Why you should study bad movies to improve your filmmaking

Apr 26, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Why you should study bad movies to improve your filmmaking

Apr 26, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Studying works from other artists is an important part of learning and improvement. It makes sense to study those better than yourself, right? But does it make sense to you to study bad art in order to make your own art better? Darious Britt talks about this topic in his video.

Although he aims it mostly at storytelling in filmmaking, some of these points can apply to photography as well. So, let’s see how studying bad art can make you improve.

YouTube video

1. Easier to spot issues

When you watch bad movies, it’s much easier to spot any mistakes and inconsistencies. With good movies, everything seems to “flow.” When you break down bad ones, you can spot many more mistakes in less time.

2. Studying bad movies helps you break down good ones

When you break down bad movies, you will have more points of reference for breaking down good ones. When you know how to spot bad stuff, you will be quicker to spot them in good movies too. But also, you will learn to notice what’s particularly good, too.

3. Lessons stick longer

When you break down enough bad movies, you’ll have some memorable examples of what not to do.

4. Easier to spot cliché dialogs

Just like other undesirable elements, cliché dialogs are easier to spot in bad movies. This will help you notice them in your own work.

5. Helps you spot issues in fellow filmmakers’ work

When you study bad movies, you’ll notice what’s wrong in your or your fellow moviemakers’ work. But what’s also important, you’ll also know how to articulate it and clearly point out what exactly is wrong.

6. Fun to watch

Bad movies can be very entertaining to watch (even if you don’t break them down, trust me). And if you have fun while also learning something, what else can you wish for?

7. Reinforces screenwriting and storytelling guidelines

Watching bad movies can remind you (or convince you) why screenwriting and storytelling guidelines are important.

8. Studying bad movies saves you from costly mistakes

Moviemaking is an expansive craft, and making mistakes can cost you a lot of money. By studying bad movies, you can learn what not to do by learning from other people’s mistakes.

As I said, I believe some of these points can be applied to photography as well. What comes to mind first is bad Photoshop work, and you can find tons of examples of the most common mistakes and what not to do.

Of course, all this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t break down good movies/photos and learn from them. But it does mean that you shouldn’t underestimate bad stuff and everything you can learn from it. After all, how will you know what’s bad if you’ve only seen good art?

What do you think? Do you agree with these points? And do you tend to learn from bad movies and photos as much as from the good ones?

[Why Filmmakers Should Study Bad Movies | D4Darious]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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4 responses to “Why you should study bad movies to improve your filmmaking”

  1. Boring Avatar
    Boring

    “The Room” best, worst movie ever.

    1. Dunja0712 Avatar
      Dunja0712

      I have to watch that. It’s the one from the beginning of the video, right?
      For me, “Street Trash” is the best worst movie I’ve ever seen. I even added a screenshot from it to the cover image of the text. I think it’s made bad on purpose, but still, it’s sooo entertaining! :)

      1. Boring Avatar
        Boring

        Yes, that was the beginning movie. The best part is he didn’t understand camera format, so he shot 35mm film and HD side by side to see what he liked more haha. Its so bad, its good.

  2. pwoodyp Avatar
    pwoodyp

    Watching an Ed Wood movie should cure anyone of this habit! haha, maybe not …