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.
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]