks, start-ups and adaptors, I want to load up Final Draft and work on slugs, transitions and plot twists.

PS: This is a pretty awful trailer.



Paul Giamatti is a struggling novelist who is in a rut and wants nothing more than to be a published author among other romantic and wine related desires.  It’s the scenes that involve his writing that interests me the most.

I’ve never really wanted to tackle a novel but I’m passionate about screenwriting and so I can relate. Sideaways is a fantastic movie with an equally impressive screenplay.

As Good As It Gets


Awesome movie.  I love original dramas like this.  It’s such an interesting story and Jack Nicholson’s Melvin is a phenominal character.  I’m a huge fan of his workspace and how he basically narrates what he is writing as he writes it. I’m an even bigger fan of his discipline, churning out the novels and making it look easy.

Dangerous Minds


The school fight in this movie is among my all time favorites.  It’s such a scary thought to know you have to fight.  Thankfully I’ve never had to face that situation.  There’s something about the classroom scenes that inspires me to hit the keyboard. I can’t really explain it but I’m happy it has that effect on me.

8 Mile


Rap may seem slightly off topic but it’s the passion to succeed that inspires me.  B-Rabbit is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his dream.  Who doesn’t find themes like that inspiring?

Good Will Hunting


The amount of research that must have gone into this screenplay is amazing.  I don’t understand half of the math good’ ol Will is talking about and quite frankly I don’t want to.  There are so many conversations that I love about working hard to solve problems. It is easy to translate that into solving story problems within a script I’m working on.

I don’t know math but I’m willing to work on a description or a line of dialogue until it’s perfect.

The Prestige


Two competing magicians constantly trying to gain an edge and become the better performer.

Christopher Nolan can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.  The Prestige is an amazing film.  There’s just something about people who are passionate about their crafts that inspires me.

PS: This is an awesome trailer.  Take that Antitrust!



It’s a movie about screenwriting!  It’s such a weird story but I love the originality of it.  I like to think that many people saw this movie on my list instantly understood why it’s here. So much talk about story and structure.  I love it!



Again the theme of problem solving serves as my inspiration to be creative.  Proof is a movie that very little people I’ve talked to have seen.  I just decided that my new goal for this post is to directly cause someone to watch this movie. (Or at the very least consider it.  Feel free to comment if I succeeded.  Don’t leave me hanging.)

A Beautiful Mind


“Find a truly original idea.”

There’s a lot of math films on this list.  This movie is just as inspiring to me.

The characters care so deeply about their field that it’s hard stop that dedication from infecting my brain with creativity.  I think out of all the films on this list, A Beautiful Mind is the only one batting 1.000 for getting me in the mood to write.  The others come close but this flick his the perfect notes on every single viewing.

Along with the other films on this list, it is one of my go-to cures for writer’s block.